If you are in California and you want a legal to drive, over 25 year old vehicle, you know its not as simple as the rest of the country. We have navigated this obstacle , and can offer cars, fully legal for California.
Prices for California modification and testing range from $5000 - $10000 depending on vehicle up to 1995. 1996 and up require OBD II, which adds significantly to the cost and complexity.
Any vehicle 1968 or newer needs to meet certain standards otherwise it is not legal to register it in California. A vehicle model year 1975 or older doesn't need a smog(in use test) in California. So there is actually a 1 year gap between the two rules. 1968 to 1974 needs to meet USEPA requirements in effect on the specific date of 11/15/1972 .1967 and older no smog and no modifications or testing are required to register the vehicle in California. 1975 would need to meet direct import requirements(FTP testing), but then would not need to be smogged after the initial direct import requirements are met.
1976 or newer - needs to be smogged in California every 2 years
1975 or newer - must meet Direct Import requirements(FTP testing)
1968 to 1974 - exempt from smog but still needs to meet USEPA requirements in effect on the specific date of 11/15/1972
1967 and older - no smog and no modifications or testing are required to register the vehicle in California
1967 model year vehicles and older - no modifications and testing are required to register the vehicle in California.
1968 model year to 1974 model year vehicles - California does not recommend the purchase or importation of these years of NON-USA vehicles, even if currently registered in another state. These vehicles require compliance with USEPA requirements in effect on the specific date of 11/15/1972. This provision when written, was considered by the California legislature as a gradual phase-out of very dirty "non-collectable" types of imports, as this specific requirement was understood to become increasingly difficult to meet. Today, this requirement, while not impossible to meet, would require testing expenses and modifications that far exceed most vehicles value and would make little sense from a collectors standpoint to attempt. Some limited exemptions apply to individuals moving to California with vehicles of these years registered in their home state for at least a year before moving to California. Contact us for more information.
1975 model year vehicles to the present - (EXCLUDING any vehicle obtained by a California resident within two yearsof its date of production) require a "Certificate of Conformance" issued by the ARB after a successful laboratory test. This test is administered to the same standards required of new vehicle manufacturers, and for the model year of the vehicle . However, unlike new vehicle manufacturers, as an individual you are not required to meet the full range of additional testing and equipment standards such as On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) requirements, durability testing, low emission fleet averaging, or Zero Emissions Vehicle testing (LEV and ZEV requirements). So while these standards reference what a manufacturer must do, when required by the Direct Import requirements they apply to individuals importing a used motor vehicle. Some limited exemptions apply to individuals moving to California with vehicles of these years registered in their home state for at least a year before moving to California. Contact us for more information.
Motorcycles and heavy-duty engines - (used in trucks and buses) are required to comply with CA or USEPA from the date of manufacturer, no after-the-fact modification is permitted for products first sold outside the US market.
Diesel vehicles - 1979 model year and older vehicles with original-equipment diesel engines are exempt from Direct Import lab testing requirements. Please note that any vehicle converted to operate on diesel fuel is subject to lab testing requirements if it is a 1968 model year vehicle or newer.