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Has anyone bought a 50's to early 60's era Alfa Romeo and successfully transferred title to CA? I'm thinking of buying a 1957 Giulia and I don't want to have trouble with the DMV.

Here's the process I've run into with a 1973 Alfa Spider.
I bought the car in July 2019 with a New York state title and registration.
I took the car to the DMV for a VIN verification and the rep verified the VIN (on the A pillar), but being a shortened VIN (not modern 17 digit), the year isn't part of the VIN. There's a plate on the drivers side door that tells the year, but he said it doesn't have the VIN on it, only the year of the car. Since it's riveted on, he said that he can't conform that it came with the car and he referred me to the CHP. I've called numerous times (to the number he gave me), I've visited the office and the VIN verifier isn't there, so I still haven't been able to transfer title.

My concern is that a 1957 Alfa Romeo will not have the VIN plate on the A pillar and even though there's a stamp on the firewall and the plate under the hood, I think I'm going to have another headache with my local DMV office.

Has anyone here had success with CA DMV and if so, do you have a tip?

Thank you.

Greg
 

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On my '60 Spider the registration had lapsed and I had not renewed it for years so it dropped off the DMV records. When I was ready to revive it I trailered it to the local DMV/CHP office where I got a quick sign off which was all it took. Of course, I had the old title and the fire wall stamping was quite clear. That was a few (maybe 15) years ago. Sometimes a different DMV office produces different results so try one in a different city. Also, there are people who specialize in dealing with these problems. I don't know what they charge nor do I have a recommendation.

Good luck!
 

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The owners manual shows a diagram where the VIN number is stamped or affixed. Never had problem proving it with this to guide the inspector or State police.. They appreciate the guidance.. Your '73 is the same way except it shows it TWICE in the book as redundant.. stamped on the firewall AND on the A pillar. In the spirit of the DMV kindly remit $25 for locating the number.
 

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The owners manual shows a diagram where the VIN number is stamped or affixed. Never had problem proving it with this to guide the inspector or State police.. They appreciate the guidance.. Your '73 is the same way except it shows it TWICE in the book as redundant.. stamped on the firewall AND on the A pillar. In the spirit of the DMV kindly remit $25 for locating the number.
I made the mistake of bringing it to my local DMV office. They placed the car in their system as VIN verification at CHP only status, so I have to go to the CHP office to have it verified. Of course, with Covid, there's nobody there to verify the VIN. Here in CA, the VIN must match the stamping/plate on the car and the year must be correct. On 17 digit VINs, the 10th digit is the year (sometimes coded with a letter), but on these older cars, there isn't a year encoded in the VIN, so CA requires proof that the car is from that year. My 1973 has a plate on the drivers side (door), but the DMV rep said he couldn't verify that's the model year of the car. He said it only tells of the year the car was built. This is after I showed him the title (New York) stating the car is a 1973. In so many words, he insulted the titling process in New York.

A little over a year later, at the same DMV office, I got my 1971 registered/titled. No trip to the CHP required.

The inconsistency makes doing DMV work both frustrating and stressful - I never know what to expect!
 

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It’s been years since I had to deal with the CA DMV. More worried about the Altadena Sheriffs back then!

But, I have had the same situation as you here with the Ohio DMV. I eventually took my primed chassis on my trailer to the Ohio State Patrol Inspection office (called the Salvage Inspection Station due to body shop severe damage repair cases) but they inspect everything there. I took my museum Certificate from Alfa, every book I had verifying the year, plus I showed them my firewall stamp. I think that sealed the deal, actually. Removable tags are always highly scrutinized.
So, gathering all of my info they then took it all inside their office for an NFL referee-type meeting (because they’ve heard every BS story in the book) then came out with a signed-off receipt to get my title AND with the correct year of manufacture on it. Told me the extra paperwork sold them on it. The Fusi helped too.
There has to be one CHP office open for you somewhere, even if you have to take a drive out to the desert or up to Ventura. I know they are still patrolling, so playing the COVID card sounds like a phone stall to me.

I didn’t call for an appointment, I just showed up and chatted them up with minimum time wasted about what I had “hoped” for. Good luck.
 

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In MA the "State-ie" comes to the house with a smile and one look in the owner's manual, and the firewall and he signs a piece of paper and small talk and he's on his way with a 'Good luck with the beauty" wish. had to do that because the car was bought from NH where titles aren't required on old cars when they change hands.
 

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I’ll have to remember to reuse that story for the neighbors the next time the State-ies chase me home and surround the garage...:D
 

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Gotta keep yer cool and not "preach" to 'em about how screwed up the system is.. that is like gasoline on a fire and you dig a deeper hole. Yes sir No sir is best.
 

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Has anyone bought a 50's to early 60's era Alfa Romeo and successfully transferred title to CA? I'm thinking of buying a 1957 Giulia and I don't want to have trouble with the DMV.

