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      06-20-2011, 11:54 PM   #152
Lieutenant Colonel

Drives: 2008 BMW 335i sedan
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Francisco

iTrader: (0)

Originally Posted by chucktang View Post
well let me know when you sign the papers because I was ready to buy and neither guys were willing to sell. I gave them my information, they gave me a quote, I said ok I'm ready to buy, they asked where my vehicle is registered, and then that was the end of it. No passing GO for me. Asked both of them why the transaction couldn't be completed and they said california regulations.

Post back when you actually sign the papers. I'd love to know of a loophole.
If you go to the California Insurance Commission website, and read their article on extended warranties, it is not so clear. First there are two types -- VSCP (vehicle service contract provider) and MBI (mechanical breakdown insurance). Any licensed insurance company, broker, or dealer with an arrangement with one of the above can sell you MBI, and they don't have to be in California. For VSCP, there are two requirements -- first, only "dealers" can sell it (they mean car dealers) and two, the actual provider or guarantor has to be "licensed to sell VSCP contracts in California". Note, it does NOT say that only "CALIFORNIA DEALERS" can sell VSCP. It does say that internet sales by parties other than dealers are illegal (for the seller) under CA law.

I am going to take a WAG here and say that because the BMW extended protection plans are contracts with BMW NA and/or their guarantors, it is in fact legal for out-of-state BMW dealers to sell you one. Certainly BMW NA is selling VSCP through their CA dealers, so they presumably are licensed to do so with the Insurance Commission.

Or, perhaps, the BMW Extended protection plans might be MBI?

Probably a call to the insurance commission could clear up the uncertainty. I repeat, the two out-of-state dealers who offered me contracts were well aware that my car is registered here.

What might be going on is something akin to firearms sales to CA residents from out-of-state dealers. While perfectly legal as long as the transaction goes through a CA FFL, and the gun in question is legal in CA, many out-of-state dealers refuse ALL CA sales, either because they don't want to take the trouble to understand the law (which might be the case with some out-of-state BMW dealers re warranties), or because they are protesting CA gun laws in principle.