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California Vehicle Registration Questions & Answers - Page 2

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Question: Don’t we have a website for reporting smoking vehicles in California? Do you happen to have any idea what that might be?

Answer: Help Fight Smog! Use these telephone numbers to report smog-belching vehicles in your area.

Los Angeles/Orange counties: (800) CUT SMOG (288-7664)

San Diego: (800) 28-SMOKE (287-6653)

San Francisco Bay Area: (800) EXHAUST (394-2878)

San Joaquin Valley (Bakersfield to Stockton): (800) 559-9247

Ventura County: (800) 559-SMOG (7664)

Areas not listed: (800) 952-5588 (State Air Resources Board (ARB) hotline.)

800 numbers to report polluters are not controlled by BAR or Smog Check; they are run by the individual air pollution control districts in their respective areas. Please do not call the State ARB number if you live in an area where there is a locally run hot-line.


Question (a): I have a 2005 Saturn Ion which I leased last year in New Jersey. I am planning on living in CA and wonder if the 2005 Saturn Ion would pass the stricter emissions tests in CA. Also, as it is a leased car, and requires additional work in order to pass the tests, would the leasing company pay for this?

Question (b): I have a deposit down on a CT vehicle, it is a 2000 BMW M5. Is CT, in that year, just as strict as CA. Will I likely pass? Help!

Question (c): I am buying a car out of Oregon and I am wondering if there is going to be any problem with registering it in California as far as smog goes. The vehicle is a 1997 Toyota 4runner with 122,000 miles, I am unsure if it is a cal or federal smog.

Question (d): My wife is relocating to southern California for some schooling. I have heard that her 2003 Volkswagon Jetta will have to be put to California Smog regulations or pay a $600.00 fine. The car has not been altered and always has passed Utah’s smog tests. We are planning on a quick trip to get the smog test and inspection done this Saturday and register her car on Monday. We have an appointment with the DMV since she needs a California drivers license as well. Is this a reasonable expectation to get all of this done over the weekend?

Question (e): I will be moving to California within the next 6 - 18 months. I currently own a 2003 Chevrolet that I purchased outside of California. It is my understanding that the car will not likely meet California emissions requirements. Can you point me to a resource that will help me determine what I will need to do to the car to bring it up to code? I need to determine whehter to sell it and simply purchase a new vehicle when I arrive.

Question (f): I am considering the purchase of a 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Turbo 4 cyl. 2.4, it is currently registered in Florida. It used to be a problem to bring a car in from out of state. But I thought that the manufacturers have all set the emmisions standards to meet California requirements. Is this the case? Would there be a problem?

Answer: It's true, there is a difference with California legal and Federal legal emission requirements. And, for the most part California is stricter. However, a USED vehicle which has all the Federal required emission components, can pass the California smog inspection process and be legally registered in this state. It is true that California cars have different, and in some cases more, emission components then Federal cars, but this does not mean that these cars can't be registered in California. A vehicle which is equipped with the necessary Federal Emission Components is eligible for California registration as long as the vehicle's exhaust emissions fall within California's limits.Registration can not be completed with out a smog certificate and up to one month's time can be given for completion after you move to the state. You're first step should be to take the vehicle to a reputable smog station and obtain a California Smog Inspection. Your vehicle should only require a regular smog check, which may be obtained at either a Test Only smog station or Test & Repair. Next you will need to visit the DMV and present the vehicle title and smog certificate to the DMV agent. They will then register the car. You will also have to show proof of liability insurance.


Question: I will be purchasing a car from California and will be exporting it to Canada. The current owner has not been driving the car and the registration has expired on June the 8th. Do I need to register and have the car go through a smog check for me to export it? I will be driving the car back to Canada.

Answer: I'd recommend checking with Canadian government for importing requirements. You'll need to pass the California smog check only if you plan on registering the vehicle in California. This rule applies if your sending the vehicle out-of-state also, so I think it would be the same for out-of-the-country also.


Question: I have gotten my car smogged already but have not paid my registration due to lack of funds, I got my smog last month, is it still valid or do I have to re-smog?

Answer: A California smog certificate is valid for ONLY 90 days when used for registration renewal purposes and 60 days for the use of sale. At this point I believe you'll need to obtain a new smog check if you intend on selling this vehicle.


Question: I'm going to purchase a 2002 Toyota Prius from a private party. A few days ago, the seller said the car needs a smog check, but yesterday said that no check is required. Which is it...smog check or no smog check? Also, my husband drives a 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid. What types of checks will be needed when it comes time to renew the registration?

Answer: Hybrid vehicles are required to have a smog check administered. To get this information for your particular vehicle contact the DMV at (800) 777-0133.


Question: Hello, we're trying to find out what we have to do about getting our motorhome smogged. We just bought it from someone in Wisconsin and didn't realize until after we bought it that they had taken all of the Calif. smog parts off of it (it used to be registered in Ca.). What do we have to do to it? It's a 454 Chevy engine in a 1985 motorhome.

Answer: You'll need to have this vehicle inspect by a smog station familiar with motor homes equipped with Chevy engine's. Do to the many classification of this vehicle, it is important determine the exact components this vehicle was shipped with. A smog check repair station will be able to advise you.

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