My brother moved to California three years ago with his wife who is active duty military. She is a Texas resident and their vehicle has always been registered in her name as a Texas vehicle but both of their names are on the title. She got a new permanent duty change to overseas earlier this year and recently she has asked my brother for a divorce. When she got her new duty station he stayed in California but never changed his residency to California.
Now that they are getting separated, he will become a civilian and will be changing his residence officially to a California resident. He called the DMV to figure out what he needed to do to get the vehicle registered in California. He spoke to the DMV and they told him that since he had lived there for three years he would owe them fees of approximately $1,200 but they would waive the taxes for him.
From the little research we've done it seems there was a form that needed to be filled out when she was stationed in California but now that she is stationed overseas that can't be retroactively done. There must be protections from these past fees since she was active duty and neither of them were California residents.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!