Nevada / CA registration / sale question

In 2004 I bought an RV in California. I had a normal registration until about 2009, when I obtained a non-operational California registration for the RV. The vehicle was registered in a county in California that does not require a smog. Essentially the CA registration was “frozen”. This allowed the vehicle to be registered as non-operational without the requirement to have a smog or pay registration fees every year and remain that way until such time as the vehicle became operational.

Fast forward to now. The RV is in storage in Nevada. It is still in a non-operational state. In Nevada I pay property tax on the vehicle because for a while it was at a mobile home park and Nevada’s property tax people came through, saw the out of state license plate and handed me a bill.

I plan to sell it in Nevada where I now live. My question is, does the registration status of the vehicle have any bearing or impact to a buyer who buys the vehicle in Nevada and intends to register it in Nevada (or some state other state)? Can the buyer just take it to a DMV in Nevada and register it, since he or she had nothing to do with the previous registration?

Despite the fact that the RV is currently non-operational and in storage I may be able to get it repaired and running, depending on the cost. Either way, running or not, I would just like to sell it without doing anything registration wise and be done with it.

About a year ago I had read somewhere on this forum that there were some advantages to selling a vehicle in Nevada versus other states but not sure what that was in reference to.

I’ve bought non-op vehicles in California and it was nothing. Just go to DMV, pay the clerk and tell them if you want it non-op or fully registered.

hmmm another person wanting state specific info on a worlwide generic site. The answer to this is always call the involved states authorities, this is where your answers lie.

OP obviously has access to the internet. I would suggest the appropriate state’s DMV website as they usually have the most current information.

I don’t know what all is involved. But I can relate a story with some similarities, might be of some help maybe.

This all started 20 years ago, I had a small utility trailer I seldom used. I’d use it to haul junk to the junkyard, pulled behind my truck. It was registered in Calif at the time, had a license plate and current tags. I gave it to a friend of mine who had a ranch in Nevada, didn’t inform the DMV b/c the trailer was only going to be used on his own ranch property, haul stuff from field to field, etc, so he never registered in Nevada. And I wasn’t ever expecting to see this trailer again.

Oh oh, for reasons too complicated to explain it comes back to me. On a flatbed truck from Nevada. Just a year or two ago. So I figure since it came back I might as well use it. I call up the Calif DMV, say I want to get current tags. They say they’ll look up the info and mail me the bill for getting current tags. $750! Ouch! They say if I want current tags, I have to pay all the back registrations and the late fees! $750!

Now the trailer is pretty beat up from all the hauling of hay and such on the ranch, so it is worth, what? Maybe $75. $100 tops.

Pay $750 to register a $100 trailer? I don’t think so.

How did a non-operational vehicle get from CA to NV without being operated?

PvtPublic, this may be a “worldwide generic site” but a site of this size would no doubt have a lot of people who live in Nevada or who visit Las Vegas frequently and may have bought a car or two there. Las Vegas is a “worldwide” city. The whole world comes here with 40 million visitors in 2013 and about 43 million in 2014. And given the rate at which Las Vegas is growing its clear that many of them are deciding to stay here and do stuff like buy new or used vehicles.

It is true that there is some relevant information on the DMV’s web site but the info is somewhat general and doesn’t always cover odd situations. Beyond that the only thing the DMV cares about is collecting as much money as possible so if you ask someone who works at the DMV they will always give you an answer which results in the most revenue to the DMV. For instance in Clark County if you pay property tax on a vehicle like an RV or mobile home that is non-operable and in an RV park or storage, you don’t also have to pay vehicle registration fees. However if you ask a DMV clerk they will always say you have to registration fees regardless of the property tax or its operability. I was looking for information from someone who may have had experience from a similar situation in this area.

GeorgeSanJose, thanks that is an interesting story.

In Oregon you could have registered your trailer with no charge for back registration. California has never met a tax or fee it does not love!

insightful According to OP on a flatbed truck!

The state of Nevada does not require registration/non-op on vehicle that is stored on private property. There is no fee or penalty when an unregistered vehicle is purchased. The new owner can title the vehicle and leave it unregistered. If a person wants to reinstate registration on a vehicle that has gone unregistered for a significant amount of time there is no penalty, an affidavit must be signed stating the vehicle was not driven on public roads.

A movement permit and insurance should be obtained before driving an unregistered vehicle.

I think the trailer was returned on a flat bed not the RV. I think I paid $15 or 20 for a lifetime trailer license for mine. Used to be $10 a year and Minnesota finally just got tired of all the small fees and went with lifetime if you want. I remember selling my dad’s snowmobile trailer at auction for $15. I think it was another $10 for the title transfer for the guy. I told him he should put new tires on it anyway.

If you want to have a vehicle listed as non-op in California you have to pay $18, once, when the renewal form comes. If you don’t, it’s considered delinquent and fees and penalties add up and up. When you try to re-register it you will pay 3 years of fees, and lots of penalties. @GeorgeSanJose got screwed because his friend never registered the trailer in Nevada, and George never paid the non-op fee in California. The lesson is, pay the non-op fee. It’s truly only once.

There are certain situations where you can ask to waive the penalties, but that’s really complicated and not worth the time to explain.

Fees on a non op vehicle siting for years only make sense to the tax collector. California has never met a tax it didn’t love. I stored my 1990 Mazda RX-7 in Oregon for about 10 years. There was no $18 non op fee. I did a few laps on my cul de sac every other month (SHHH). When I sold it the new owner had to pay the normal title and registration fees with no penalties whatsoever.

Lucky you’re not in OK. Park a car for 20 years here in a building as non-operable and it will take 20 years of title and registration fees to put it back on the road legally no matter who owns it.

The only out is if there is a verifiable major engine or trans problem which has been repaired and attested to by a licensed shop. In that case most of it, not all, will be waived.

ok4450 I was always told that vehicle registration fees were to help pay for road maintenance. A car stored for 20 years is not causing any road wear. That’s insane! I have always been proud of being half OKee. My Mother was born near Ft. Sill in 1910. Now I’m not so sure. I’ll just stay in Oregon with very reasonable vehicle registration and zero sales tax until the bitter end!

Nevada_545, thanks for the reply. Good info.