1 Mar 2013

Took yesterday off in order to take the car in for the CHP (state police) inspection. What always makes car inspections/registration/insurance an exercise in frustration is the “spin the bottle” aspect to it: how who you talk to, where it happens, and when, completely dictate how the inspection or paperwork will go, which seems to have little to do with the rules.  And so it was…

I set out to have two inspections done on the same day, the CHP inspection which, if passed, results in a VIN tag being riveted onto the car. The other test, “Brake and light” is just that, an inspection performed by a different entity to determine all aspects of the lighting rules – I have no idea why the CHP doesn’t do that test, but so be it.

The CHP inspection went fine, and it soon became apparent what they were most concerned about. All they really wanted to see were the VIN tags on the engine and transmission, AND the receipts for the engine, transmission, and frame (even if I welded it together.) Fortunately I had those receipts (thanks to buying the DOM tubing from a separate vender than all the other metal.) He said that without those three receipts he couldn’t issue a VIN – and this info is going into my book. Everything else, lights, fenders, etc, didn’t seem important – though with someone else doing the inspection, who knows…

Then it was off to the Brake and Light inspection. The problem that stopped everything was that on my partial DMV registration, under “Model Year” was, ”      “, yes, blank. Because of that, the guy explained, he didn’t know what year to inspect it for, and for that reason, we were done. Having already taken the day off I brought the car home, unloaded it, then went to the DMV to see what I needed to do. Long story short… nothing. The “Model Year” is indeed supposed to be blank for a Specially Constructed Vehicle – the inspector guy was confused, so I need to either find another shop or just add side markers and rear reflectors. After talking to my brother – who bought a “real” kit car – the difference appears to be that he had a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin… and I don’t.

So all in all it went okay, at least there’s still a path forward.