If you have not had insurance for your vehicle you may be unable to get your auto tag because of a suspended registration. California has implemented a system a few years back that forced people to get auto insurance, and what they have done is suspended your registration. You will need to get a few things done in order to reinstate your suspended registration. The following is a list of the three simple, but absolutely essential steps that you must take to obtain your auto tag:
- Purchase auto liability insurance: CA law requires that you have auto liability insurance. This is the first step in getting your suspended registration reinstated.
- Pay the $14 reinstatement fee: This fee is only $14. The fee is not much, but for some people it can be a pain to pay because the DMV has assigned a totally separate department to handle the fee, the suspension and the reinstatement process. This fee can only be paid online or by mail, the local DMV office cannot accept this fee & cash is not accepted. However, our office can help you pay this fee in our office.
- Wait: Yes.. the third step is to wait. Although your insurance company notifies the DMV electronically that your insurance is in place, the process usually takes 3 to 7 business days. Some people have the "luck" of getting their suspended registration reinstated sooner than 3 days, but it is rare. But if you come into our auto tag agency, we can help you clear your suspended registration and get your auto tag .. instantly! Give us a call...
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Have you ever needed the services of a notary public and you had questions about what exactly a notary does or is? Here is a quick run down of a notary public's services.
- As the title would imply, a notary "public" is essentially a public witness to signatures and other sorts of transactions.
- A notary public's fee is always the same, no matter where you go. The fee is $10 per signature/oath/affirmation. It is illegal to charge more than $10. If there are multiple signatures to document, you can be charged $10 per signature. Some notary publics will offer you a price break/discount depending on the amount of signatures.
- Traveling notary publics can charge a fee on top of the $10 for their traveling fee. The fee varies depending on the individual and the distances they drive. Some scenarios that may require a traveling notary include someone that is in jail or prison that need to sign a document that needs to be notarized or someone that is unable to travel to the notary such as a person in a hospital.
- Some traveling notaries operate 24/7. Usually these notaries have very high traveling fees, for obvious reasons, they are providing a service that is not usually available at very late times of the day
- You can notarize a document without identification. If you are unable to get proper identification, you can still notarize a document by simply bringing 2 individuals that have proper identificatin and who can swear or affirm that you are who you are.
- Of all of the things that I mentioned, the most important thing to know about a notary public is what a notary public isn't: WE ARE NOT LAWYERS/ATTORNEYS. We are not allowed to give legal advice. Do not ask a notary public for legal advice, because we are not trained or licensed to give such advice. Some notary publics with well meaning intentions often give advice when they should not. Spend the extra money & do the extra research to get the proper advice and answers you need regarding your legal situation. As a notary, our only job is to be a witness to your signature.
Our office is located at 5586 Mission Blvd, Riverside, CA 92509. Most of the time we have 2 notary publics on staff, including myself. We are open Saturday, so you can have your documents notarizedon the weekend as well.
Are you shopping for auto insurance? Many customers are lured in by low prices offered by agents over the phone. Unfortunately, most of those prices are phony. Become a more sophisticated shopper by applying a few tips that I suggest for you:
- Have a "baseline" - a set coverage that you want to be quoted at. You could get a quote with a company that is offering you one level of coverage, while another will give you a quote based on a different level of coverage. Essentially, make sure to compare "apples to apples". You will obviously get a lower price when you get quoted lower coverage.
- Be wary of anyone that offers you a quote and does NOT ask you about your driving record. Your driving record is a major factor in determining the price. Usually agents that don't ask questions about your driving record are only interested in getting you in the office by offering you the lowest quote possible, and use a bait and switch tactic, by not offering you an "honest" quote. Other questions that should be asked is marital status, commute miles, & occupation.
- Although the purpose of shopping around for your auto insurance is to get the most for your money, please always remember that you get what you pay for. There are various companies out there that you have never heard of that offer really low rates, excellent coverage, but extremely bad service, whether it be customer service or service during a claim. There are always exceptions, but "brand" companies tend to work harder to keep their brand's reputation as good and clean as possible.
- When and where possible, give the salesperson your driver's license number, and the VIN (vehicle identification numbers) for your vehicles. This will ensure a more accurate quote, because a VIN will tell the agent exactly what vehicle they are dealing with, and also, your motor vehicle report will ensure that they know what is on your driving record.
Use these tips to narrow down the good brokers/agents from the bad. Also, these tips will give the person on the other side of the phone the impression that you know your stuff, and this will likely lead them to take you more seriously and not use their "tricks". Lastly, it helps you achieve your goal: to get the best rate possible based on the same information you provided. Give us a call, and let ME quote YOU :).
In the city in which our business resides, Riverside, CA, there is a problem with theft of stickers from autos. This problem is not unique to just Riverside, this is a problem you will see everywhere. Thieves use these stickers to illegally place them on other vehicles, this way, they avoid paying registration fees. What can you do to prevent the theft of your registration stickers? Here are a few tips that we suggest:
- After putting your new sticker on your license plate you should take a blade and cut the sticker in several directions. By doing this, you will render the the sticker useless if a thief tries to pull it off, because the sticker will come off in many tiny pieces, as opposed to one whole piece.
- Some thieves are smarter than others. The smarter ones do not waste their time trying to take the sticker itself, instead, they take the entire license plate with them. To help prevent this, you should invest in anti-theft license plate fasteners. Usually these kits come with screws that don't have a standard head (flat or cross) making it more difficult for someone to steal your stickers. Here is an example: anti-theft license plate fasteners.
