Lotus Elan

Registering an Elan in California?

PostPost by: prezoom » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:52 am

In todays world, I would use a private registration service. A friend just registered a 1910 Brush, a 1914 Model T Ford, and a 1920's American LaFrance fire engine with no problems. The original registration, and "pink" slips had been lost or misplaced by the previous owner, who had passed and his son was able to supply only a bill of sale for each vehicle.
Rob Walker
26-4889
50-0315N
1964 Sabra GT
1964 Elva Mk4T Coupe (awaiting restoration)
1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 302,AOD,9",rack and pinion,disc,etc,etc,etc
1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe

Tread softly in the grease mud, for there lurks the skid demon
prezoom
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1089
Joined: 16 Mar 2009
Location: Escondido, California

PostPost by: Lotus14S2 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:50 pm

The time i did the registration was about 10 years ago, so they might have changed the forms. At the time you went into DMV and were issued your license plates and year sticker, the car was checked by a DMV inspector. When that occurred you had to bring the car in to the local DMV office, in my case it was San Mateo, California.. The car was checked to make sure the serial number was the same as the previous state registration, and you had to have working lights,including brake light, turn signals, etc., horn, and, seat belts.
If you have a smog car I'm sure the process is more cumbersome.
As far as a home built is concerned, as well as a salvaged car, you need to have the brakes, and some other stuff checked, but as the Elan is all in one piece, and is "as built", that is not required.

The form may have gotten more complex, as happens with government forms, but filling out a form should be rather straight forward.

I would suggest to the Elan owner to go to the DMV website and they have all the instructions for registering an out of state car; that will give you the straight scoop.
Lotus14S2
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 95
Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Location: California

PostPost by: Lotus14S2 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:55 pm

FYI The form (Reg 31) is identical to the form that the DMV inspector filled out when my Elan was registered 10 years ago, so i don't think it has changed much.
Lotus14S2
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 95
Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Location: California

PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:53 pm

Gee-whiz, Monkey, you must be that guy who catcthes all the hiccups in the system. I was that guy in the army 30 years ago. They lost my orders to transfer overseas, they lost my supply-record, they messed-up my vaccination-record, etc...

Thankfully few such problems in later years with vehicle registrations.
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
User avatar
The Veg
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 987
Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Location: Atlanta 'burbs (southeast USA)

PostPost by: My72Sprint » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:35 pm

Info..
My California original 1972 Elan has the VIN in two location:
A) VIN TAG Driver side behind windshield
B) Information plate in engine compartment, Passenger side, fender wall, near firewall
VIN, Engine #, Emissions info etc..

No door tag
My72Sprint
New-tral
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 17 Sep 2018
Location: Sacramento California

PostPost by: monkeyodeath » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:56 pm

A little conclusion to this story for anyone interested...

Managed to get an appointment at a CHP office a little over a month ago for the VIN inspection.

I was nervous as I had just contacted Andy at Lotus about a certificate, only to find that my car appears to be a little bit of a frankenstein (VIN corresponded to an RHD kit car, body was from a later car). As I'm sure many of the remaining Elans are.

Even worse, the officer I met with, while a nice guy, didn't like the VIN plate (some weird generic job the car had picked up at some point in its life), the fact that the replacement chassis didn't have the same number as the car, and the fact that the engine number wasn't visible anymore. He took pictures of the car and my documents, told me he was going to get in touch with Lotus, and said he'd call me once he was done with his research.

Didn't get a call back until over a month later, and I figured I was kind of screwed -- that I'd have to see an importer, or have the CHP issue a new VIN plate, or some kind of drawn-out and potentially expensive process.

But today, I just showed up with the paperwork, and the officer came back 10 minutes later with a totally filled-out VIN verification form. No mention of any issues, save for the fact that it took a while for him to get the info he needed from Lotus. An hour later I walked out of the AAA office with plates and a new title incoming.

