I’m buying a Non Op (CA) registered vehicle. What’s gonna happen?

I know I need to get a temp operating permit in order to move or use it, but what's gonna happen when I go to the DMV and register it in my name? It's already passed smog, but I need to know, am I gonna have to pay for the registration fees for as long as it's been non op? Or what? HELP!

1 Answer

  • No, the non-op fee doesn't have a back pay stipulation attached to it. Just don't drive the car on the street. The seller should know they can't even allow a test drive without a moving permit on a non-op vehicle. They have to get one & then you should get one to move the vehicle from their place to yours. Better yet - tow the vehicle on a truck bed to get it home & the DMV can't dispute this issue if you didn't have time to get the ONE day moving permit from their offices. You only have to pay a fine if the car is driven with no one day moving permit. I know because I have a vehicle with a non-op sitting in the back yard. I will get the permit when the car is ready to test drive. Until then, I pay a small fee each year to keep it off the road. It cannot legally be parked on a public roadway in California & my City has a law stating the car most be parked out of view if I don't have a garage. So, the backyard is my garage for now. Hope some of this helped you!


    FYI- The DMV is gonna wonder how the seller got the car smogged. If they say they drove it....then THEY pay the fine for breaking the law & you are out of the loop!

    Be prepared to have to seller go into the DMV with you when transferring the title to sign a form stating that he had the car towed OR that he had a one day moving permit to obtain the smog permit. It cannot be transferred with proper paperwork from the seller.

    Don't rely on what the seller says. Get them to go into the office with you & do it all at once. You will have to pay the sales tax on the day your register it in your name. The tags come in the mail & so does the new pink slip & registration card.

    You also need to show proof of insurance in order to get a current registration on the vehicle. Your insurance carrier should be able to FAX the papers to the DMV or you can take the policy proof in with you on the day you transfer title to your name!

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