Paperwork roadblocks delay woman's DMV vehicle registration renewal for six years

ByMichael Finney and Randall Yip KGO logo
Monday, April 10, 2023
Paperwork roadblocks delay woman's DMV registration for six years
Paperwork confusion between two states' DMVs -- and two family members -- meant that the Prius went unregistered for 6 years.

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KGO) -- For six years, a greater Bay Area woman unsuccessfully tried to register her car. She ran into one roadblock after another. The long ordeal meant she went all that time without legally being able to drive her vehicle. So for the most part, it just sat there.

Ludean Mines of Fairfield shows 7 On Your Side the 2007 Prius that she cannot legally drive because it has expired registration tags.

"If I drive the car, I run the risk of being stopped and having the car impounded. Which did happen once," Mines said.

To understand this story, you need to go back to 2013.

That's when Mines moved from California to a suburb of Portland, Oregon.

Two years later, she returned to California to live in Fairfield, and that's where the confusion began.

She immediately applied and received her new California plates and registration.

Then she says the DMV sent her a letter saying not so fast -- and basically rescinded her registration.

"An internal audit had found some incorrect information," Mines said.

That basically meant she had to start all over with the DMVs both in California and Oregon.

She says the DMV advised her to register her car first in Oregon to get a title there.

"Of course Oregon won't do that because I don't live there. So I can't get a title from either California or Oregon," Mines said.

Mines says she's spoken to both DMVs in person and by phone many times with reams of documentation, but without success.

"If you don't fit into their neat little box of, 'Go here. Fix that. Fill out this form,' they don't know how to be helpful," she said.

With six years of frustration boiling over, she contacted 7 On Your Side.

The DMV told us it couldn't let Mines register the car because it belonged to someone else.

That someone else turned out to be Mines's daughter, who was apparently gifted the car from her mom many years ago.

The daughter took it, but decided she didn't need it and let her mom have the car back.

Both apparently forgot to take care of the paperwork.

So 7 On Your Side contacted the Oregon DMV. It sent Mines's daughter the title for the car and suggested she needed to sign that title over to her mom to complete the transfer.

Mines now has a new California license plate and up-to-date registration tags.

The car now legally belongs to her and after six years, she's raring to go.

"As soon as I get packed and organized I'm going to take a road trip and drive this thing to Yellowstone National Park and go camping and have some fun," Mines said.

Mines is also planning trips back to Oregon and up to Canada.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

7OYS's consumer hotline is a free consumer mediation service for those in the San Francisco Bay Area. We assist individuals with consumer-related issues; we cannot assist on cases between businesses, or cases involving family law, criminal matters, landlord/tenant disputes, labor issues, or medical issues. Please review our FAQ here. As a part of our process in assisting you, it is necessary that we contact the company / agency you are writing about. If you do not wish us to contact them, please let us know right away, as it will affect our ability to work on your case. Due to the high volume of emails we receive, please allow 3-5 business days for a response.



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