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About a month ago, I purchased a 2016 service loaner from a CA dealership. The title/registration fees were paid for Oregon, and I had notorized documents authorizing a 3rd party company to handle the out of state title/registration. I had the car shipped to OR. I had a VIN check done at OR DMV (required for title/reg in OR) and sent that document back to the dealer.

Last week, I received my registration documents valid through 2017... except they're for CA! After talking with the title/DMV person from the dealership today, it turns out someone mistakenly titled/registered the car in CA.

The title person apologized and said they would need to talk to BMW (car is financed through BMWFS) to determine the next steps. I haven't found any reports of similar situations, so I'm hoping someone could shed some light on what I should expect, and anything i should ask for.

In some states (like CA), you can register a car titled in a different state. This is not the case in OR - all vehicles registered in OR must be titled in OR. The car was not previously titled in CA, so I'm wondering how this will affect the OR registration as new (never-titled) vehicles are registered for 4 years, and used are registered for 2, among other things.

I'm also curious about the legality of driving the car in OR at this point -- I have technically valid CA (but erroneous) registration, but no externally visible proof of such. No plates, no temp sticker in the window. Considering how efficient our parking enforcement employees are in Portland, this means I can't park the car downtown without getting a ticket or even getting towed...
 

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This one I'd take control of. You can't depend on having the dealer person have this as priority 1. Especially as the month just ended and s/he has a ton of deals to process.

I would start by calling Salem DMV and see what they say. It's possible you might be able to walk in with the Cali registration docs and get them switched to OR. Have the Cali dealer reimburse you for any difference in the registration cost they charged you in the deal (if any.)

Call BMW and see how they will handle getting the title switched from CA to OR. They will get or have already the CA title in hand.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This one I'd take control of. You can't depend on having the dealer person have this as priority 1. Especially as the month just ended and s/he has a ton of deals to process.

I would start by calling Salem DMV and see what they say. It's possible you might be able to walk in with the Cali registration docs and get them switched to OR. Have the Cali dealer reimburse you for any difference in the registration cost they charged you in the deal (if any.)

Call BMW and see how they will handle getting the title switched from CA to OR. They will get or have already the CA title in hand.

Michael
Thanks, Michael. I will call the dealer's title/DMV person for an update tomorrow. Unfortunately, based on OR DMV info, I cannot personally do anything -- the security interest holder is the one who has to file all of the paperwork. There's even a form letter OR DMV provides to explain to the title holder about the limited timeframe and required documentation. I am unfortunately not eligible to submit any registration docs personally, since I don't have the title.

Tomorrow: call the dealer, then call BMW. Hooray for work from home days!
 

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Wow. Please do share the dealer name - will likely avoid for non-CA purchases.

Best of luck getting this sorted... I think that most of us pay a premium to not have to deal with this.
 

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Wow. Please do share the dealer name - will likely avoid for non-CA purchases.

Best of luck getting this sorted... I think that most of us pay a premium to not have to deal with this.
Sure -- Long Beach BMW. Thing is, all other parts of the transaction were great. My salesperson was super helpful and responsive, all of the paperwork was straightforward, and I really have no complaints about the process prior to the registration mistake. I know mistakes happen; I'll give them a chance to make things right.

I'm guessing the Sonic dealers don't do a lot of out of state sales... another Sonic dealer I called (BMW of Monrovia) told me that there was no way to avoid paying CA sales tax on an out of state purchase, for example. Both Sonic dealers I contacted weren't responsive to my initial email inquiries - just an auto-reply with the same info as their website, no answers to my questions, no response from the Internet Sales manager I emailed directly. (Mind you, I knew exactly what vehicle and options I wanted, my financing was pre approved, and all I needed was someone willing to sell me the car!)

