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European Car Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

More than 2 months ago, I paid the CA DMV a certain sum of money for personalized plates for both our cars.

The DMV states that we cannot get personalized plates - unless BMW gives us permission to use these on our leased cars.

Has anyone in the community navigated this maze at BMW before - to obtain this kind of permission ?

Any input and/or experience would be greatly appreciated !

Cheers ! :thumbup:
 

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That's what the DMV website says. If the car has your name on it as lessee as well as BMW Finance (or whoever it is) as lessor/owner, you should not have a problem despite the website warning.

If you actually spoke to a live person who was processing the paperwork, then you can write to the entity which has your lease and it will write you a letter. It's not a difficult thing to do. But, is your post here because of (1) the conspicuous but misleading website warning or (2) a real person at the DMV bouncing your paperwork? I suspect the former, in part because it generally takes the DMV 4 months to do what any business can do in 2-3 days. If you paid your money "more than 2 months ago," your plates are probably not ready yet. And they may get lost or the DMV may forget to notify you when they arrive.
 

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European Car Fanatic
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My post was due to a couple of events :

We received a letter from the DMV saying that our plates were ready (which in itself is nothing short of a miracle).

When the wife went over to pick them up, the clerk at the DMV office told her that unless we had permission from BMW Financial Services, they could not issue personalized plates to us.

Therefore, I was wondering how one can go about obtaining this sort of "permission" from BMW FS.

If I find time today, I intend to call them .... will update the post after that ! :D
 

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I do'nt make mistakes.
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Yet another goofy California thing. Why the heck does it matter if you car is leased or purchased for custom plate?
 

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Rocket Scientist
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EuroBay said:
My post was due to a couple of events :

We received a letter from the DMV saying that our plates were ready (which in itself is nothing short of a miracle).

When the wife went over to pick them up, the clerk at the DMV office told her that unless we had permission from BMW Financial Services, they could not issue personalized plates to us.

Therefore, I was wondering how one can go about obtaining this sort of "permission" from BMW FS.

If I find time today, I intend to call them .... will update the post after that ! :D
If you are the registered owner you can do it. I've done it so many times it's stupid. Of course I've always used the Auto Club's DMV services.

From the DMV web site...

If you are ordering personalized plates for a leased vehicle or a company owned vehicle and your name is NOT on the registration, a 'Statement of Facts (REG. 256)' form must be submitted. Have your lessor or company owner complete the REG 256, giving authorization for the plates to be assigned to the vehicle. Bring the completed form when picking up your plates.

Note that it says if your name is "NOT" on the registration you need authorization. If your name is on the registration you can get the plates. The DMV clerk you dealt with is just another [please supply your own appropriate invective here].
 

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Registered Drooler
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428 Posts
VA has a similar restriction. In order to get my custom plates I had to get a signed affidavit from BMW Financial allowing me to change the plates. You just call them and have them mail the letter. It's really simple, they do it all the time.

Seems perfectly logical to me, they own the car. I don't.
-Mike
 

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Ubergeek
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Bizarre. I had personalized plates here in CA on my leased '99 E46, I had no problems...

Maybe it's a recent thing.
 

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European Car Fanatic
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125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Saga of personalized plates in CA

Yes, the process is as simple as calling BMW Financial Services and requesting them to send out a letter stating they have no issues with the personalized plates.

Mission accomplished ! :thumbup:

IMO, the process here is significantly better than the UK (my former homeland), where personalized plates are (occasionally) auctioned for vast amounts of pounds sterling !! :dunno:
 

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Rocket Scientist
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EuroBay said:
Yes, the process is as simple as calling BMW Financial Services and requesting them to send out a letter stating they have no issues with the personalized plates.

Mission accomplished ! :thumbup:

IMO, the process here is significantly better than the UK (my former homeland), where personalized plates are (occasionally) auctioned for vast amounts of pounds sterling !! :dunno:
You shouldn't have had to do that. If your name is on the registration (along with that of BMWFS of course) you can make the necessary Statement of Facts that is required to apply the personalize plates to the vehicle. Their own site states that, the DMV clerk was an idiot. I have put more than 10 sets of personalized plates on leased cars in California with never a problem. I last did it just 5 months ago. The difference (that shouldn't matter) is that I use AAA, they know what the hell they're doing, unlike the DMV drones.
 

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EuroBay said:
My post was due to a couple of events :

We received a letter from the DMV saying that our plates were ready (which in itself is nothing short of a miracle).

When the wife went over to pick them up, the clerk at the DMV office told her that unless we had permission from BMW Financial Services, they could not issue personalized plates to us.

Therefore, I was wondering how one can go about obtaining this sort of "permission" from BMW FS.

If I find time today, I intend to call them .... will update the post after that ! :D
Haven't heard from you. Maybe you or the DMV are re-grouping. Here's a few questions for you. You say "the wife" went to pick "them" up. Both sets of plates or only one set? Was her name on the registration of the car(s) whose plates were being picked up?

As much as I don't want to defend dimwitted state bureaucrats, is there a rational explanation for this other than bureaucratic dimwittedness?
 

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European Car Fanatic
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125 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Reply up above ...

Hey Malibubimmer,

I posted up above at 10 AM ....

Apparently, BMW Financial Services sends out these letters routinely, to people in CA who want to have personalized plates on leased cars.

Yes, we have plates - plural - for both our cars .... and her name is not on the registration. :D

Some other members from our community also replied saying that they have had to do the same thing to get plates on leased cars ... :dunno:
 

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Registered
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I did not have to get the letter from BMWFS.
It might have to do with your wife's name not on the registration on one of the two cars.
 

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Rocket Scientist
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BayAreaBMWFan said:
I did not have to get the letter from BMWFS.
It might have to do with your wife's name not on the registration on one of the two cars.
That would be my guess. The name of the person signing what constitutes a statement of facts has to be on the registration. You can't even use a power of attorney to sign one of these. I once had to use a power of attorney to do an ownership transfer to myself so I could then get the personalized plates put on the car. In effect I had to "sell" the car, registered under my Mom (long time ago) for GM employee discount reasons, to me so it could be reregistered in my name. Go figure. I've had 5 BMWs, 4 Volvos, and a Porsche, all leased in California, with personalized plates with nary a problem.
 
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