Son can't register 2002 Mazda Protege in Florida

Now we’re cookin’. I wil pass on that information, Nevada and see if he can get it done. If it is a small office, the same woman might still balk even with the form by a cop. Now I have to get hold of him ASAP.

I don’t know about the door jamb, but he showed her the VIN plate on the firewall.

He bought the car with around 25K from the Hertz outlet in chicago, a long time ago.

I need to ask him if the windshield was ever replaced.

The following cut and paste is from the FL DMV.

If you are moving to Florida, the state’s law requires that you register a vehicle within 10 days after engaging in an occupation in Florida or enter a child in a Florida school.

This lady at the agency is fickle over the VIN plate but this raises more questions in my mind about the woman at the agency rather than the VIN.

Why didn’t she pull up the VIN info on the computer to determine if something was funny?
Why didn’t she call the police?
Last and certainly not least, what kind of agency employee is she that would tell someone to continue driving around on out of state plates in violation of the FL statute?

I bought a 1961 Corvair and didn’t realize the serial number had been removed from the door pillar until the state of Indiana initiated a mandatory state inspection. I couldn’t get through the state inspection until I went back to the Rambler dealer where I bought the car. The dealer’s mechanic took a strip of copper and a number set and pounded the numbers into the copper strip and affixed it to the door pillar with sheet .metal screws. I then went to the police station and had it documented. The copper strip looked pretty crude, so I went to the police station at shift change when the officer was ready to go home. I often thought that the number was missing because my vehicle could have been a concotion of 2 different Corvaifs.

I don’t understand why you guys keep bringing up windshield replacement

What does that have to do with the vin . . . ?

the vin is not on the windshield. However, some windshields do have an “inspection window” so that you can see the vin underneath, which is affixed to the dash

Are you suggesting that if the windshield was replaced, the installer somehow knocked off the vin plate, and it was reattached with “incorrect” rivets . . . ?

I had a sort of similar DMV problem here in Calif a couple years ago, where I thought the DMV rep was being unreasonable. Rather than arguing with the DMV rep any longer, I phoned up my Calif State Senator (not the US Senate, my local State Senator who reps my county). His office staff said they deal with the DMV all the time, no worries, and asked that I briefly describe the problem, why I thought I was correct, and the DMV unreasonable, and fax the supporting documents over to them. In about a week with no further action on my part the DMV relented and mailed the registration tags to me.

Do you think your son would be willing to join the discussion? Perhaps we could better help if we were able to ask him some questions about the details.

I don’t know Florida laws, but they sound very similar to those here regarding registration of cars coming from out of state. Some VIN tag rivets are rather special, having a “rose” pattern or “star” shape. Others are flat rivets. Sometimes different materials are used. Sometimes two rivets of different types are used on opposite ends.

Perhaps the clerk didn’t see the type of rivets she wanted to see , or thought she should see. In those cases here, we are referred to a Highway Patrol office where a pair of retired HP officers will look in all those “secret” places the VIN is shown besides the tag under the windshield. I’ve seen them remove entire consoles and stand on their heads under the dash with a mirror to find VINs. They are supposed to find two on out of state cars, which is usually easy. They are supposed to find three on rebuilt salvage cars to prove that there are no stolen parts (with VINs I suppose) used. This “service” costs $25.

Here are several examples of rivets used.

Maybe a visit to another agency would produce some positive results.

Many years ago I bought a 1941 Harley from a guy who moved to OK from CA. He provided:
A clean, clear, signed, notarized California registration/title.
A VIN certificate of inspection from the CA Highway Patrol.
A VIN inspection from the LAPD.
A VIN inspection from the Orange County, CA sheriff’s office.
A VIN inspection from the OK County sheriff.
A VIN inspection from the OK City PD.
A VIN inspection from the OK Highway Patrol.
A signed, notarized Bill of Sale.

Should be a slam dunk. Nope; the tag agent fought me for several weeks over this and refused to title and tag it in OK saying that it just could not be done.

