[ba] bringing a car into CA

Matt twentyV matt_20v at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 28 12:48:07 EST 2001

I bought and imported a new S4 from VA to CA last
year.  Here are the steps:
- a new car MUST meet CA smog standards.  This will
be stated on the smog sticker under the hood.  It
should state all 50 states INCLUDING CA or something
to that effect.  It must specifically mention CA.
- take it to a smog inspection here in CA.  If new,
it should pass no problem.  My S4 blew all zeros.
- there is a form on the DMV web page that should be
downloaded and filled out for importing a car.
- take the smog certificate, the original registration
and plates, and your checkbook to the DMV (make an
appointment). The car will be physically inspected
(the under-hood smog sticker) and you will write a
check for the new registration.  There is an annoyance
fee of a couple hundred bucks as well as the annual
registration (which is substantial).
- show proof that you paid sales tax in the state the
car was purchased, or CA will collect this from you.
CA is I think 8% and going up on Jan 1.
- collect your new plates and your now empty checkbook
and enjoy the potholes and roadside trash of beautiful
Used car procedure is similar but I haven't done this
personally.  Again, the smog test is mandatory.  The
standards vary by year of the car, and if it hasn't
been tampered with and is in good condition, it should
pass (always a tune-up before hand is a good idea).

Good Luck!
Matt Rooke

--- Dan Simoes <dans at audifans.com> wrote:
> My sister may be trying to enroll in vet school in
> CA when she returns
> from her assignment in the Peace Corps.  I'm not
> sure if it makes sense
> to get her a car here in NY and have her drive
> across the country, or
> just get the car out there.
> I know the cars have to be CA approved as far as
> emissions, but what
> about smog testing, etc?  I seem to recall a few
> listers telling me it
> was very difficult to bring in a new out-of-state
> car, at least a few
> years ago.
> Can someone enlighten me?  The CA DMV web pages were
> not terribly
> helpful.
> Thanks.
> | Dan |
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