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Old 10-17-2020, 08:08 PM   #1
pat english
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"Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

I got the title with my truck,but it hasn't been registered in about 20 years.so it's not In the DMV system anymore.
I'm wondering if I can get a "title only" in my name without doing smog,tags & insurance right now.has anyone in ca done this?I've read what it says on the DMV website,but its not very clear.other states dmv websites explain "title only" better.like in Nevada it says that you can get a title only without doing smog,registration, or insurance.

The reason I ask is because I need time to get my truck running and dont want to start paperwork at the dmv and be in a rush to get it inspected & weighed and smogged.if I had to pay a tow truck to haul it to the dmv & weigh station,I could have just bought a running truck.
(Only paid $300 for the truck.82 gmc 3500 3+3)

(Also planning a 6.2 diesel swap.hopfully that can be done.the lady on the phone wasn't exactly sure about it so the smog referee is supposed to call me in a few days.it says on there website that you can do a change of power plant as long as the engine is 1 year newer then the model truck and was offered in that body style & weight class.
The thing she wasn't sure about was switching to a smaller displacement engine.she said you can go up,but not down in displacement.thats not specified on the website,so I'll be waiting to hear from the smog referee.if anyone has any direct info or knowledge on this I'd like hear what you had to do,otherwise I'll report back when (or if) the smog ref calls.
Thanks,
Pat
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:23 PM   #2
Ryan Hubbard
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Re: "Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

In California you need to transfer the title into your name and also file a PNO (planned Non operational) . This keeps the vehicle active in the system and requires that you keep the vehicle off the street and parked on private property. I think planned PNO is like $22.00 per year

Just watch out they might try to get you for all the back years of non registration.
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:56 PM   #3
pat english
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Re: "Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

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In California you need to transfer the title into your name and also file a PNO (planned Non operational) . This keeps the vehicle active in the system and requires that you keep the vehicle off the street and parked on private property. I think planned PNO is like $22.00 per year

Just watch out they might try to get you for all the back years of non registration.
They only charge for back fees if they have a record of it.if they have no record you only pay current tags.
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:56 PM   #4
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Re: "Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

If you're a member of the Auto Club -AAA - I'd go there and ask them. I've found that Triple A is better informed about matters like yours than the dunderheads at the DMV.
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Old 10-17-2020, 10:07 PM   #5
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Re: "Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

The CA DMV website will probably tell the OP more than anything else. Especially since the whole process seems designed to extract money from vehicle owners.
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Old 10-17-2020, 10:49 PM   #6
pat english
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Re: "Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

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If you're a member of the Auto Club -AAA - I'd go there and ask them. I've found that Triple A is better informed about matters like yours than the dunderheads at the DMV.

I think you're right about that.
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:58 PM   #7
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Re: "Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

Register it pno, and it will usually register it in your name with out needing all the other stuff.
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Old 10-18-2020, 06:54 PM   #8
pat english
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Re: "Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

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Register it pno, and it will usually register it in your name with out needing all the other stuff.
I'm hoping I'll be able to do that without bringing the truck In for a vin verification.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:34 AM   #9
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Re: "Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

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I'm hoping I'll be able to do that without bringing the truck In for a vin verification.
If you are told you need to have the VIN verified, you can call your local PD office and ask to talk to an auto theft investigator. He/she should be able to come to your house and verify the VIN and also sign off on the required paperwork so that you can get the title transferred over to your name. If there is no local PD or sheriff's office, then CHP is your last resort.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:46 AM   #10
pat english
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Re: "Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

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If you are told you need to have the VIN verified, you can call your local PD office and ask to talk to an auto theft investigator. He/she should be able to come to your house and verify the VIN and also sign off on the required paperwork so that you can get the title transferred over to your name. If there is no local PD or sheriff's office, then CHP is your last resort.
I have a couple friends that are cops and they said that even though the dmv says a cop can do the vin verification, its against company policy.i live in LA county.they get in trouble if they do it.they aren't even allowed to look up records for people anymore.there were too many people abusing the privelige.
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Old 10-19-2020, 03:40 PM   #11
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Re: "Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

The law didn’t allow officers to look up records for people. Officers who did, were breaking the law. It’s all about “need to know, right to know”. Any police officer in the state can do a vin verification per DMV but a lot of departments don’t allow it because they don’t want to train people to do it. Call your local CHP office and schedule an appointment for them to do it. Each CHP office should have an officer trained in it. They will ask you to tow the truck to them. If it cannot be moved, some times the officer will come to you. Some AAA offices also have vin verification people. Good luck.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:08 PM   #12
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Re: "Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

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I have a couple friends that are cops and they said that even though the dmv says a cop can do the vin verification, its against company policy.i live in LA county.they get in trouble if they do it.they aren't even allowed to look up records for people anymore.there were too many people abusing the privelige.
Yeah, different departments have different policies. As far as looking up things and telling people outside of law enforcement, that is a big no no!!!!

I would call your local LASO substation and see if they have an auto theft detective. That person can do a VIN check for you and it's part of their job as an investigator. I know, because that's what I used to do.
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:07 PM   #13
pat english
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Re: "Title only"in California? Change of power plant?

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Originally Posted by Rickysnickers View Post
Yeah, different departments have different policies. As far as looking up things and telling people outside of law enforcement, that is a big no no!!!!

I would call your local LASO substation and see if they have an auto theft detective. That person can do a VIN check for you and it's part of their job as an investigator. I know, because that's what I used to do.
I think I'll hold off until I can get it running.the city stopped by today and told me they're doing street sweeping and related tickets again.so I'm in kinda a rush now.my wife has my back on it,so maybe I can just get it running then I can drive to the dmv,chp & smog ref.
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