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Camper shells on trucks and California DMV fees

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Evil Monkey, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Aug 15, 2007 at 11:13 PM
    #1
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey [OP] There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    Just FYI, I see a lot of California Trucks with permanent camper shells and truck license plates (has one letter in the plate vs. three letters for a car plate).

    I thought I'd pass this money-saving tip along. California charges commercial registration fees for all pickup trucks and cargo vans (SUV's don't incure that fee). However, if you have a permanent camper shell on your truck, you can register the truck as car (like an SUV) instead and avoid paying the commercial license fee. The only caveat is if you take the shell off, it would be an illegal plate. One friend I told saved over $100 per year in registration fees.

    For a van, I believe you only need a rear permanent mounted passenger seat to get the commercial fee removed.

    I'm not sure if the fee applies to hard one-piece tonneau covers but you might call someone and check.
     
  2. Aug 15, 2007 at 11:51 PM
    #2
    tcBob

    tcBob Gringo Bandito Moderator

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    Great tip! I'm gonna see if it applies to tonneaus as well cause I'll be getting one soon
     
  3. Aug 6, 2010 at 10:26 PM
    #3
    jw72

    jw72 Well-Known Member

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    Just got my 2011 California dmv fees on my 2010 TRD 4Dr. 400.00 bucks :eek: does that sound right? Seems like a lot me. I do have a Tonneau cover does anyone know if it it qualifies for a discount?
     
  4. Aug 6, 2010 at 10:32 PM
    #4
    stmpjmpr

    stmpjmpr Well-Known Member

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    I also have a cover..would love to see if it applies. anyone here work for DMV?
     
  5. Aug 6, 2010 at 10:47 PM
    #5
    jw72

    jw72 Well-Known Member

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    stmpjmpr,
    How much are the fees on a 2006?
     
  6. Aug 8, 2010 at 10:14 PM
    #6
    stmpjmpr

    stmpjmpr Well-Known Member

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    My fees are $320.00. no smog. which will kick in next year.
     
  7. Aug 8, 2010 at 11:02 PM
    #7
    jw72

    jw72 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks,
    I guess I should be happy with 400.00 on a 2010. but I'm not.
     
  8. Nov 24, 2010 at 11:05 AM
    #8
    plee33

    plee33 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so if you have on a camper shell and register it as a passenger vehicle, can you still haul your personal belongings, grocery, etc???? Anyone who lives in the Republic of Kalifornia have any input on this topic? I need to know all the laws with having a camper shell on and registering it as a passenger vehicle.

    I know for a fact that if you have on a camper shell and register your truck as a passenger vehicle, the camper MUST to be on your truck at all times. You can't even take off the camper for a quick run to Home Depot to pick up some 2x4s. You also cannot park in loading zones.
     
  9. Nov 24, 2010 at 1:26 PM
    #9
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey [OP] There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    It would be no different than hauling your stuff in a passenger car (e.g. Toyota 4Runner).

    This is correct (commercial zones).
     
  10. Nov 24, 2010 at 1:29 PM
    #10
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey [OP] There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    Nope. No discount for a Toneau. It has to be a shell like a Leer 100R. $400 sounds right. $80 of that is the commercial weight fee that would be waived if you had a shell on the back.
     
  11. Dec 1, 2010 at 7:57 PM
    #11
    RJA102

    RJA102 Member

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    Just got my renewal for my 2010. $400 with $80 of that being the "weight fee" I heard the ticket for trucks that re register as a passenger vehicle and are found without a camper are huge. The state needs to get money from somewhere.

    Supposedly there is a law firm out there that is coming up with a lawsuit against the state for the "weight fee" issue.
     
  12. Dec 28, 2011 at 2:42 PM
    #12
    kimo

    kimo Well-Known Member

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    FYI, I just came from DMV and inquired about registering taco as a SUV to get the lower fee's when you have a shell. New rules just went into effect a few weeks ago.
    1. Shell must be permenatly mounted to truck... Hope my bed rail clamps will suffice this rule?
    2. You must show that bed space can be occupied.... passenger seats or bed. Im going to put my air mattress in the back?

    Will post how my inspetion goes when I get around to doing this. If it passes , you do not pay any weight fee on your registration.

    once I get renewal paper work im going to make appt. for inspection.
     
