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The European’s day trip to the DMV

After completing our van purchase we were too elated and pleased with ourselves to even begin to think about the practical things associated once buying, essentially what is a huge, stand out vehicle.


Well first things first, we had prior to paying for this dream machine, thought of a suitable place to park it. We needed somewhere safe (remember the double doors were broken and easily opened), we needed somewhere close to a hardware shop, and we also needed a place near by in order to buy food etc now that our hire car was to be returned. At this time, we had found a place called ‘Fremont’. We had stayed near by at yet another kind hearted couch surfer and had stumbled across our new back garden…. Home Depot. This place ticked all the boxes for us. Fremont seemed safe, it had everything near by (including Walmart), we could buy all our resources to begin our conversion here and due to this fact, the manger was more than happy for us to park here over night for the next few weeks.

On our last day of our car hire, we had a lot of important things to complete and it was yet another stressful situation. We had to register and insure this bus BEFORE we gave the rental back. Our other option was to extend the rental car, but obviously this was an expense, that when doing a van conversion, was one we couldn’t really afford! So on to the DMV….



The DMV has always been described to me as a pain to all Americans. Never a brief experience thanks to the long line you have to stand in to speak to the next available employee. Well, actually for us (maybe we were lucky) it was a not so painless 30 minute wait in line followed by a series of check lists we had to meet. Was the van SMOG checked (yes, this was something we checked before purchasing), did we have the title, ID and US address – yes to the above! After a small (not so small in fact as the bus had not been registered for quite some time) registry fee we left the building with our blue sticker. For our European families, this is basically the sticker you place on the registration plates to say it is taxed. The colour changes each year. We were so so happy! Not only did we own our bus, we could now legally drive it!




De excursión/Un día en el Departamento de Vehículos Motorizados


Estábamos tan eufóricos y satisfechos tras la compra de nuestra bus que no podíamos pensar en toda la parte práctica que conlleva tener un vehículo tan grande.


Empecemos por el principio, antes de adquirir la furgo soñada necesitábamos un sitio donde aparcarla. Era imprescindible que fuera seguro (ya que las puertas dobles estaban rotas y eran fáciles de abrir), debía de estar cerca de una ferretería y de algún lugar donde poder comprar comida ya que habíamos devuelto el coche de alquiler. Nos encontrábamos en Fremont, hospedándonos otro amable couch surfer y allí encontramos nuestro jardín trasero, Home Depot. Este sitio cumplía todos los requisitos que buscábamos. Fremont parecía ser seguro, todo estaba cerca, hasta tiene Walmart, podíamos comprar cualquier recurso necesario para empezar con la camperización y debido a esto el manager estuvo encantado de que aparcáramos allí durante un par de semanas.


El ultimo día antes de devolver el coche de alquiler teníamos muchas cosas importantes que hacer, así que se veía venir una jornada estresante. Lo primero era registrar el minibús antes de devolver el coche. Otra de las opciones era extender el alquiler pero mientras estás camperizando un vehículo, ¡no quieres tener más gastos!. Así que en el Departamento de Vehículos Motorizados….


The happiest we have ever been with our blue sticker

Los estadounidenses relacionan el lugar con pasarlo mal. Nunca es una visita corta, ya que las colas para ser atendidas suelen ser eternas. Pero, la verdad es que para nosotros fueron 30 minutos indoloros de espera seguido de una larga lista de comprobaciones requerida. La comprobación de los humos tóxicos (sí, lo comprobamos antes de comprarla), si teníamos el contrato, DNI y una dirección estadounidense, ¡sí a todo!. Tras un registro corto (no tan corto, ya que el vehículo llevaba mucho tiempo sin registrar) y realizar el pago salimos de aquel edificio con la pegatina azul en la mano. Para nuestras familias en Europa: esta es la pegatina que colocas en la matrícula que implica que has pagado los impuestos del vehículo. ¡Estábamos super contentos! Ahora, además de ser dueños del vehículo ¡ya podemos conducirlo legalmente!

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