Thursday, July 23, 2009

Registering the Cardinal, or RED TAPE EVERYWHERE!

A few weeks ago, we decided that the Cardinal really needed its own set of Colorado license plates, so we took a trip to the DMV. First, they sent us for a VIN verification with 3 day temporary tags. We got to the dealer, who couldn't find a VIN anywhere... and decided that since the tongue had obviously been replaced and a larger one fishplated on that the previous VIN had been cut off in the switch. He told us to go to the state patrol.

We get to the state patrol, only to find out that they do VIN verifications ONLY every other Thursday... and the next one was in 11 days. (8 days past our temp tags, and a brand new NON WAIVABLE late fee of $25 imposed by the great state of Colorado as a money making scheme in effect. Seriously... they even called it that when they voted it in). We make the appointment.

We get to the state patrol. SP looks at the trailer and says "Yep... the VIN should be right there, but they cut it off. Any sign of manufacturer on there?".

Now... it's pretty obvious it's a Cardinal IF you've done the research on vintage Cardinal logos... our trailer has a most of a very faded bird with the words Deluxe, Adams, and Del Monte, Calif. on it in the exact position it should be. But... the word Cardinal is faded off... and our SP officer is not a vintage trailer researcher. He poked around in all the cabinets, saying "ones just a little newer than this have manufacturer info inside a door." LUCKILY he decided to write on the form that he saw the manufacturer's name on there (that would have been 10 more forms and hassle, I'm SURE!).

He wrote it all up, found 2 more forms for us to fill out, told us to get it weighed and certified, and sent us on his way. He really did a great job of making sure all of the i's were dotted and the t's were crossed... he say "I hope I don't offend, but the folks over at the DMV can be VERY anal. Let's try to get this perfect".

Took it into the DMV the next day... and after filling out 3 more forms, we had a new little tin plate and CO VIN number to rivet to the trailer. We were pretty excited... until the phone rang on Monday.
Turns out, there's ANOTHER form to fill out AND we needed a professional appraisal done by an RV dealer printed on company letter head. Not too hard, right?

After calling every single dealer in the entire Northern Colorado area (including no less than 5 cities, and numerous towns)... and having started in on North Denver... I still hadn't found anyone willing or able to do an appraisal. I called no less than TWENTY FIVE dealers, with negatives all around. Every one said "Not in the blue book, so we can't do it" or "We don't do appraisals."

Then, I remembered that the SECOND dealer I called on Friday had just taken my name and number for a call back from the sales manager. I hadn't received a call back, and at the time, I just assumed that they couldn't do it just like everyone else and were just not taking the time to tell me "no".

I called them and was overjoyed to hear them say they would do it the next afternoon... and she apologized for not getting back with me (she recognized the request... I didn't say a thing)! I just got back from the appraisal AND from the DMV. The VERY nice woman at the DMV spent 10 minutes making every single i was dotted and t was crossed, and sent it in to the state!
I'll be checking the mail in 2 to 4 weeks for that title!

By the way... the RV dealer I got the appraisal from had a cute little 1958 Fleetwood 10 foot trailer they had on the "back lot" ... said it needed a lot of work by a willing pair of hands. It didn't LOOK much worse than ours from the outside. I was tempted... but decided not to go look. They said they sell things like that to a man in Cheyenne for trailer beds for $200 or so... maybe I should go back


Robj98168 said...

Geez I think the DMV's do that on purpose- my little tent trailer has been close to impossible to register, so I am in the process of putting it on a new frame/chassis of a utility trailer I own that is already licensed.

Kate H. said...

Sorry to hear about the hassle. But glad to hear your Cardinal is finally kosher!