OP
@mjrally avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 90 V5N 50, 01 ET2, 2015 HD Road Glide Special
Joined: UTC
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Location: Oceanside, CA
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@mjrally avatar
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 90 V5N 50, 01 ET2, 2015 HD Road Glide Special
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5018
Location: Oceanside, CA
UTC quote
This post is catered to folks who buy scoots with no California paperwork or missing paperwork. If you're coming from out of State and want to register in California for some reason then a lot of this will help. ATTENTION! YOU MUST HAVE 7500 MILES OR MORE ON THE ODOMETER OR ELSE YOUR TITLE WILL GET FLAGGED AND YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO GET A CA TITLE. The reason for that is CA wont import "new" two strokes. Over 7500 miles itll classify as used and they'll accept it into the system. If you dont have 7500 miles you can find a different state that doesnt care (Vermont) and then register in CA, buy a replacement speedo or find someone like Speedoking to change the numbers on your speedo so its good.

If you want to try the Vermont route, use the search button above and search for How to Vermont title. You'll get a post that I wrote up.

I just got finished registering a scoot with the California DMV and its an absolute bitch. My story is I bought an old scooter cash with just a bill of sale on March 7th. The owner had lost the paperwork and it checked out as not stolen. So I paid the cash, started the paperwork and documented what you need to do for the future. This is not an easy or fast process, but read this before you go buy a new scoot and need to register it in California. Im finally done with this two months later FYI.

If you're a Triple A member, some offices will do the initial DMV paperwork portion of this for you. I've had luck in the past at my local office but something has changed and they now only do the paperwork part of this, but the inspections you'll still have to go to the DMV and CHP. Call ahead and see what they'll do.

BEFORE YOU GO BUY THE SCOOT

Step 1. Go to the California DMV's website and schedule an appointment for a future date. This will save you time at the DMV instead of walking up and dealing with all the last minute unfortunate souls. If you don't want to do this, I recommend going to a DMV way the hell out in the middle of nowhere thats not going to be busy. Dont try to expect quick or friendly service at a DMV in a major city!

Step 2. Get the vin and go to your local Police station and ask them to check the vin to see if its stolen. If you buy a stolen scooter and try to register it, they will collect it from you and report it back to the last known owner and you will not get any money or scooter back.

Step 3. Take the VIN to your local DMV or AAA office and ask if any back fees are owed on the scooter. Liens, unpaid tickets and back registration fees all transfer with the scooter. If the previous owner didnt pay his fees its you're problem now! The DMV will make you pay for them regardless. You might be able to talk the fees down, but you will have to pay them before you can even get this legal!

Step 4. All the above look good? Time to print out forms Reg 135 (Bill of Sale) and forms Reg 256 (Statement of Facts). Take these down with you when you go buy the scooter. I had a cool seller nearby who I was able to stay in touch with and see after the fact, but not everyone will have that luxury if the DMV says they need more signatures and your seller has moved on.
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/forms/formsreg_alpha

Step 5. Buy the scooter and have the seller fill out the Bill of Sale and Statement of Facts. Have them include why there's no paperwork, how long they've owned it, sale price, how they acquired it and any other details pertinent to the condition of the sale. Since the DMV will charge sales tax on the purchase price of the scoot, nows a good time to figure out with the seller if they're willing to lie about the sale price on paper so you don't get taxed a shit load.

Step 6. Fill out a Statement of Facts form for yourself and again put who, how, why, when, AND the key words "it has not been ridden on highways and has been in storage." If they find out someone was riding this and the registration hasnt been paid they will freak.

Step 7. Fill out form REG 31 Application for Title or Registration. Fill out the Sections per the image below and only those sections. Look closely at Section 5. Date entered or will Enter California. I put Unknown for the date entered since the seller had no paperwork, and for date first operated I put the sale date. Then the date vehicle was purchased or aquired I put the sale date that matches the Bill of Sale and Statement of Facts.

Step 8. Load the scooter up and take it to the AAA office OR DMV and present all your paperwork to them. They will go through your paperwork and ask you some questions, have you fix any problems on the forms, charge you for processing fees, a years worth of registration and whatever bullshit taxes and fees the state charges (I had to pay $94).

Step 9. Go see the VIN inspector at the DMV. He'll ask you to show him -VIN in two spots (frame and legshield)
-engine serial number
-Vehicle Emissions Information Sticker (mine didnt have it so I had to argue with them and say its an old scooter and they never came with them)
-Possibly more depending how much of a dick the inspector is.

