Registering a Military Trailer in California without prior registration

Written by F. R. Fox

I just finished registering my 1941 G518 trailer. I couldn't believe how easy it was. AAA Auto Club DMV services now handle registration and VIN verification. When I found this out I went to their office and asked for all necessary paper work. The girl at the desk was kind enough to highlight all the fields I needed to fill out as well as the seller's fields. After filling out the papers and bringing the trailer in for inspection I was handed my license plate after about two hours (including time to go and get the trailer for inspection). It cost me $32 and an extra $13 for a title. California has gone "paperless" so a title is on electronic file with the State. They charge you $13 for a paper copy, if you even want it.

Planned Non-Operation Certificate (Reg 102)
This form is needed as the trailer is now in the State system, but will be considered non-operational until registration is complete.

Application For Title or Registration (Reg 343)
Fill out sections 1, 2, 6, and 9. In section 1, you will put down the trailer's manufacturer's S.N. for the VIN, and the name of the manufacturer for the MAKE. The DMV girls huddled together because the VIN on my trailer is only four characters long. They eventually shrugged their shoulders and continued on.

Bill of Sale (Reg 135)
This is for the BUYER and SELLER to fill out. My friend sold me the trailer for $85. I was originally given Reg. 262, Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form. This form is printed on security paper and is not downloadable and is meant for odometer readings. But form 135 and 262 will serve the same purpose.

Statement of Facts (Reg 256)
This form was given to me for both the BUYER and SELLER to fill out, however some offices only require the BUYER to fill it out. It is important that in the statement of facts that it is stated that the trailer has not been towed on public roads and has been kept on private property, otherwise you will be fined and taxed. They also wanted the SELLER to state how he got the trailer. My friend who sold me the trailer, stated that the trailer was bought by his grandfather from military surplus in 1948, and that the records of that sale have since been lost, and was gifted to him after his grandfather had passed away.

After you fill out these papers, they will hand you Reg. 172, Vehicle Moving Permit so that you may tow the trailer from its storage place to the AAA office. Once there they will "inspect" the trailer. All they are looking for is the stamped serial number. I made sure my tag was clean and readable. I also stamped the serial number on the draw bar and they were very happy with that as the tag was hard for them to read. She was not able to read the year so she could not apply the year to any of my forms. The DMV girl registered my trailer as a utility trailer, single axle with an unladen weight of 100lbs. Once they are done inspecting the trailer, they fill out their paper work, ask you to pay for your fees and then hand you a California Permanent Trailer plate. Registration on a perm. plate is due every 5 years.

It is important to know that you only offer the required information. Volunteering information not only extends the processing time, but may also cause your registration process to be suspended until information is found or verified. Statements such as, "it has an Army Registration Number" will cause them to want to verify records, "which do not exist" but they do not know that.