Finally I took off work early one day and went to the OK state capitol tax commission which oversees the tag agents. They thought it was strange for me to have to resort to this as that is not their job.
A gentleman there called me into his office and asked for an explanation which I gave. He looked the paperwork over and stated that the tag agent was a bit off the rails on what they told me.
He called a lady in and said get this man a title. Ten minutes later, done and out the door except for one thing.

I dropped by the tag agency the next week and told the lady there that the state said she was dead wrong. My suggestion to her about getting some job training was not well received but like I cared. She ran me through enough grief that rubbing her nose in the dirt felt good.


Did you shove the title in her face, just to show her she was wrong?

If I was going to the tag agency afterwards, that’s what I would have done

The sad thing, is that the miserable lady probably can’t even comprehend that she was wrong

her mind probably refuses to consider that possibility

Quoting ok4450

"Many years ago I bought a 1941 Harley from a guy who moved to OK from CA".

My guess is the guy you bought it from had similar issues tagging it which is why he sold it to you. I bought a Chrysler 300 that had come from Alabama one time. The AL title had one digit of the VIN wrong. Something like an S for a 5. Since the car was a genuine antique at the time, I was able to register it as an antique (over 35 years old) with a simple bill of sale. If the seller had known of that odd option given by my state, he could have registered it himself and probably kept the car. At least it would not have been as cheap as it was.

I didn’t shove it in her face but did have the title on me and the bike was parked right outside the door with the new OK plates on it.
Her first words to me when I entered was “You’re not back here to argue about that title are you?”.

That’s when I pulled the title out, pointed out the bike in the parking lot, and referenced her being dead wrong as per the state official.
She tried this “Well, if I had anything to do with it…” BS so I just gave her the official’s name and told her if she had any complaints to take it up with him; here’s the phone number and extension.

She turned a few shades of red and suddenly remembered that “she had something important to take care of” as she headed for a back room.
From the door being open on a prior visit I had seen nothing behind that door other than a storeroom and employee restroom.

Shouldn’t be hard to find a notary or a 2nd Lt. needing a beer or two. In Minnesota, $50 and a rubber stamp gets you a notary commission. That was good information, but never had to do a VIN verification, even on the car I bought out of state. I think the thing with the windshield is you can’t get at the tag to rivet it on with the windshield in place.

you do have a valid ohio title in hand? dmv sez title is “good” but car is bad?

Yes, he had the Ohio title. That car was registered easily and successfully in 4 previous states.

I am indeed going to recommend he contact perhaps the sherifff or HP for the VIN verification, though of course there is always the possibility of encountering the woman’s brother who will attempt to ticket him for not having done this a long time ago.


Last and certainly not least, what kind of agency employee is she that would tell someone to continue driving around on out of state plates in violation of the FL statute?

Exactly!! But, that is what he has run into at every point.

However, a correction. I looked up the rules way back in March when they moved there. There is a short time limit for people who become employed in Florida, but it is more like six months if you do not get a job. I must wonder if this is to reduce clerican load for all the snow birds?

He knows the rules very well. He went in right away to get his d/l updated and they turned him down because his mailing address was a motel. They couldn’t find a place to rent within her income level for over six months. At every point while trying to correctly comply with government requirements on moving into the state a gov’t employee turned them away.

She got a good job in a school and was immediately well loved by the other teachers. Then, the non-teachers in the head office cut back two people. Her principal cried when she told her the news.

They found another place to live until she found a job, and went to forward the mail. A government official said you cannot forward mail again once you have lived in a hotel or motel.

There were other obstacles. I simply can’t remember them all. At every point a gov’t official said, “No!” Even though you must, you cannot.

They finally got a very expensive place to live in the country, $900 a month which is outrageous for their income. But, motels were costing them much much more. No cell phone coverage in the house. I can only talk to him if he walks a quarter mile to the end of the lane. So, then he got his d/l changed. Now, just the plates, which is the point of discussion on this thread.

Do you think your son would be willing to join the discussion? Perhaps we could better help if we were able to ask him some questions about the details.

I am sure not. He has been thoroughly kicked you know where for over 2 years and needs no more. Which is part of the problem. When everything you do gets you a swift kick where it hurts, you at some point find it hard to keep on fighting. That is why I am trying to help him, and I believe the answer has been posted here. Thanks for that.

