EXEMPT!!! The Cappuccino Is Registered!

At the testing facility

I’ve just spent the last five hours of my life getting Cap all registered and legal. I had to blog about it immediately. SO EXCITED YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!

Apparently this shouldn’t have been difficult, but, well… lots of things in life shouldn’t happen. I should have been able to just show off my New Mexico title and get a plate for the car. No problems. Right?


I’ll try to sum up.

And let me apologize in advance for the stream-of-consciousness that’s about to hit you. I’m too excited and tired to be very coherent at this point.

The Title.

Getting this done was no problem. Adrian had a Texas title which required all of the work and inspections. I turned that title over to my local DMV and got a New Mexico one with almost no effort. The Cappuccino got a VIN inspection, I paid a few taxes and had a title in my name after just a few minutes.

So easy. Thanks DMV!!

Fast forward about a week. Due to my Black Friday sale I wouldn’t be able to do everything in one day.

The Emissions Inspection.


To get a car registered in Albuquerque, you have to get an emissions inspection and have insurance on the car. With those two documents in hand, you get a plate.

I drove Cap over to my favorite emission station and was immediately turned away. JDM cars don’t have a VIN plate on the dash and that freaked the station out. I was sent to the city ref.

At the city ref, I was again turned away immediately. I didn’t have enough paperwork apparently. And, (again apparently), the TITLE should have been enough. But they wanted federal papers showing the car was imported legally and it was 25 years old.

I reached out to Adrian (my importer and person who sold me the Capp) and he Fedex’d a handful of physical documents over to help out. I had a Homeland Security import document, the original export papers, a receipt from the port of export, and a few others. Armed with these, I went back to the ref station to get the Cappuccino inspected… again.

And again, Adrian has been a huge help. If you are in the market for an imported car, reach out to him. He’s at epedomic1@gmail.com or on facebook. I cannot recommend him enough.

So I got back to the ref station and presented them allllll of these papers. After a few minutes they zeroed in on the HS-7 document and the check mark next to the 25 years+ category and were happy. A short time later, I was driving away with an exemption paper.


And let me tell you how much stress suddenly dripped away. OMG. So much weight off my shoulders.

See, I was pretty worried about how I’d get Cap registered to me. I had a handful of options (registering the car to a friend’s house, registering it out of state, some other hijinks), but I really wanted the most simple of having the car registered to me at my home address.

This paper was the key to that.

The Insurance Office.

Insure me plz?

With the exemption paper and all of my other documents, I hit my insurance agent to see if they could give me a policy on the Cappuccino. I’d previously read that a collector car insurance like Hagerty would be required, but thought I’d give State Farm a go.

And after about a half hour and more inspection of each document I had, they were able to underwrite the car. For the insurance company, the Homeland Security import document was the good one. They needed a scan of it for some reason. Once it was in there, no issues.

$52 a month for full coverage on the Cappuccino by the way. THAT is amazing.

With my inspection exemption and the insurance card, I was finally ready to get a plate for the tiny roadster.

The Plate.

A further 90 minutes was needed at the DMV office… I will spare you the blow by blow. It basically came down to the fact that I live in the only emissions-required county in the state and emissions exemptions are VERY VERY VERY rare. They weren’t sure how to process it, but finally got the computer to spit out the magic ticket after many many phone calls and some rubber chicken waving.

90 minutes.

And I was rewarded with this!

Cap’s plate.

So happy!!!!!!!!! Cap is finally completely mine. I own a Cappuccino. LEGALLY!

Let the games begin.

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  • Evonne says:

    Congrats on the Cappy, Adam! I received the Cappuccino horn button from you yesterday and I love it! I strongly suggest getting a quote from Hagerty. I have a ’91 with full coverage ($50k/$100k) with a guaranteed value of $10k and I pay $270/year.

  • mclatcher says:

    After research a number of of the weblog posts in your web site now, and I truly like your approach of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website listing and will probably be checking back soon. Pls try my site as nicely and let me know what you think.

  • Adrian (The importer) says:

    Hello everyone I am the importer/previous owner of this cappuccino. It honestly could not have gone to a better home. Thank you so much Adam for taking such great care of it. Glad you were able to get everything worked out so smoothly. again as mentioned if anyone is in the market for a reliable unique little import that wont break the bank, you know where to find me! Currently have a small handful of JDM hot hatches available. Anywho reach out to me via email : epedomic1@gmail.com or my facebook (posted on the blog) Thanks again Adam, could not have gone to a better buyer and excited to see what plans the future holds for you and the cap!

  • Cara says:

    I tried to register one cappuccino at the Westside mvd and they told me all cars have a vin on the dash so my car had been altered. I now know there is an mvd where an employee knows to look under the hood

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