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Advice - out of state purchase - California

Discussion in 'Tesla for Sale' started by Andrew Wolfe, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

    Jun 20, 2011
    Los Gatos, CA
    Can anyone provide a pointer to a thread or site or provide advice on the mechanics of buying an out-of-state used Roadster. I live in California. I know all of the smog inspection, etc. rules I had to deal with when I moved here are waived.

    How do I avoid paying sales tax twice? Do I need to transfer title twice?

    All the web sites I can find are focused on in-state sales.
  2. augkuo

    augkuo Member

    Apr 24, 2011
    I bought my roadster from Texas - you will only pay CA sales tax when you register at the DMV. You'll get a new CA title after paying all the fees and tax - the dealer/owner shouldn't charge you the sales tax of where you bought it from.

  3. jory

    jory Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    san francisco
    if you do pay sales tax in another state there is a place on the CA registration form to report that and it is subtracted from the CA tax you owe so you do not have to "pay twice"

    i also recommend separating out the sale of the car from any accessories (like the HPC) so the bill of sale represents an accurate accounting of the car itself.

    there is information here:

    California Car Registration Guide - Renewals, Changing States, New Vehicle Purchases, Non Operational at The Unofficial DMV Guide

    on registering an out of state car, including a fee calculator based on the purchase price of the car.

    i also ran into an interesting issue when registering my 2010 roadster that was previously registered in NY. there were some CA emissions stickers on the roadster that mentioned 2009 so the DMV inspector wanted to put my car down as a 2009. however, the 10th digit of the VIN specifies the model year (in my case A=2010) which i pointed out and got him to do the right thing.
  4. pgwoosley

    pgwoosley Member

    Mar 21, 2008
    Note that the technical name for the "sales tax" you pay in California on a vehicle purchased from other than a California licensed vehicle dealer is "use tax." The Use Tax provisions start at section 6201 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code. If you think you may be borderline as to whether you will owe the tax, pay particular attention to section 6248.

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