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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118660
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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In 2001 I leased a new Toyota RAV and in October of 2004 I

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In 2001 I leased a new Toyota RAV and in October of 2004 I purchased the car outright for the leasing company and received the certificate of tile (Ca.) in several weeks, no problem. But the title did have my name on it and the lease company name on it but the lease company did include a document to release the vehicle to me and my wife so I filed the papers away. Today when I went down to the DMV to do some registration action I took the title for the RAV along to clean up the ownership title block to just me and the wife. The DMV said it would cost $1,318.00 to do that because of use tax and 14 line item charges were outstanding!! This vehicle has always been registered and licensed since new so this just floored me. Do I have any recourse, thanks in advance.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Do you have any of your payment proof that you had paid all of the taxes and fees that they claim you have outstanding? Will you be able to do your research to find that proof?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The only payoff document I have is a release document from the leasing company stating the amount paid off, it does not state anything else. I was not aware of such outstanding fees until today, never received any notice of outstanding fees. Every since 2001 I have received the license/registration renewal form in the mail and paid it on or before it was due.

Thank you for your response.

Before you know how to fight this, you need to demand DMV present proof of the charges due and if they will not prove they are past due then you are going to have to file an appeal and get a hearing before their administrative hearing division. The reason is that you need to know 1) why this fee is only now being claimed and 2) why no notice of it being due was ever sent to you. If DMV does prove the past due amounts though and you have no proof of paying those fees, you have no argument and recourse but to pay them to register your vehicle and correct the title.

If they are claiming a use tax is due because of removing the leasing company from the vehicle, this is not true, since ownership is not being transferred, the title is being corrected to remove the lienholder, lease company, and you would have to appeal that charge to DMV and show this is just a release of lien and not a change of ownership (which incurs a use tax). You would have to contact the lease company and they have to give you a release of lien letter.

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