  13. Dec 28, 2011 at 4:18 PM
    #13
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey [OP] There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    The latest California Vehicle code is online:
    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=veh&codebody=&hits=20


    9400. Except as provided in Section 9400.1, and in addition to any other registration fee, there shall be paid the fees set forth in this section for the registration of any commercial motor vehicle that operates with unladen weight. Weight fees for pickup trucks are calculated under this section. Whenever a camper is temporarily attached to a motor vehicle designed to transport property, the motor vehicle shall be subject to the fees imposed by this section. The camper shall be deemed to be a load, and fees imposed by this section upon the motor vehicle shall be based upon the unladen weight of the motor vehicle, exclusive of the camper.



    Camper Definition:
    243. A "camper" is a structure designed to be mounted upon a motor
    vehicle and to provide facilities for human habitation or camping
    purposes. A camper having one axle shall not be considered a vehicle.
     
  14. Dec 28, 2011 at 4:21 PM
    #14
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    Just a shell sounds sketchy as hell, then...
     
  15. Jan 10, 2012 at 3:12 PM
    #15
    BayTaco

    BayTaco Well-Known Member

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    I installed a camper shell on my truck last year and wanted to take advantage of the savings on my registration in CA, thank you Evil Monkey. It was a long and dragged out process, took approximately 3 months to complete. The biggest issue was I did not have title to the truck, therefore I had to work with the finance co. and DMV and it was frustrating! Neither responded to my satisfaction, not that I had any high hopes especially with DMV, but it is all done now and it feels good to save money and not contribute more to this state of wasteful spending and high taxes. All CA residents who own trucks with a permanent camper shell should take advantage of this. Heavier the truck, the more you save. DMW will issue a new title changing body type from commercial to automobile (passenger) and will also issue you new plates.

    Once this switch is done you aren’t supposed to carry a heavy load or have anything sticking out of the truck, but you can still pull a trailer (this is from the DMV employee who did the inspection on my truck). Basically your truck is now considered a SUV. The bed is considered passenger space.

    If you have title on hand to your truck, just walk in to your local DMW with your title and tell them you want to register your truck as a passenger vehicle. They will have a DMV employee complete a VERIFICATION OF VEHICLE form. Once this is done you walk back in with this and your current plates. They will most likely issues you temporary registration and call you when your new plates are in or mail them to you.

    In my case everything had to be handled by the title owner (finance co). I still had a VERIFICATION OF VEHICLE done from before I knew I had to have title on hand to complete this, but I am not sure if it is necessary or required. They also didn’t look closely at the camper shell just the VIN# and the engine bay. My shell is mounted to the bed rails by the dealer and there were no issues. The DMV had the finance co. complete a STATEMENT OF FACTS FORM (make sure it specifies that the “vehicle has a permanent shell on bed”) DMV sent the paper work back because this wasn’t stated the first time..arghh. You will sing and return this document back to the finance co. Together with this paper work the finance co. will include the original title issued. Make sure this is all sent to your local DMV office, since you will have to turn in your old plates for new ones. Mine was sent to some dept. in Sacramento and it took them weeks to locate a singed FedEx delivery..go figure our tax dollars hard at work. Once this was all done I received the plates in the mail.

    Finally, leave plenty of time if your registration is due. Don’t wait till the last minute I learned this the hard way. This info is to be use solely for reference purposes only. Your experience may be different. Hope this helps someone take advantage of this and good luck!
     
  16. Jan 11, 2012 at 10:38 PM
    #16
    El Tano

    El Tano i am the one who knocks

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    How much did you save in registration?
     
  17. Jan 12, 2012 at 12:21 AM
    #17
    IDtrucks

    IDtrucks Just out for a rip are ya bud?

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    lol probably not enough to make it worth that much bull shit
     
  18. Jan 12, 2012 at 6:47 AM
    #18
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey [OP] There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    The commercial weight fee. For my truck it's $80 per year. Some Tacomas it's $25. It depends on the weight of the vehicle. The Tacoma sits right at the boundary between $25 & $80.
     
  19. Jan 12, 2012 at 7:56 AM
    #19
    El Tano

    El Tano i am the one who knocks

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    Cool, I'll do it once I have the title, any money that I can save it can go to charity instead of giving it to the state so they can miss use it.

    Thanks for the tip.
     
  20. Jan 12, 2012 at 9:28 AM
    #20
    BayTaco

    BayTaco Well-Known Member

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    Yup it is $80/year. DBL CAB SB 4x4..
     
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