- Although this suggestion may not be easy to apply all the time, it is probably the most effective: park your car in a way in which it will be very difficult for a thief to take your sticker/plate. When it is difficult for someone to steal something, they will either give up quickly or not try at all.
If you do find yourself the victim of the this crime we can help you. If someone steals your sticker, you can come into our office and we can help you get a replacement sticker. However, if someone steals your license plate, you must file a police report immediately. It is imperative that you file a police report as soon as possible because it protects you against liability and also helps police determine that it was not you who committed crimes.
Have you ever wondered why your auto insurance rates change? There could be various reasons that cause a change in your auto insurance rates: some of them are easier to understand and accept, and some are harder to understand and unacceptable reasons as a consumer. Here are a few of the reasons prices go up, or sometimes, down:
- If you have incurred moving violations and additional points in your record this will cause your rate to go up. Remember, that insurance rates is calculated based on risk, and if you are a higher risk, you will pay a higher rate. The opposite also is true, when you have less points, you will get a lower rate, and in fact, California has a massive discount, the California Good Driver Discount, that drivers with 1 point or less qualify for.
- Some companies offer what is called a "loyalty discount" - not all companies offer this discount, but a handful do. This discount is offered to customers who renew their policies with the same carrier. If you leave the company, you lose the discount, this is why it is sometimes NOT a good idea to be bouncing around from company to company.
- If a company experiences many losses (accidents/claims) it has to adjust its rates to stay profitable, and as a result, many customers see increases in their rates. From an individual customers perspective, this is unfair, because you have not done anything to cause these increases, and it is understandable why many customers do not accept this reason. However, from an insurance company perspective, it is very necessary to adjust rates accordingly to profitability, otherwise, a company will become insolvent. From a consumer point of view, the best way to counter this particular event is to simply shop around and place your insurance with another carrier.
However, despite the aforementioned, most policies keep the same rate as the previos term. Many customers wonder why a company doesn't lower the price & reward customers. The best way I can answer this question is by giving you this example: if you buy a pencil, and you need to buy a new one, the price stays relatively the same. You may or may not see a price different, but generally speaking, it stays the same.
For my first blog on insurance I will write about THE most commonly used and most misleading term used in insurance: "full coverage" auto insurance. I have been wanting to write about this for so long because it is so widely used and misunderstood, it is important for me to educate my clients and whoever cares to learn about this widely used term. What is wrong with the term "full coverage" auto insurance? Why is it important that this term be debunked? Here's a few reasons:
- "Full coverage" does not exist. You will not find "full coverage" listed on your declarations page, application or in any documentation you receive from your insurance carrier. As insurance agents, in our pre-licensing stages, there is no text that defines "full coverage" auto insurance.
- "Full coverage" is a term used by car salesman who do not have a license to sell insurance, or a person selling you an insurance policy who is NOT licensed to sell insurance, or worse, by a person who is licensed but does not advise & educate you on the term. Explaining to a customer that "full coverage" does not exist adds 5 extra minutes to the sales cycle - there are some people who do not want to take that extra step.
- "Full coverage" implies that everything is covered. "Full coverage" - those 2 words are very powerful as far as gaining a customer's trust and confidence, however, no policy in the world, even the most exotic and expensive, will cover everything. Be very wary of anyone that tells you "everything is covered".
- "Full coverage" oversimplifies a not-so-complicated but not-so-simple to understand policy. By you not understanding that this term is in fact not a coverage at all, you put yourself at risk for being underinsured or not being covered at all! Learning that something is not covered when it was what you actually needed makes you feel sick! I can personally attest to this feeling. It is a feeling you want to avoid.
Your auto insurance policy has many options. Every person has different needs, so one policy can look very different than another, not just in terms of price, but in coverage as well. Remember, auto insurance is not a commodity, like a phone that Wal-Mart buys 100,000 units of and sales it to you at a discount, you cannot buy auto insurance in bulk, as many commercials who advertise "$17 a month insurance" would have you think. When shopping for auto insurance, and, when deciding to actually buy, don't skimp on coverage & definitely STAY AWAY FROM anyone that let's you walk away without explaining to you what "full coverage" really is.. or is not.
There are a few things that you should know about transferring a vehicle's title into your name. Some of these things may make you reconsider the purchase of your vehicle, and some of these tips will save you money by avoiding paying unnecessary penalty fees. The following is a short list of basics & tips:
- CA DMV dictates that you transfer a vehicle's ownership within 10 days of the purchase. If you don't do this, you will be penalized. I have seen customers who waited 6 months to transfer the title and the penalties were in the 100s!
- Since we are in CA and there's a sales tax, the purchase of a vehicle is also charged a sales tax. The CA sales tax varies depending on city/county... but it averages to about 8.75%. When you transfer a vehicle's title you will be charged transfer fees, registration fees and most of the time sales tax.
- Vehicles that weigh more pay more. The heavier your vehicle is the more you'll pay. Even an older vehicle who has little to no value can incur high fees due to its weight. This is something to consider when thinking about a vehicle's true cost. If you know your vehicle weighs less than the "unladen weight" listed on the registration, you should have your vehicle weighed and the unladen weight updated so that you pay the appropriate weight fees for your vehicles. Call us @ 951-684-0494 and let us tell you how. Here's the list of weight fees and their corresponding weights.
- Vehicles sold between children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren and siblings, in most cases, qualify for a "family exemption" - taxes are waived & with the exception of the biennial smog, you don't need to get a smog.
This list of tips & basics is short but these are the main things that effect the price when you are transferring a vehicle into your name. Do you want to know how much it will cost to transfer a vehicle into your name? Simply call us or e-mail us and we will let you know how much it will cost.
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