Back in the middle 70's I moved to California the first time, (I've done this twice now, and I keep saying when I leave I won't return.
). I brought two motorcycles and a car.
The VW and the BMW were simple. The Norton not so much.
Norton as they were twisting and turning at the end of the rope never matched engine numbers to frame numbers.
CADMV had me make rubbings of the numbers and the CHP compared them and noted they didn't match each other. But, they matched the clear Colorado title I had in hand. That got me through that mess.
Now, the funny part to all this was when I bought that bike new in Colorado, European spec bike so it wasn't like other US models but there might be one person at one DMV someplace in the US that might notice that. The differences were quieter end cans and airbox, and a 7.2 gallon steel tank in place of the leak-prone fiberglass.
Colorado CHP wanted to drill my frame and attach their own serial numbers. I told them if they put a drill to the frame they were buying me a motorcycle. We got a supervisor and that was the end of that discussion.
In the case of my 2004 BMW Adventure I showed up with all the specified paperwork in order, notarized and signed by everybody required for an out of state sale.
It was as if I was trying to import an alien life form or asking to carry U235 around as a counterweight while farting radon gas.
They wanted to see on the emission sticker where it said the bike was specifically a California bike. the bike was completely stock CAT, evap charcoal canister all intact, and visible. They never looked at those, probably couldn't have identified either anyway.
They extended my temporary plate twice telling me the last time that they couldn't extend it again. At my new appointment I asked why I couldn't get another extension. I had provided all paperwork in accordance with their demands and nothing was in any way out of order. Finally after they looked back through my paperwork for about the 6th time having requested a form I'd submitted at my initial appointment and they had taken, (I had copies), I got a real plate and registration.
When I moved in the late 90's the last time to California I registered my BMW built from two wrecks with a salvage title from Colorado at the Auto Club office. Took about 5 minutes, and I did the mini-van at the same time.
All of which really makes me think vehicle registration should just be national as well as driving licenses. That would cock it up nicely I'm sure.
Favorite questions and statements from my decades experience with the CADMV:
1. Are you a cop?
After completing the riding test, both back in the 70's and this last time in 1997.
2. This is a dirtbike, you need a green sticker, (referring to the 2004 BMW 1150 GS Adventure, (Tourances on it at the time).