A lot of young men are going through that right now. The actual unemployment among men is well over 20%. A man can only leave his house so many times to look for work, until he simply can’t do it any more. The time will vary, but I am sure it’s less than six months. Yet, there is always some smart aleck with a job who calls the unemployed, lazy. Including my son’s FIL. A really important man who stocks shelves at Wal-mart.

It has always been, since the beginning of time, very wrong to judge others. Only the almighty has all the knowledge necessary to judge. These past 20 years it’s been even more unfair. Millions out there cannot find a job, millions more work part time stocking shelves because their old jobs as engineers have disappeared, millions of retired successful people can no longer get by and work at jobs in retail etc. The almighty only judges us on how we treat others, and if that’s the only criteria that matters to the almighty, it ought to be good enough for the rest of us. I feel for your son.

But I’d also like to try to help with his car problem, and would hope that he’d be willing to join us toward that end. It’s unfortunate that he isn’t, but if he changes his mind the offer stands.

Who would have thought there’s a special type of rivet just for the purpose of attaching the VIN plate!?? The mysteries of cars never fail to amaze …

I finally caught him away from home, and we talked. He said he did have the windshield replaced from hail damage, I think when he was in McAllen, but says he can’t see anything wrong with the rivets. Nor does he understand why replacing the windshield would affect the rivets.

He said the VIN on the firewall has the same number.

He also said the person went and asked her boss, and said, yes, refuse registration over the rivets. And, that he has to contact the person in Tampa who does not answer the phone.

I presented the information supplied here. He needs time to think things through after being treated so badly all the way along. I am sure he will get through it eventually.

He does NOT recommend anyone move to Florida, though now that they are there, they may be stuck there for a while due to current employment problems all over the country.

She originally tried to get employment back in her home town in Kansas. But, the Kansas state office lost her completed application for license TWICE! And, her college also lost all her records; showed no record of her ever going there. But, they got it straightened out too late for the school year.

And, when she applied in Ohio, they informed her she had to take ONE COURSE, a semester long, before she could teach other than substitute teaching. That meant, of course, waiting an entire year. The bureaucrats are really making people suffer needlessly.

Any chance he could drop by a nearby Mazda dealer and maybe get something in writing from them? What do those people think; that VIN plates are held on with Scotch tape…
Florida is one place I’ve never been and it’s probably for the best… :slight_smile:

With DMV people you never know what you’re getting. Quite a few years ago I built a custom Harley motorcycle and went to apply for a fresh custom title. Old Harleys are registered by the VIN numbers on the engine cases as they never used frame numbers back in the day.

The lady who ran that office refused to give me a title based on the actual VIN of the bike. She was insisting that I “grind the VIN off” and “restamp it with numbers she would assign to me”.
No way is that ever going to happen. The slightest alteration of a VIN and a simple traffic stop leads to the bike getting impounded and gone forever as it would be considered stolen property.

Many bike owners discovered this the hard way and while I doubt it’s still the policy today, I think way back in the day some states located near the ocean used to dump bikes with altered VINS into the sea.

Regarding irlandes’ son’s car, it does sound like a possible nutty DMV clerk with no common sense. Since the VIN number is located in so many other places, including the doorjam, the firewall, and even the frame, it would seem to make sense that they’d not challenge the riveted plate on the dash.

But, and I sincerely mean no disrespect and no implications of any kind, this is unusual enough to leave me wondering of there’s a detail or two missing. It’s impossible to guess what it might be, but it could be as simple as some detail that occurred in the conversation. I’ve never lived in Florida, but my ex of 19 years is from Miami, as is her whole family, and I’ve also had many friends over the years who had homes in and registered cars in Florida, and I’ve never heard a story like this one before. I can’t help but think that some detail must have caused the Florida DMV to question the VIN plate.


here’s 3 crazy ideas

Have your son go to a different florida DMV. Maybe he’ll run into a “normal” clerk who doesn’t see a problem

Or have him drive up to Tampa to see that certain individual who doesn’t answer the phone

have your son contact the local newspaper about this matter. The shame of it may make that stupid DMV change their tune, real fast