Then they'll send you back inside the DMV for some more paperwork checking and they will fill out a portion of Form REG 124 Application for Assigned Vehicle Identification Number Plate. Its a 3 page carbon copy form that you fill out part of, the DMV fills out the middle and then you take the rest to CHP. Since youre going to be operating your scooter on the roads, CHP is in charge of that so you need to make them happy.

Step 9. Go immediately to the CHP office and try to get a VIN inspection. If the office is busy, you might have to make an appointment for a later date. My local office wouldnt let me schedule an appointment without the Reg 124 so once I had it, my wait time was a month and a half. If you have the option, go to a less crowded CHP office and see if you can get a quicker VIN inspection appointment.

Step 10. Get a DMV appointment or AAA office shortly after your future CHP inspection so you get this whole process over.

Step 11. Take the scooter and all your paperwork to CHP. Show the inspecting officer the Reg 124 form and be polite and answer any questions. Be cool in case they find problems with missing shit. They sadly have all the power and could make your registering problems a bitch. They might take pics to aid in the paperwork process but once the inspections done they'll go in the office and make you wait a half hour while they fill out paperwork and look up stuff. Fingers crossed you get your paperwork and bail.

Step 12. Go back to DMV or AAA with all your paperwork and present them with it. They'll inspect it all and do the usual DMV process and give you either a physical license plate, license plate stickers, temporary registration paperwork or tell you its all in the mail and you'll receive it soon.

Then wait a few weeks and you'll get your pink slip separate from the license plate.

Thats it. Its a real bitch with a lot of back and forth. It took me over two months and I had some professional help with this one. If you're going in blind its gonna be even more of a hassle. If you have any problems during this entire process you might want to check out how to get a Vermont title instead and save yourself the hassle of having a California title.

How to Guide- Apply for a Vermont plate
Bill of Sale. Blue are the scoot specs, Red is seller info, Green is buyers info.
Bill of Sale. Blue are the scoot specs, Red is seller info, Green is buyers info.
Front page of Sellers Statement of Facts. REG 256
Front page of Sellers Statement of Facts. REG 256
Back page of Sellers Statement of Facts. Reg 256. Blue scoot specs, blacked out for privacy, Red sellers info.
Back page of Sellers Statement of Facts. Reg 256. Blue scoot specs, blacked out for privacy, Red sellers info.
Front page of Buyers Statement of Facts. Reg 256. Blue scoot specs.
Front page of Buyers Statement of Facts. Reg 256. Blue scoot specs.
Back page of Buyers Statement of Facts. Reg 256. Blue scoot specs, Blacked out for privacy, Green new buyers info.
Back page of Buyers Statement of Facts. Reg 256. Blue scoot specs, Blacked out for privacy, Green new buyers info.
Fees I paid.
Fees I paid.
Front page of Application for Title or Registratoin Reg 31. Blue scoot info. Green new buyers info.
Front page of Application for Title or Registratoin Reg 31. Blue scoot info. Green new buyers info.
Back page of Application for Title or Registratoin Reg 31. Blue scoot info. Green new buyers info.
Back page of Application for Title or Registratoin Reg 31. Blue scoot info. Green new buyers info.
Picture of the VIN verification form the DMV inspector filled out. You dont fill out any of this, but I snapped a pic of it before i turned it in. Blacked out stuff is for privacy.
Picture of the VIN verification form the DMV inspector filled out. You dont fill out any of this, but I snapped a pic of it before i turned it in. Blacked out stuff is for privacy.
Carbon copy form you get when DMV is happy with you and you get sent to CHP. Green stuff is new buyers info. Rest of it is filled out by the DMV and CHP. Dont fill out anything other than the green.
Carbon copy form you get when DMV is happy with you and you get sent to CHP. Green stuff is new buyers info. Rest of it is filled out by the DMV and CHP. Dont fill out anything other than the green.
⚠️ Last edited by MJRally on UTC; edited 1 time
@socalguy avatar
UTC

bodgemaster
63 GL, 76 Super (x2), 74 Primavera (x2), 79 P200, 06 Fly 150
Joined: UTC
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Location: So Cal
 
bodgemaster
@socalguy avatar
63 GL, 76 Super (x2), 74 Primavera (x2), 79 P200, 06 Fly 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 7038
Location: So Cal
UTC quote
Nice write up man. I think I'd rather be waterboarded than spend a day at the DMV.

How many total hrs would you say you spent getting the title, start to finish?
OP
@mjrally avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 90 V5N 50, 01 ET2, 2015 HD Road Glide Special
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5018
Location: Oceanside, CA
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@mjrally avatar
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 90 V5N 50, 01 ET2, 2015 HD Road Glide Special
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5018
Location: Oceanside, CA
UTC quote
Start to finish im guessing 6.75 hours not counting however long it took me to load up the scoot or the driving time to each different location. Then it'd be closer to 10 hours. I didn't have to go to my local DMV and could have driven inland, but there's no guarantee that DMV would be faster or easier.

