Recently there have been stories in the news about consumers who haven't received the registration for their newly purchased cars within the required time period. That puts the consumer at risk of receiving a citation and fine and having their vehicle towed. How does this happen?
"Consumers can be stuck if dealers lost or simply failed tosubmit the paperwork to the California Department of Motor Vehicles," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Foundation Chairman Kenny Ehrman. Ehrman is also a California DMV investigator. "If the dealer goes out of business or sold you a vehicle with unpaid liens or tickets, this could also prevent you from getting your transfer of owner and registrationwithin the required time period. Ifa consumer is experiencing this, he or she, should contact a DMV investigations office for help."
The DMV Investigations Division enforces laws, rules, and regulations that apply to vehicle dealers, brokers, dismantlers, registrations services, vehicle verifiers, misuse of disabled person parking placard/plates, driving schools or traffic violator schools, and other vehicle-related businesses.
"Sometimes it feels like we're California's best kept secret," said Ehrman. "Often consumers will turn to a lawyer or the media to fix this, when a call or complaint form to DMV investigations would do the trick."
What is the required time frame? For a new vehicle, the dealer or lessor-retailer must submit to the department, an application, accompanied by all fees and penalties due for registration or transfer of registration of the vehicle within 20 days from the date of sale, as provided in subdivision (c) of Section 9553. If the vehicle is a used vehicle, it's 30 days. Penalties due for noncompliance shall be paid by the dealer or lessor-retailer. The dealer or lessor-retailer shall not charge the purchaser for the penalties.
The following is a list of DMV Investigation office locations. The office links will take you to field office locations which host the Investigations office.
Artesia | Bakersfield | Brisbane| Chula Vista| El Monte | Fresno | Granada Hills | Inglewood | Inland | Lincoln Park | Los Angeles | Milpitas |Mission Valley | Orange | Rocklin | Sacramento | San Diego | Stockton | Vallejo | Ventura | West Covina