So, what did I learn? ...uh, not much, but:

- If you're bringing one of these cars into California and you have one of the earlier models with the single hand-scribed VIN plate, take it to an actual DMV. All of this would have been unnecessary if I had not initially taken the car to an AAA office, where the employee didn't realize that cars this old don't have to have 2 VINs present on the car. The CHP officer told me this, as he was surprised that I was even bringing the car to him. But once you're marked in the system as needing a CHP verification, there's no going back.

- If you do have to go to the CHP, bring every shred of documentation you have and, hopefully, things will go okay. I think that the officer mainly wanted to satisfy himself that I hadn't welded together a fake Elan in my garage or something like that. He told me, "how do I know this is a real Lotus?" (I should have pointed to the slowly-growing puddle of oil at our feet as incontrovertible proof!)

California auto law can definitely be a PITA! But it's a small price to pay for year-round droptop weather and proximity to Mulholland Drive, Angeles Crest, and the good old 101.
monkeyodeath
New-tral
 
Posts: 10
Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Location: California

PostPost by: The Veg » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:50 am

Glad it worked out and looking forward to reading of your adventures with the car!
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
User avatar
The Veg
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 987
Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Location: Atlanta 'burbs (southeast USA)

PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:18 am

Welcome to the California Elan community.

Your experience with AAA and their lack of knowledge concerning the Elan reminds me of my own difficulties with them some people 49 years ago when I tried to add my newly self-imported Elan to my insurance. Their lack of knowledge led them to classify the Lotus Elan as a “limited production racing vehicle”. As such my annual insurance premium was a full 33% of what I paid for the car new from the factory!

Needless to say this was a non-starter. After more than a month of wrangling with them they finally agreed that the Elan was indeed a Road car and imported in sufficient numbers to allow repair and parts to be available. The premium was adjusted downward but still wasn’t inexpensive.

Based upon your experience they still don’t know much about the original Lotus Elan. To be expected I suppose.

Insurance is now provided by knowledgeable classic car insurance companies, thankfully.
'69 Elan S4
Street 181 BHP
Original owner
User avatar
1owner69Elan
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 486
Joined: 16 Jun 2015
Location: California

PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:01 am

He told me, "how do I know this is a real Lotus?" (I should have pointed to the slowly-growing puddle of oil at our feet as incontrovertible proof!)


Love it.

cheers
Rohan
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 6798
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: prezoom » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:09 pm

You should try getting a personalized license plate EX VALDZ.
Rob Walker
26-4889
50-0315N
1964 Sabra GT
1964 Elva Mk4T Coupe (awaiting restoration)
1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 302,AOD,9",rack and pinion,disc,etc,etc,etc
1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe

Tread softly in the grease mud, for there lurks the skid demon
prezoom
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1089
Joined: 16 Mar 2009
Location: Escondido, California

PostPost by: StressCraxx » Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:18 pm

I had similar registration issues in Colorado and then 4 years later in California. The DMV verification in both states had a hard time accepting the VIN plate. The lack of the usual 23 or so digits and the number scratched on with an engraver made the examiner roll their eyes. Luckily the numbers on the plate and the number on the subframe above the motor mount and the LP engine number finally convinced them after I had shown them every piece of paper I had to document the car including the parts manual and shop manual. The front of the parts manual that showed the vin number progression and engine numbers was the key.

Regards,
Dan
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
User avatar
StressCraxx
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 842
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

PostPost by: billmoore42 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:12 pm

I registered my 67 Elan FHC in Hayward California in August using this private company:

https://1stopautoreg.com/index.html

They got it done and the private examiner took a picture of my vin scratch plate with his cell phone to make sure he had enough evidence for the state.

Painless and quick, and only cost $90.00 more than the horrible DMV.

Bill Moore
1967 Lotus Elan FHC
1972 MGB
billmoore42
New-tral
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 12 Apr 2018
Location: California
Previous

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: Fred Talmadge and 18 guests