Anyone here ever register a free car at the DMV?

TurboMinivan

Still plays with cars
Location
Lehi, UT
I am in the process of receiving a free car which currently does not run, though I don't think that is relevant to my question. The title will be signed over to me this week. I plan to go into the DMV and have it re-titled in my name; as soon as I can get it running, I will then get it registered and plated.

We've all heard the old wives tales about how you get slapped with excessive taxes/fees when you try to title or register a free car. Everybody says it is better/easier/cheaper to report it as having been sold for a very small price (say $100) rather than telling them it was given to you for free. But I'm wondering if that really is the case.

Has anyone here walked into the DMV, title in hand, and told them you got the car for free? If so, what was your experience?
 
D

Deleted member 12904

Guest
I've registered several $1 vehicles without a single issue
 

Evolved

Less-Known Member
My aunt used to work at the DMV and the best thing she ever told me was that people give the DMV employee too much info. She said go in and tell them only what they need to know (this is mine, here is the bill of sale and this is how much I paid). She did say that trades are a different story and are more work. So, I would go with the low dollar sale ($50 or $100) to avoid any extra attention. She said once a gentlemen came in with a bill of sale for a 1 year old Hummer (this is right after the H2’s just came out) for like $200. She said he came in, showed the bill of sale and that’s all he said. She said she had no reason to argue it or push back and that’s what she took payment on for taxes. She knew it wasn’t true but it wasn’t her job to argue whether he was telling the truth or not.
 

TurboMinivan

Still plays with cars
Location
Lehi, UT
people give the DMV employee too much info. She said go in and tell them only what they need to know (this is mine, here is the bill of sale and this is how much I paid).
This sounds like excellent advice. Thank you.
 

Johnny Quest

Web Wheeler
Location
West Jordan
last time i was in there, the DMV lady told me you can register one "gifted" car per year. that way, there are no funds transferred, and therefor, no taxes to collect.
 

Jesser04

Well-Known Member
Location
Kaysville Utah
I registered a number of free vehicles just write gift in the price and you good to go never been questioned once.
 

4x4_Welder

Active Member
Location
Twin Falls, ID
Must be nice. Back in WA I had to prove the beat to death oil burning rotted out 99 Durango my sister in law gave me wasn't worth the $3k their system said it was. I wound up going to the library and printing out the KBB value on it. High retail wasn't even $2500, trade in was $50.
Oregon just charges the same for everything since there isn't a sales tax. They just eat you alive with income taxes.
 

TurboMinivan

Still plays with cars
Location
Lehi, UT
As a follow up to my original question and this thread in general:

My vehicle donor could not find the title, so last Friday he went to the DMV and applied for a duplicate. Once he gets it, he'll bring it to me as planned. I decided a little recon was in order, so today I stopped by the DMV to ask them about this process. The helpful woman behind the counter was indeed quite helpful. Our conversation went like this.

Me: "A friend is about to gift me a non-running old car. He intends to sign the title over to me. When he does, I want to bring that in and have the car re-titled in my name, but I won't register it until later when I eventually get it running. I've never done this before. What do I need to do?"

Her: "When he signs over the title, have him write 'gift' in the purchase price box. You should also have him write out a letter stating he is gifting you this car (with the VIN, odometer, etc) and have him sign that as well. Bring both of those to us and we will re-title it in your name. You won't even need to pay any sales tax--just the standard $6 title fee."

Me: "Usually when I buy or sell a car privately, I print out one of the Bill of Sale forms from your web site and fill that out. Can we use that for your letter, and have him write in that the car was gifted at no charge?"

Her: "Yes, that will work perfectly."


So I guess that really is all there is to it.
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
''I have a friend'' that has made up all kinds of stories at the DMV. He once put on the title that he traded for a case of beer. The DMV got a good laugh at that one. Of the 100+ vehicles he has registered, I bet 95 of them were mis-informed on the price. The only ones that he put actual numbers on were the ones that were somehow shady in a difference aspect, and may need better verification or follow up.
The most ironic part of all is that his best friends father in law actually did give him a truck once. The title was properly filled out, the statements were all true. The lady at the DMV did not believe it, and threatened up and down that it was going to be verified through phone calls to the seller and asked if he needed to change his story or purchase price. 'Nope, call away' said my friend.
 

TurboMinivan

Still plays with cars
Location
Lehi, UT
I forgot to post the end of my story. For those who are curious:

My friend signed over the title to me, and wrote 'gift' in the price box. We also printed out the official bill of sale (Form TC-843); he filled that out and also wrote 'gift' in the price area. Armed with only these two pieces of paper, I went to the DMV and handed them over. The employee looked at the back of the title and saw gift, then quickly glanced at the bill of sale and saw that it matched. She then gave the bill of sale back to me, and processed the change of owner. I gave her $6 for the title fee and that was it; I wasn't at the counter for more than 60 seconds. A week later, the title showed up in my mailbox.

I had no idea it would be that easy.
 
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