Here's the process I've run into with a 1973 Alfa Spider.
I bought the car in July 2019 with a New York state title and registration.
I took the car to the DMV for a VIN verification and the rep verified the VIN (on the A pillar), but being a shortened VIN (not modern 17 digit), the year isn't part of the VIN. There's a plate on the drivers side door that tells the year, but he said it doesn't have the VIN on it, only the year of the car. Since it's riveted on, he said that he can't conform that it came with the car and he referred me to the CHP. I've called numerous times (to the number he gave me), I've visited the office and the VIN verifier isn't there, so I still haven't been able to transfer title.

My concern is that a 1957 Alfa Romeo will not have the VIN plate on the A pillar and even though there's a stamp on the firewall and the plate under the hood, I think I'm going to have another headache with my local DMV office.

Has anyone here had success with CA DMV and if so, do you have a tip?

Thank you.

Greg
I acquired a spider registered as a 1957 with the engine number as the VIN number! I got a letter from Alfa stating the car was made in December 1956 with the engine number corresponding to the VIN. Fortunately the engine in the car was still original. The VIN guy at the CHP office was great... i walked away with the VIN changed to the chassis number, and the model year as 1956. If you come with all your ducks in a row, they're very reasonable. They know things were kind of loose back then...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
On my '60 Spider the registration had lapsed and I had not renewed it for years so it dropped off the DMV records. When I was ready to revive it I trailered it to the local DMV/CHP office where I got a quick sign off which was all it took. Of course, I had the old title and the fire wall stamping was quite clear. That was a few (maybe 15) years ago. Sometimes a different DMV office produces different results so try one in a different city. Also, there are people who specialize in dealing with these problems. I don't know what they charge nor do I have a recommendation.

Good luck!
Unfortunately, the DMV clerk put my car into VIN verification purgatory. Until the CHP verifies the year of the car, the DMV won't do anything. I tried a different DMV office and they told me that I have to clear it with the CHP.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The owners manual shows a diagram where the VIN number is stamped or affixed. Never had problem proving it with this to guide the inspector or State police.. They appreciate the guidance.. Your '73 is the same way except it shows it TWICE in the book as redundant.. stamped on the firewall AND on the A pillar. In the spirit of the DMV kindly remit $25 for locating the number.
It's not that they can't find the VIN - the clerk verified the VIN is correct and matches the title. What he couldn't verify is the model year of the car. He could only verify the month/year it was produced. He was looking under the hood for the emissions sticker, which states the model year of the car. I told him that it won't have an emissions sticker, but he was sure it was there and was removed. I showed him the production plate on the left side door jamb. He read it and then told me that it only states when the car was built, not the model year. So he sent me to the CHP, because they'll know what the model year of the car is. I have no idea how the CHP will know, unless they have a list of VIN vs model year, which I don't think they have, but maybe.

Funny thing, I got my 1971 Spider thru the same DMV office, but with a different VIN verification clerk. He just looked at the title and matched it with the VIN plate under the glass on the A pillar. Checked under the hood and passed the VIN verification.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It’s been years since I had to deal with the CA DMV. More worried about the Altadena Sheriffs back then!

But, I have had the same situation as you here with the Ohio DMV. I eventually took my primed chassis on my trailer to the Ohio State Patrol Inspection office (called the Salvage Inspection Station due to body shop severe damage repair cases) but they inspect everything there. I took my museum Certificate from Alfa, every book I had verifying the year, plus I showed them my firewall stamp. I think that sealed the deal, actually. Removable tags are always highly scrutinized.
So, gathering all of my info they then took it all inside their office for an NFL referee-type meeting (because they’ve heard every BS story in the book) then came out with a signed-off receipt to get my title AND with the correct year of manufacture on it. Told me the extra paperwork sold them on it. The Fusi helped too.
There has to be one CHP office open for you somewhere, even if you have to take a drive out to the desert or up to Ventura. I know they are still patrolling, so playing the COVID card sounds like a phone stall to me.

I didn’t call for an appointment, I just showed up and chatted them up with minimum time wasted about what I had “hoped” for. Good luck.
This is ironic, but the place where they're suppose to verify the VIN and model year of the car is the Altadena CHP station. Back in the late 80's, I had to go to Pomona for business trips. I'd get a rental car in Oxnard, then drive to Pomona on the 210 freeway. Most times, I'd drive at night to the hotel - the 210 freeway was nearly empty, so I'd drive really fast. That's where I found out that most cars have a governor that limits the top speed. 115 to 118 mph on most rental cars at the time. Buick Skylarks, Regals, Le Sabres, Olds Achievas, Cutlass', 88's, Pontiac Grand Ams, Grand Prixs, Chevy Corsicas, Barrettas, Luminas, Ford Thunderbirds, Mercury Cougars ... I actually liked driving the GM cars with the Quad four motors and the Ford products with the 3.8 V6.

I'll take your recommendation and try a different CHP office. And I'll bring some books that show the VIN and year are correct - match the title!
 

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I think that there should be no problems with replacing the vin number. You need to contact the dealer who is located in your region. It seems that I even had contacts somewhere and I can get vehicle history report for free by sharing it with you. I have a subscription to Epicvin which is coming to an end soon so I need to use the service to the maximum
 
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