How do you register a unregistered trailer in california?

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I just got a boat delivered from Florida to California. The boat registration was easy, as I had bill of sale and title of the boat. Registering the trailer though proved to be a problem. In Florida you don't need registration for any trailer under 1500 lbs which mine is (16' magic tilt trailer). I had a bill of sale and went to AAA to do my dmv work and they said I cannot register the trailer without a registration card for the trailer from Florida.

There's no way I'm going to be able to get the owner to go thru the hassle of getting this and shipping the paperwork back to California. Anyone ever have this problem and have a solution? I read online on how to make it look like a home built trailer and then have it certified by CHP and then have to make several trips to DMV for inspection and it's a pain in the ass.
 
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kindafishy

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last time i registered a "home built trailer" all i had to do was take it to dmv for inspection. they look at it, some closer than others. put the VIN sticker on and give you plates. if you go that route you will have to fill out a statement of facts. note: your story must be that you or someone in your immediate family built it, you is best. and you built it from scrap parts acquired from yard sales over the years. if it looks old than tell them its never been registered because it has always been used on private property and now you want to put it on the street. if you tell them the truth or anything close to the truth you'll have problems. i used to make alot of trailers for people and thats what i was told.
also most don't know it but a pink slip is not required for a trailer in CA. i would get one (extra 15$ i think) makes resale easier.
 
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stairman

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last time i registered a "home built trailer" all i had to do was take it to dmv for inspection. they look at it, some closer than others. put the VIN sticker on and give you plates. if you go that route you will have to fill out a statement of facts. note: your story must be that you or someone in your immediate family built it, you is best. and you built it from scrap parts acquired from yard sales over the years. if it looks old than tell them its never been registered because it has always been used on private property and now you want to put it on the street. if you tell them the truth or anything close to the truth you'll have problems. i used to make alot of trailers for people and thats what i was told.
also most don't know it but a pink slip is not required for a trailer in CA. i would get one (extra 15$ i think) makes resale easier.


don't you love how our government makes lawyers...excuse me liars out of us to achieve what should be simple,and honest.
 
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kindafishy

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no need for chp. if you take it to chp you better crawl around every nook and cranny and look for vins, serial # manufacturing tags/ marks. they will look. however i've never had a 50 year old, 300# woman from the dmv crawl around under a trailer and look.
 
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Northeastfshman

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    My Pacific trailer had a sticker for the VIN,. The numbers on the sticker were fading. I took it to the DMV who made me then take it to the CHP because of the fading sticker and assign a new number for the trailer. It was a pain in the *(&.

    Do a search here. There was a great thread on the whole process.
     
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    wils

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    no need for chp. if you take it to chp you better crawl around every nook and cranny and look for vins, serial # manufacturing tags/ marks. they will look. however i've never had a 50 year old, 300# woman from the dmv crawl around under a trailer and look.

    have you brought a legit trailer in to cali from a 'no registration required' state? Maybe it was just my attitude that allowed me to not have to lie, to not have to crawl under the trailer, and to goggle a 20-something CHP inspector while she took care of everything. then back to DMV for a quickie visual "inspection", no pain in the ass - just a typical 21st century run-around-hassle, and I was good to go. Sometimes "attitude" matters when dealing with those dastardly evil govt people.
     
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    Northeastfshman

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  • Dec 20, 2008
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    have you brought a legit trailer in to cali from a 'no registration required' state? Maybe it was just my attitude that allowed me to not have to lie, to not have to crawl under the trailer, and to goggle a 20-something CHP inspector while she took care of everything. then back to DMV for a quickie visual "inspection", no pain in the ass - just a typical 21st century run-around-hassle, and I was good to go. Sometimes "attitude" matters when dealing with those dastardly evil govt people.


    I agree the CHP was really good and no one was rude or a pain .... It was just a pain to go the DMV have them tell me the sticker was fading so they couldn't give me a new registration. Then go to CHP and then back to the DMV. The whole working thing gets in the way lol.

    Here is the thread I started a few years ago on the topic. Read Gonzo25's response. He is the one that got the process right for me.

    http://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/trailer-registration.470770/
     
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    ConSeaMate

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    CHP...Bought a 37 Chevy out of Knox Indiana ....no numbers....took it to the Oceanside CHP where they assigned a vin number.....back to DMV for registration and plates....
     
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    J Woodman

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    I bought a boat & trailer last February from Nevada with the same scenario. No trailer registration necessary in Nevada. I tried to register the whole thing at DMV in Santa Paula. They registered the boat right away and issued new CF numbers, but said that the trailer needed visual inspection, and could I bring it around to the back. I didn't have it with me but got a reservation for the next day. Came back and a cute/smart/helpful 20 something blonde checked it all out, searched the computer to find the code for this brand, and registration was complete. Lucky for me all the vin numbers and stickers were still intact. I didn't want a certificate but I was told that first time registration in California you must get a certificate. As stated above, work really gets in the way of this process.
     
