[ba] bringing a car into CA

urq urq at pacbell.net
Sun Dec 30 02:54:02 EST 2001

... let me add my voice of support behind the "no worries" comments ...
given that the car is not a new car.  The only one of my cars that was
originally sold to CA emissions requirements is the 1978 Fox ... the urq,
Avant and V8 all read "Meets US Emissions Requirements" ... and I've never
had a problem registering them or getting them smogged.  If you are talking
about a new car then you do have to be careful, but I would not be surprised
to hear that it was possible for someone who was moving to California with a
brand new car to import it even if it did not have the "meets CA emissions"
sticker and the mileage was too low.  Matt was wise to make sure that a car
he imported as a resident had the sticker ...

... I don't know why you feel the DMV site was not helpful ... I find I
refer to it often for reference.  If your sister were to be contemplating
driving to CA in a *brand* new car, I would heartily recommend that you
contact the CA DMV directly and get their response in writing.  My brother
had a real hassle with a new car he tried to import into CA ... after
someone at the DMV told him it was OK over the phone.  I just did a bit of
checking myself, and it appears that even a new car is OK when brought into
the state by someone moving to California ...


"  (c) This chapter shall not apply to any motor vehicle having a
certificate of conformity issued pursuant to the Clean Air Act (42
U.S.C. Sec.  7401 et seq.) and originally registered in another state
by a resident of that state who subsequently establishes residence
in this state and who, upon registration of the vehicle in this
state, provides satisfactory evidence to the Department of Motor
Vehicles of the previous residence and registration.  This
subdivision shall become operative 180 calendar days after the state
board adopts regulations for the certification of new direct import
vehicles pursuant to Section 43203.5."

BTW ... there was an interesting paragraph above the one quoted which stated
that if you purchased a car out of state that was used to replace a car that
was stolen or irreparably damaged while traveling out of state then it was
OK if the replacement car did not have the "Meets CA Emissions" sticker ...

... while I'm putting out this note I thought it would be appropriate to
wish all of you a Happy New Year (sorry I missed Christmas, but we had the
family over for Christmas and the audifans fell below the cut line ... :).
Thanks to all of you for the help and cameraderie ... and thanks to you
especially Dan for making this and all the audifans lists possible!  Best of
luck with the recent addition and all the family!

Steve Buchholz
San Jose, CA (USA)

> 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.

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