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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  I am a practicing attorney with more than 30 years of experience in the legal field.
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I recieved a letter from CA DMV, Notice of delinquent registration.

Resolved Question:

I recieved a letter from CA DMV, Notice of delinquent registration. Which states: "that the planned non-operation certification on the vehicle has been invalidated since the dept has received evidence the the vehicle was either parked or operated on a public highway in violation of CA Veh code sect 4000(A)."
To prevent collection action by the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) I must pay $175 plus provide liability insurance on vehicle.
This vehicle is inoperatable due to engine damage, I have it parked at my son's home, till I decide what to do with it. Apparently he moved it from the side yard to the front to do some work on the rear yard.
I want to keep the non-operation certification on this vehicle, I don't want to insure it and I don't want to pay $175 to the FTB. I live in SC, I can not contact a "real live person" at DMV in CA to discuss the matter, only recorded messages. What are my options?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma, and as a former CA resident, I empathize with your predicament.

Under CA law, even pushing a non-op vehicle on a roadway is considered operating it. I will presume that your son somehow moved the vehicle off of private property and onto public property. How the DMV found out about it is the big mystery. If I had to guess, I would guess that the vehicle was perhaps left on the street for a period of time, perhaps received a citation of some sort like out of date registration?

The reality is that if you can prove that the vehicle never touched public property, nor was it transported over public property---as would be the case if it were towed anywhere---then the fine is valid.

Get the vehicle back on private property, pay the fine and re-file the non-op status. That is really about all you can do---I'm sorry.

I wish you the best in 2010.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not entirely favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so. I do work diligently to provide you with the correct Answer under the law, and because I have no control over what the law is, I ask you not to hold that against me. It has been my pleasure to assist you, and would be greatly appreciated if you would click the green Accept icon so that I can receive credit for having answered your Question. Thank you in advance.

Best regards,


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