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Thread: Becoming discouraged, help?

  1. #1
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    Becoming discouraged, help?

    Hey all,

    I am trying to do some serious research on buying this car. I only want one if I can drive on roads with it (that much cash on a track car isnt worth it for me) but I have been speaking with a forum member on here that had a very unfortunate experience with his and I am being told these cars are illegal to reg in all states but cali. I know there is a lot of secrecy with this and I dont blame you from the stories ive gotten but is the atmosphere really this extreme? I am in the Army and when I get out I am flexible with where I live, but I refuse to live in Cali (gun laws). Can anyone help me out with hard facts about legal registration that I would not have to worry about being revoked? Does that even exist? I am sorry my post count isnt very high at the moment but I dont have much to talk about without actually having a car or asking something that hasnt already been discussed.

    Perhaps someone could put me in touch with a Colorado owner (my current duty station)? I really want to make this dream happen but, again, feeling highly discouraged. It is a shame this is the land of the free and I can't find a free path to drive the car I want to. grrr. /end rant

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Neutron
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    I'd say we're all pretty discouraged as a group around registration. The problem is that every state is different, it changes year to year, and often comes down to interpretation of law that would require lawyers to hash it out. Its the unfortunate mentality of the DMV that since it is different it must be wrong.

    Like here in Oregon, we have a specific law to register the Atom (race activity vehicle code). One specific person at the state capital DMV has made it her personal pursuit to make it as hard as possible to register these cars. Like insisting that the manufacturer's certificate of origin has "race activity vehicle" printed on it even though the manufacturer was making them before this law.

    I went through Oregon DEQ (air quality testing) yesterday and ran into the same issue as another owner did last year. The VIN in the engine computer does not match the VIN on my registration. why would it match? the engine is out of a Chevy cobalt. Basically DMV makes it difficult for *any* kit car with a modern engine to get through the DMV. Sure I passed emission testing but I have to sit through the headache of this crap because of the uniqueness of a car.

    It does not help that DMV workers review message boards like this to try and catch someone using a loophole. Just like Geico got caught recently looking over someone's facebook so they could deny them coverage after an accident because they once had their car on a track.

    But if you love the car, then I'd say still go for it. You could move to Oregon. We still have somewhat reasonable gun laws and for now there is a specific state law that covers the Atom.
    the high profile toy thrower

  3. #3
    Electron
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    I was fortunate in that my used Atom was previously titled/registered in Texas. Even though it was then registered out of state at one point, it wasn't a problem getting re-registered in Texas.

    I know some owners have registered their Atoms out of state to make this easier via an LLC/agent.

  4. #4
    Positron Gage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Napalm View Post
    I was fortunate in that my used Atom was previously titled/registered in Texas. Even though it was then registered out of state at one point, it wasn't a problem getting re-registered in Texas.

    I know some owners have registered their Atoms out of state to make this easier via an LLC/agent.

    There are three types of states.... those that are simple to register the Atom in, those that make you jump through hoops, and those that make it hell on earth. Which state will you live in? The difficulty of registering can also vary from DMV to DMV in the same state. I found that to be true. (as was probably stated already).
    Last edited by Gage; August 15, 2013 at 10:38 PM.
    "Opportunities do not come to those who wait; they are captured by those who attack."

  5. #5
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    I'd like to live in Flordia ideally but prefer to stay south. Is there a list going around of states in those 3 catagories?
    Last edited by dpert1; August 16, 2013 at 07:33 AM.

  6. #6
    Positron Gage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpert1 View Post
    I'd like to live in Flrodia ideally but prefer to stay south. Is there a list going around of states in those 3 catagories?
    Do all your home work before buying an Atom. Shop the DMV's in the states you want to live. Call it a roadster and start making phone calls. Get pictures of road legal Atoms with lights, wipers, seat belts, e-brakes, etc, so you can show one if need be. Remember, the girl's at the counter often don't know if the highway patrol/inspection station would approve the car. Be discreet. Be tactful. Don't every lose your cool. Be the nicest guy anyone at the DMV ever met. Don't make stink for other future Atom owners regardless of what they say.


    I don't know about any list, but I do know that many persistent and patient people have registered their Atom's. I believe you'll find a way to make it happen.
    "Opportunities do not come to those who wait; they are captured by those who attack."

  7. #7
    Neutron
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    I'd vote against using pictures of other Atom's, especially ones that have plates on them. It only takes one disgruntled DMV worker to decide to run the plates and try to get someones registration revoked. Know the rules in your state intricately but play nice and dumb at the DMV. The last thing they want to hear is that you know the rules better than them. I think I read most of my state's 500 page vehicle code book before registering.

    Despite my last post being negative about the whole issue, I did get my registration successfully renewed yesterday which is something like 4 times now since I bought the car.
    the high profile toy thrower

  8. #8
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    Y'all have my word, if/when I end up registering an atom I will never reference someone else's.

    A list of easy to reg states would be helpful though...

  9. #9
    Neutrino Norm's Avatar
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    Be prepared to listen to a bunch of stuff that you have to do and write it down. In my case the first place I went to, gave me a list of things I had to do, so, I took it all down and looked interested. I needed an inspection and a bunch of other stuff, I wasn't really listening. I then went into the next little City to the north and registered it without any of the crap the first place told me about fifteen minutes later. In other words, they have a lot more discretion than you think.

  10. #10
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    "There are three types of states.... those that are simple to register the Atom in, those that make you jump through hoops, and those that make it hell on earth."

    Actually there are 4 types; The 4th are states that say NFW period; you can never,ever register the Atom for road use in OUR state. I live in one...
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

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