By Kurtis Ming

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Marcus Williams of Sacramento paid the DMV to renew the registration on his Chevy Cruze. However, the state said he couldn’t get new tags until he fixed an emissions related recall.

“Even though the tags are paid for, there’s no tags coming to me,” said Williams.

He says he’s afraid he’ll get pulled over for expired tags.

“I’ve been constantly looking in my mirrors,” he said.

The DMV says it needs an orange certificate from him that proves the recall was fixed.

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Williams returned to the Chevrolet dealership where he bought the car a year earlier which he says showed him records confirming the emissions repair happened before he bought the car used. But the dealership told him they could not give him the orange certificate the DMV required because he didn’t own the car at the time of the recall repair.

“I thought that sounded very weird, very odd, very strange, very confusing, very frustrating,” said Williams.

The Chevy dealership did print out a repair record for Williams so he could give the DMV proof that all recalls for his car have been fixed, but that wasn’t adequate enough.

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“I take that to the DMV. DMV comes back and tells me we can’t accept this.” He says the DMV wanted the orange certificate.

He says he felt ping-ponged between the dealership and the DMV, all the while driving around with expired tags.

“I got bamboozled,” he said.

So is the DMV really holding up car registrations over unfixed recalls?

Rosemary Shahan with Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety says yes.

“If it’s [an] emissions recall then the law says you have to get that done before you can renew the registration,” she said.

Shahan tells us that the California Low-Emission Vehicle Program is meant to keep the air clean. However the law does not apply to safety recalls.

In Williams’ case, he feels like someone dropped the ball leaving him scrambling to pick up the pieces. We reached out to the DMV on Williams’ behalf. They circled back and told us, “The emissions hold was placed on the vehicle in error.”

A little more than a week later, Williams finally received his registration tags for his car.

“If I didn’t Call Kurtis, this matter would still be going on right now,” he said.

As far as the orange certificate, The California Air Resources Board tells us that the dealer or manufacturer should be able to inspect a car and see if the repaired was completed, and can issue the required paperwork for the DMV.

In the past 3 years, almost 1.5 million California cars were recalled over emission-related issues.


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