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Cannot register in California!


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I've going through the same thing.  I bought my car from a dealer in Texas.  It was registered there as a 2000 Ford.  After DMV opened up I began my process. Taxes, fees, certificate of sequence, CHP inspection with a CA ID number, and all the forms.  It was then I called for a BAR inspection.  I got a "virtual" appointment by phone and was told to send in a list of materials first.  That was back on August 31, 2020.  After numerous calls and emails I still don't have an appointment.  But I haven't been denied.  I think much of this has come out of the Superformance Cobras.  I'm told the same thing that's in the above communication, that Caterhams aren't really kit cars but made by a small volume manufacturer for which I disagree.  I have the original invoice for my car that shows the components.  It was bought from a former dealer in SoCal, Autocourse.  The first owner was in Alabama, the second in Texas.  So far DMV has been good in giving me temporary registrations, four so far.  But the delay is with the BAR and CARB.  Still waiting.  BTW my car is the closest possible to a Series 3 Lotus 7 crossflow.

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Ouch! Yeah, looks like I'm not alone, but surprised that they outright told me that I am rejected.

 

I'm going to call them up on Wednesday, as I have a supervisor's number. I'm basically going to state what you say - yes it's a kit car, here's the instruction manual, luckily for me I know the original builder so he has even more photos of it being put together in his garage. Wish me luck!

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I was talking to the Northern California regional office in Sacramento and now the Southern California regional office in Burbank.

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I was just talking to the BAR in general via their Ask The Ref phone appointments, they didn't give me a choice of the office.

 

Calling them up tomorrow. Crossing fingers, toes and eyes :)

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Here's my story. I bought my first Caterham in 2009 it was a 91 from Michigan. I registered it in California through SB100, but when the economy slowed down I had to sell it in 2012.

 

In 2018 I retired and bought my second Caterham, a 2001 with a Zetec. The car of my dreams!

 

It was already registered in California, but as a "Caterham" not "SPCNS" as it should. The problem with that is it required smog test every two years. Obviously that was not going to work. But I loved the car and have done SB100 before so I set about getting it registered correctly. I live near the Thousand Oaks DMV office which is good because they have a good reputation re SB100. I went through all the steps, Brake & Light, VIN verification, Letter from Caterham stating it was sold as a kit, Sequence number (007) etc. Finally needed a visit to the Referee Station for smog, got a date of March 16th 2020, that's when lockdown happened so I passed on that! Later I got scheduled for a "Virtual smog" and sent them all the paperwork they required (11 pages) That's when the fun began. I kept emailing them what they asked for and when I did hear from them I'd call and they'd say "We got your email but not the attachment! Try it again" First of all it was "VREF1@foundationccc.org" Then "VREF2@foundationccc.org" Then "VREF3@foundationccc.org" All with the same response "We didn't get the attachments" The last email address they gave me was for Ronald Edmondson, the Region 2 manager of the smog check program. He called me back with the same story about not getting my attachments. As a last resort I tried again, this time from my Gmail account and he called back to say he got it and would send it on to the BAR and get back to me. About two weeks later he called and said "BAR has rescinded my application for SB100 because my car was originally registered as a complete car not a kit"

 

The interesting thing is, nothing in writing and after many requests they won't tell me who I need to contact to appeal their decision. 

 

I thought it was just me, but I'm glad to see I'm not alone. Also apparently there's a bunch of Morgan owners in the same boat. Depends who I speak to. Apparently the problem is caused by companies that sell built kit cars and registering them under SB100 and that's got California Air Resources Board involved.

 

Sorry for the long rambling reply.

 

John Norris   

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Alright, called up the BAR, they told me it was the ARB who rejected my SB-100 exemption as Caterhams have been known to be sold as rolling-chassis-and-engine combinations. And only a single type of engine fits in the car, so they think it's "dodgy" and that Caterham are just trying to get around the customs, EPA and CARB regulations this way.

 

They put me in touch with the ARB... who immediately told me to contact the DMV. So far the DMV aren't being helpful, but I'm still trying.

 

Fingers crossed!

 

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6 minutes ago, TomSalter said:

Alright, called up the BAR, they told me it was the ARB who rejected my SB-100 exemption as Caterhams have been known to be sold as rolling-chassis-and-engine combinations. And only a single type of engine fits in the car, so they think it's "dodgy" and that Caterham are just trying to get around the customs, EPA and CARB regulations this way.

 

They put me in touch with the ARB... who immediately told me to contact the DMV. So far the DMV aren't being helpful, but I'm still trying.

 

Fingers crossed!

 

 

I mean... they aren't wrong but you can't really stop somebody who skirted around regulations. That's the whole point of skirting around regulations! It makes it ok/legal until it's officially not again. 

 

It's like the age old situation of being questioned by a cop. He might not like what you're doing but you're either under arrest or free to go. Can't really dance in the middle. 

 

Good luck on your ventures. I'm still pending my inspection situation in NY. I'm happy I got the registration so far. 

 

 

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16 hours ago, TomSalter said:

Alright, called up the BAR, they told me it was the ARB who rejected my SB-100 exemption as Caterhams have been known to be sold as rolling-chassis-and-engine combinations. And only a single type of engine fits in the car, so they think it's "dodgy" and that Caterham are just trying to get around the customs, EPA and CARB regulations this way.