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    kindafishy

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    have you brought a legit trailer in to cali from a 'no registration required' state? Maybe it was just my attitude that allowed me to not have to lie, to not have to crawl under the trailer, and to goggle a 20-something CHP inspector while she took care of everything. then back to DMV for a quickie visual "inspection", no pain in the ass - just a typical 21st century run-around-hassle, and I was good to go. Sometimes "attitude" matters when dealing with those dastardly evil govt people.

    no i have not, however i have built close to 100 trailers for people and only had 1 problem. the guy went to a spanish speaking dmv services place and because he thought he was dealing with "his people" he let them in on the fact that he didn't build it. man did he open a can of worms. i had to fill out a bunch of paperwork, provide receipts for parts etc.
    if you make an appt. at dmv, bring trailer with no identifying marks, or evidence it was ever vin'd. and fill out the form (statement of facts i think) that you built it, you will walk out with plates, and they will put a fiol type sticker on the tounge with your vin
     
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    seymour

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    Very easy to do if the trailer has a VIN. If you do not want to go to the CHP, call a VIN verifier, it will cost you $50-$75 and they will give you the DMV form and come to your house or wherever. Fill out a STATMENT OF FACTS sheet from the DMV explaining why you do not have the paper work, a vehicle registration sheet, and an application for title.
     
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    oceanjake

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    There's no rivet on vin number from the dmv. They just give you a metal sticker that they affix to your trailer. I had one that was not home built but did not have a vin. It took 15 minutes, but there's no way around going to the dmv. I'm pretty sure you don't need to go to chp for inspection on a trailer. That's only for vehicles.
     
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    wils

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    There's no rivet on vin number from the dmv. They just give you a metal sticker that they affix to your trailer. I had one that was not home built but did not have a vin. It took 15 minutes, but there's no way around going to the dmv. I'm pretty sure you don't need to go to chp for inspection on a trailer. That's only for vehicles.

    My rivet-on VIN number plate came from the CHP.
     
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    c-level

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    Thanks guys, I went to DMV today. Didn't have an appt so I waited for 1.5 hours :/. They were able to do a new title for it as I told them the whole florida story and luckily had a bill of sale. They gave me a temporary slip but I have to bring the trailer back in for inspection. I'm going to clean her up this weekend and try to get an appt for next week. The bummer is their parking sucks so I have to go early like some of you guys did or go and see the CHP.

    thanks again!
     
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    Northeastfshman

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    There's no rivet on vin number from the dmv. They just give you a metal sticker that they affix to your trailer. I had one that was not home built but did not have a vin. It took 15 minutes, but there's no way around going to the dmv. I'm pretty sure you don't need to go to chp for inspection on a trailer. That's only for vehicles.
    If you get a nice person Jake they will just stamp it with a new VIN. I brought my pacific in and they made me go to CHP to approve the trailer before giving me the metal sticker dealy thingy
     
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    c-level

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    When CHP or DMV approves your trailer what are they looking for? Do they go into depth on boat weight and trailer brakes and clearance lights? I'm going thru the california regs and man there's a ton of stuff they require that I rarely see on anyones trailer :(
     
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    PD41

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    Best time to hit the DMV is 5 minutes before closing. Thats when they kick into gear. Never had over a 20 - 30 min walk in visit.
    Good luck.
     
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    kindafishy

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    When CHP or DMV approves your trailer what are they looking for? Do they go into depth on boat weight and trailer brakes and clearance lights? I'm going thru the california regs and man there's a ton of stuff they require that I rarely see on anyones trailer :(

    chp will be much more diligent in their inspection than dmv will be.
     
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    c-level

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    That's what I figured, I'm going to DMV. It looks like I will need at least two amber clearance lights and one red clearance light on each side.
     
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    c-level

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    update: Trailer passed inspection at DMV and I got my plates! If you have the same problem you can do it with just a bill of sale but you will have to make two trips and make sure you get a reservation so you aren't wasting time. You will also have to fill out several forms at dmv, one of which is a simple statement of why you could not get a title from the original owner. The inspection was fairly quick and easy, the main thing the inspector was looking for was the serial number of the trailer so make sure yours is legible.
     
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    Jan 20, 2012
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    How do I go about getting a trailer registered without any paperwork or VIN number??
    Previous owner is from California.
    Trailer is madr by highlander has to be 1988 or older.
    Please help.
     
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    kindafishy

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    well you can do a lien sale, in my neck of the woods about 50 bucks and 30 days, then you have to register it in your name. or you can do what many do.....remove all identifying marks, take it to DMV and tell them you homemade it. has to be you, not your dad or uncle. im certain the later involves breaking the law though.
     
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    Jan 20, 2012
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    well you can do a lien sale, in my neck of the woods about 50 bucks and 30 days, then you have to register it in your name. or you can do what many do.....remove all identifying marks, take it to DMV and tell them you homemade it. has to be you, not your dad or uncle. im certain the later involves breaking the law though.
    I want to be legit tho..
     
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    kindafishy

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    do the lien sale. get somebody good to do it for you. i would go to a local tow yard, or a repair shop and ask around who they use.

    How do I go about getting a trailer registered without any paperwork or VIN number??
    Previous owner is from California.
    Trailer is madr by highlander has to be 1988 or older.
    Please help.

    I want to be legit tho..
     
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