30 minutes lining up my appointments and printing out the DMV forms.
30 minutes filling out the forms
1.5 hours at the DMV first time around with an appointment.
1 hour waiting and then doing the VIN inspection.
30 minutes post VIN inspection paperwork
10 minutes Scheduling the CHP inspection
1.5 hours CHP VIN inspection.
1 hour turn in the final paperwork and get my plates with an appointment.

Pros to this are the fact that I have a pink slip and less questions when it comes to selling the scoot (people freak out with non California titled scoots).

Cons that come to mind are the time it takes to complete this process and annual registration fees (minimum $90/year in CA, $48 in VT).

For me I wasted my time and laid on this grenade so other folks don't have to. I hope this helps explain some pitfalls and saves you folks time and effort.
⬆️    About 9 months elapsed    ⬇️
UTC

Addicted
SS208, SX250 , RD's and a K1300s and an RZ350 and TZR250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 567
 
Addicted
SS208, SX250 , RD's and a K1300s and an RZ350 and TZR250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 567
UTC quote
MAKE SURE your odometer reads a value greater than 7500.

Otherwise they can flag your VIN and you can never get a title.
@dwight_schmidt avatar
UTC

Hooked
1974 Rally (3), 1971 Rally 180, 1960 Li 125
Joined: UTC
Posts: 426
Location: Southern California, USA
 
Hooked
@dwight_schmidt avatar
1974 Rally (3), 1971 Rally 180, 1960 Li 125
Joined: UTC
Posts: 426
Location: Southern California, USA
UTC quote
Thanks MJ.

Looks like I'll be rocking my Vermont plate for a little longer then.
⬆️    About 6 years elapsed    ⬇️
@ray8 avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Joined: UTC
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Location: Los Angeles
 
Molto Verboso
@ray8 avatar
Joined: UTC
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Location: Los Angeles
UTC quote
TR wrote:
MAKE SURE your odometer reads a value greater than 7500.

Otherwise they can flag your VIN and you can never get a title.
That CA DMV rule only applies to bikes manufactured after 1981.
Had to whip out the rule on an otherwise very nice DMV lady.

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/handbook/vehicle-industry-registration-procedures-manual-2/nonresident-vehicles/motorcycles-and-newer-year-models/

Don't be scared, CA bill of sale only people!
Just make sure you look up the vin on the website for back fees, and dedicate 3-4 hours of your life, between DMV and CHP inspection.

Also, ask for a temp paper permit to ride while you wait to get a CHP appointment.
UTC

Addicted
1968 VBB150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 686
Location: OC
 
Addicted
1968 VBB150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 686
Location: OC
UTC quote
Question on turn signals (which may have already been asked) do I need to add them to a 180SS to pass CHP inspection?
OP
@mjrally avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 90 V5N 50, 01 ET2, 2015 HD Road Glide Special
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5018
Location: Oceanside, CA
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@mjrally avatar
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 90 V5N 50, 01 ET2, 2015 HD Road Glide Special
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5018
Location: Oceanside, CA
UTC quote
So far I have yet to be hassled about not having turn signals. Nor asked to even start the scoot. Your SS180 never came with turn signals, right? Google is your friend if the topic comes up.

I'd assume if there are 3 out of 4 turn signals on the scoot you might arouse suspicion for the missing one.
@oopsclunkthud avatar
UTC

Banned
3:5
Joined: UTC
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Location: San Francisco
 
Banned
@oopsclunkthud avatar
3:5
Joined: UTC
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Location: San Francisco
UTC quote
Vespa's had turn signals in the US starting with model year 1974.

CHP is not doing a road worthiness or any kind of equipment check, they are only confirming the VIN information.
@grumpnut avatar
UTC

Hooked
'58 VBA
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Location: Chico CA
 
Hooked
@grumpnut avatar
'58 VBA
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Location: Chico CA
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Mine wasn't fully assembled when I did my CHP visit. No issues
@ray8 avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
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Molto Verboso
@ray8 avatar
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UTC quote
Let me add that if you only have a bill of sale from the seller (even hand written with a signature), you as buyer can fill out the Statement of Facts on your own.
⬆️    About 2 months elapsed    ⬇️
UTC

Lurker
P200E
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Location: San Diego, CA USA
 
Lurker
P200E
Joined: UTC
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Location: San Diego, CA USA
UTC quote
This is so helpful. Gives me a bit more confidence to go for a BOS Vespa. Thanks!
1964 Vespa GS160
1964 Vespa GS160
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