For local purchases, Long Beach BMW would be great. For out of state purchases, a bit more hassle. They don't hold cars; I had to have a local relative sign to purchase the car, and when I flew down a couple days later, they reversed her deal and set it up for me. Their price was good, they got me 0% APR, they didn't try to upsell me on anything, and most importantly, they had the exact car I wanted -- no other dealer in the nation did.
 

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Long beach BMW is awful... Another member here had an issue with them with an AZ registration. Worst dealer in socal.
 

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Thanks. I don't specifically see LB BMW mentioned in that thread; I may be having a slow brain day...

I found another CA to AZ thread with a similar Sonic dealer issue: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=922783&highlight=

The AZ people are lucky, though -- once they finally received the docs, they can handle the rest. In OR, the security interest holder has to mail the title and all other docs together...
 

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This may be a first for the 'Fest. Hope it works out, let us know. N4S
Happy to bring new tales to the 'Fest. : popcorn: This is not my strangest purchasing experience, yet --
- bought a cheap Miata but didn't have the correct forms for title transfer from the deceased owner; my guy friend charmed the pants of the grouchy DMV lady and she pretended everything was in order.
- bought the '87 Audi out of a Seattle airport hangar, where it was blocked in by a monster van and a boat. It hadn't run in over a year; my boyfriend and I jumped it, fueled it, and drove it back to PDX with no issues.

No updates yet; called the dealer's DMV person this afternoon and got her voicemail. Didn't have time during the workday to call BMW. Hmm, I have the GM's cell number, so that's another point of contact...

My main concern at this point is that CA will chase me for unpaid taxes/fees. After I moved from CA and titled/registered my car in OR, I got several strongly worded letters over a period of 2 years from CA DMV demanding I pay my late registration fees or they'd send me to collections. Each time, I sent them proof of OR registration. Took 3 tries, but they finally got it.

But I digress...
 

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Thanks. I don't specifically see LB BMW mentioned in that thread; I may be having a slow brain day...

I found another CA to AZ thread with a similar Sonic dealer issue: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=922783&highlight=

The AZ people are lucky, though -- once they finally received the docs, they can handle the rest. In OR, the security interest holder has to mail the title and all other docs together...
You are right! I asked the poster directly and he said it was LB BMW.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Arrgh, no updates yet. I've left two VMs for the dealer's title person, with no response. I've also called BMWFS directly, and they're supposed to send me docs so I can register the car in OR. I expect that I will go to the DMV and they will require (as stated on their website) all paperwork to be submitted by the security interest holder. Eh, the downtown DMV is close to my office, so I suppose I can waste a lunchtime there...
 

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Id want to get them a certified letter laying out the claims you would make in a lawsuit should they continue to fail and perform. Voicemails don't cut it. Any lawyer friends?
 

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Alas, no lawyer friends. Talked to the dealer's DMV person again yesterday, and she says they are going to straighten it out... But I now need to send them the OR registration forms (I thought that was why I gave them a notarized document so the 3rd party title service could do this? Alas, that's the only document I didn't scan a copy of, so I can't verify).

To make things even more interesting, they lost my VIN verification from OR DMV. I fedexed it to my salesperson, he received it and left it for the DMV person... But she can't find it. I made another trip to the DMV, but this time I got two VIN verification forms. Just in case the dealer loses this one, too.
 

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Edit: Good luck
 

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David Padgalskas BMW PDX
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Wild story...I had two other people just this week stop by with out-of-state stories/issues. No paperwork, no trip permits, not title, etc. I guess once that money hits the account they ship it and forget about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Update on this fun issue: after receiving contradictory and/or wrong info from the dealer, I opted to work with BMWFS. They sent me almost complete registration paperwork, and I sent them completed paperwork + VIN inspection + $ this week. They are supposed to send the title and paperwork to OR DMV. We shall see. Long Beach BMW sent me a check (unexpected!) for more than I paid in title/reg fees, citing "excess DMV payment." So, as long as BMWFS submits the docs correctly, I think all is resolved. Fingers crossed.
 
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