Current Happenings in my Life

Current Happenings 2000 | January 6


  January 19, 2000

Past Issues: Jan 6.

What happens if you don't smog and register your car?

Ever wondered that? Well, I found out.


First, a little History. When I graduated from Biola in May 1993, I still didn't have a car of my own. I bought one a few months later, a 1977 Pontiac Firebird. As soon as I bought it, Robbie Olden, a freshman in the high school group at church asked if I would sell it to him when he turned 16. I promised him I would, if he saved up $500 by his 16th birthday, I would sell it to him for that (the same price I paid). He was 14 at the time.

Two years later, I bought the 1981 Toyota Corolla pictured at right. Rob's birthday was quickly approaching, so on October 15th, 1995, I paid $1400 cash for that car.  It had 175,000 miles on it, but they said the engine had been replaced at 145,000. Later that month, I sold the Firebird to Rob.

The Department of Motor Vehicles has not received a response to the original notice of delinquent registration. Law enforcement may seize and impound vehicles found on highways, public lands or offstreet parking facilities, with expiration dates in excess of six months.

To prevent collection action by the Franchise Tax Board (FTB), you must repond to this notice immediately. FTB may garnish your wages, attach your bank account, attach real property you own, or seize and sell your real property.

(From the DMV, Dec 22, 1999)

(Fix-it Ticket, Compliments of CHP, December 5, 1999)

Threatening Letters, Fix-It Ticket

So I've owned the Toyota since October 1995. Two years ago, when I had to get it to pass the smog test, it took a lot of time, and Frank Luna (a friend from church), spent a lot of time clearing out some valve, and trying to get it to pass. I think I took it to the emissions people several times. Anyway, it was a big hassle, so, summer of 1999, when the registration and smog test came due again, I wasn't looking forward to going through that ordeal again. My registration expired August 26, 1999, which was a bad time for it to expire. I had just started the fall semester at Biola, and I was still attempting to work 40 hours a week at IRSC. Anyhow, I put it off all the way until this month (January 2000).

I got two letters from the DMV, threatening all sorts of dire consequences if I didn't register my car. (See a scan of the whole letter).

Meanwhile, on the way home from a Christmas party one Saturday night, Officer Williams of the California Highway Patrol pulled me over because my license plate lights were burnt out. Then he also noticed that my registration had expired in August, so he gave me a "fix-it" ticket for both of those things (See a scan of the ticket) and said I have 30 days to fix all those things. Well, the 30 days came and went without me fixing it, because it was right in the middle of finals week, Christmas and New Years.
Finally, I took my car to a mechanic across the street from where I work, and he replaced the spark plugs, but said that I was loosing compression in one of my cylinders. So when I finally took my car in to get it smogged, on January 18, it was missing. I started making plans of how I could sell the car to some unwitting buyer, and just walk back and forth to work for a little while. I didn't think it would pass. You can see the results to the right. I barely passed. (See a scan of the full smog test results). The maximum carbon monoxide at 15mph is 1.05% I got 1.03% The maximum at 25mph is 0.85%, I got 0.85%

So, now my car is finally registered, after almost five months. Now all I have to do is affix the little sticker and take care of that "Fix-It" ticket. I hope they don't notice that it's been more than 30 days!

I had to show my proof of insurance, too. I would never let that lapse like I did with the registration!

So now I'm feeling much better about my car. It's legal again, and I don't have to get it smogged again until August of 2001. Now I'm trying to decide whether to hurry up and sell it within the next two months (it won't require another smog test if I sell it in 60 days). Maybe I'll just keep it.

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Created and maintained by Matthew Weathers. Last updated Apr 20, 2006.