I'm planning on picking up my BMW in mid-October. I live in Maryland now and will be registering the car here when it arrives. However, next year I plan to move to California, which imposes an 8% sales tax unless you own the car for 365 days before moving it to California. They give you credit for sales tax paid to other states, which is 6% in Maryland. I want to avoid paying the additional 2% to California (about $1000). The California DMV on-line tax calculator asks for the "Purchase Date" and the "Date the vehicle entered California," then calculates the number of days that elapsed. Does anyone know exactly when the clock starts ticking, i.e., what is the purchase date of the car? The date I sign the contract and pay the dealer in full? The date I physically take possession in Munich? The date I register the car for the first time (in Maryland)? Also, how do the check on the date I claim I brought the car into the state? Do they use my rental lease date? Seems to me these dates can be manipulated by a month or two by planning ahead. Any ideas?