 

They put me in touch with the ARB... who immediately told me to contact the DMV. So far the DMV aren't being helpful, but I'm still trying.

 

Fingers crossed!

 

The weird thing is, I've heard lots of people being told stuff by DMV or BAR but nothing seems to be in writing!

 

My understanding of SB100 is: 1/ The car is sold as a kit. 2/ The engine is sold separately. 3/ The kit is built and the engine is installed.

 

I don't see anywhere where it says you can't install the same engine in all the kits. I don't see where it says you can't pay someone to build the kit!

 

Apparently Caterham has also come under scrutiny because it sells complete cars in England.

 

I think one of the situations that stirred this up is companies that build the kit, install the engine and THEN sell it complete to the public who then tries to register it as a kit!

 

I understand that there's other manufacturers caught up in this mess. I hear Morgan imports rolling chassis and then installs the engines and registers them as kit cars. 

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Making more progress.

 

I now have someone from the Technical Registration team looking into why I was rejected, they should be calling me back shortly. So far, they've been helpful. If you can't get in touch with folks, I'm happy to share a couple of the numbers I got along the way via DM if anyone's interested.

 

Fingers crossed!

 

-Tom

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8 hours ago, TomSalter said:

Making more progress.

 

I now have someone from the Technical Registration team looking into why I was rejected, they should be calling me back shortly. So far, they've been helpful. If you can't get in touch with folks, I'm happy to share a couple of the numbers I got along the way via DM if anyone's interested.

 

Fingers crossed!

 

-Tom

Tom.

 

That's great! You got someone to talk to. If you don't mind sharing the number that would be great. Please keep us posted on how things go

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Yes, please share any useful contacts you make at BAR.

 

I took a Superformance GT40 through this about 10 years ago. 

Quote

 “SB100 is: 1/ The car is sold as a kit. 2/ The engine is sold separately. 3/ The kit is built and the engine is installed.”

 does not capture some important subtleties.  The expected sequence is:

 

  1. Applicant buys a kit from source A (Caterham).
  2. Applicant buys at least the engine but perhaps additional drivetrain parts from Source B.  Source A and B cannot be parts of the same legal entity.
  3. Applicant or his chosen shop C assembles it all.  C cannot be part of either A or B.
  4. Applicant then applies for SPCN using documentation of transactions with A, B and C, specifying the car is a replica of a year X Lotus Seven.  X should be ‘75 or earlier, ideally before ‘68.  Hopefully the MSO describes the car in that way.  Applicant has the option to use the year of the engine “family” to set this year but to do so with a Caterham would be suicide beause then you would be subject to the emission standards in effect when the engine was “current”.  (199x through today)

 

Car cannot be assembled “on spec.” by any of A, B or C.  IOW applicant must initiate the process of purchasing unassembled components and services in individual transactions from A, B and C.

 

I think it is critical that we determine conclusively:

 

1. What part of that is Caterham allegedly guilty of violating?” and even so,

2. if WE have followed the above rules why are Caterham’s purported actions relevant?

Edited by awatkins
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13 hours ago, awatkins said:

2. if WE have followed the above rules why are Caterham’s purported actions relevant?

 

I am just making a wild speculation here, with no experience or industry knowledge to back any of this up (so someone with more brains might be able to correct me) but I would guess it matters what Caterham is doing because the DMV don't want folks buying a C8.R Le Mans Corvette body from GM, then going to Callaway to buy a juiced up LS-drivetrain, then a local shop to do installation, and then claiming SB100 exemption for their new Corvette.

 

But I'm probably way off base because of other details of SB100 I'm not familiar with. Still, it was fun speculating.

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When I was going through the process with my car, I was told that the rules were changed a few years prior to address the abuses of the “retro-rod” shops (ie, Boyd Coddington, Chip Foote, et al). On the first business day of the year, they would go into the DMV and grab most of the sequence numbers based on their proposed production for the year. It became very challenging for the rest of us to obtain a number. While the current process seems onerous, it does require the applicant to produce a physical chassis at the start of the process, something that didn’t exist under the old SB100. The new SPCNS rules are definitely kind of pedantic but they ultimately help the home builder at the expense of the professional shops.

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On 6/18/2021 at 5:20 PM, papak said:

When I was going through the process with my car, I was told that the rules were changed a few years prior to address the abuses of the “retro-rod” shops (ie, Boyd Coddington, Chip Foote, et al). On the first business day of the year, they would go into the DMV and grab most of the sequence numbers based on their proposed production for the year. It became very challenging for the rest of us to obtain a number. While the current process seems onerous, it does require the applicant to produce a physical chassis at the start of the process, something that didn’t exist under the old SB100. The new SPCNS rules are definitely kind of pedantic but they ultimately help the home builder at the expense of the professional shops.

I've not seen anything in writing about "new rules" 

 

I have heard that there was an issue with companies scooping up SB100 sequence numbers. Not sure how much truth there is to that.

 

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I do know that since I did mine the sequence of submissions changed such that you have to demonstrate posession of the car before receiving a sequence number.  The Coddington, et al, story very nicely explains that change.  I don’t think this really matters to the typical applicant, unless I’m missing something.

Edited by awatkins
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