Keeping Vehicle Registered vs PNO? (CA Plates)

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#1 Fri, 04/08/2011 - 14:42

Keeping Vehicle Registered vs PNO? (CA Plates)

Hey all,

Our CA registration expires at the end of May.  We had planned on renewing the registration as a current vehicle registration has been used at all of the border crossings.  However, we received a notice of intent to suspend our registration on account of no USA insurance.

We sent the CA DMV our Mexican and Sanborns insurance papers but they have assured me that they are invalid for their purposes and we will have to file a PNO (Planned Non Operation).  Has anybody else used this method or figured out a way to keep it registered in CA?

I'm worried that the border agents will hassle us about the lack of a current registration.

Fri, 04/08/2011 - 14:49

we did the exact thing you're talking about

You'll just need to get a Planned Non-Operation registration.  It just means you won't be driving the car in CA, which is true.  When/if you get your car back to CA, you'll need to change back to the normal registration once you have valid insurance.  We never once were hassled about the Planned Non-Operation registration and we had it for about 14 months in 10 countries.  If it makes you feel better, you can 'fix' the documents to remove this from the document, if you get my drift.  Email me if you want more details: [email protected].   

Check out these links for a how-to and the necessary forms:

Fri, 01/06/2017 - 03:41 (Reply to #2)

Hi Kristin,

Hi Kristin,

thanks for the input.

how do you handle border crossings where they absolutely need to see the original papers? (no print-outs and thus 'fixed' papers possible).

Fri, 04/08/2011 - 14:55

Thanks Kristin. Exactly the

Thanks Kristin. Exactly the info we were looking for.  We were not sure if CA actually sent you any documents if you filed PNO.  All clear now; thanks!

Fri, 04/08/2011 - 15:09

they will send you something

They will send you a PNO registration, but you can just 'make your own' if you don't have any way to get the document.  I had my parents scan it to me so I could print it, but I'm sure I could have winged it if necessary.  

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 15:19

Once our registration expired

Once our registration expired we drove without! No problems at all at borders, I used our title papers (actually only a color copy, since they handled them so badly in some cases). Later in Costa Rica I took the tags of the number plates. But we didn't return the vehicle to the USA (sold it in Chile), so I don't know what the re-entry procedure at the US border would be like - I expect that might cause the biggest headache.

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 09:51 (Reply to #6)

how did you sell your car, i

how did you sell your car, i have been reading about lots of troubles about selling a US-plated car down in south america, including chile?

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 16:48

What you need to consider is

What you need to consider is what happens if you are involved in an at-fault accident where someone is injured.
No valid registration in country of origin ==> TVIP obtained by false swearing ==> insurance invalid ==> ????

Amazing that people assume that their home country is the only one with any sort of rule of law and they can do as they please once they cross the border. Rules of law are all pretty much the same and the main difference is in the quality of the prison accommodations.