Ivi logo mobile

California EO testing at SEMA Garage

Sean Morris Posted on April 5, 2021

SEMA Garage Emissions Lab

SEMA  Garage has their own in house emissions testing lab.  This video shows some of their capability. Although their lab is certified to do California testing, they are not a Direct Import vehicle certified lab. 

What is a used direct import vehicle?

A - 44200. Used direct import vehicle

For purposes of this chapter, used direct import vehicle means any 1975 or later model-year direct import vehicle not required to be certified as a new direct import vehicle pursuant to this part.

For purposes of this section, the age of a motor vehicle shall be determined by the following, in descending order of preference: (a) From the first calendar day of the model year as indicated in the vehicle identification number.

(b) From the last calendar day of the month the vehicle was delivered by the manufacturer as shown on the foreign title document.

(c) From January 1 of the same calendar year as the model year shown on the foreign title document.

(d) From the last calendar day of the month the foreign title document was issued.

Added Stats 1985 ch 1138 § 2. Amended Stats 1986 ch 248 § 154; Stats 1989 ch 859 § 6


However there are some things that are the same as what we have to do, to bring a car into California compliance. 

Everything that comes out of the tailpipe is analyzed


This is called a trace. The green cross is the speed that you need to maintain the car. The gear is called out. 



Car is being driven on the dyno, driver is following the trace. 


































Here are some basics about emissions compliance:

  • Emissions compliance is a legal requirement. Both the state of California and the federal government have laws making it illegal for a company to sell performance products for street vehicles that could impact emissions. But products can comply with these laws by demonstrating that the product meets emissions compliance criteria. A product that has gone through the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Order (EO) process has met the CARB criteria and is considered legal in all 50 states.
  • Emissions compliance applies to almost all performance and engine products. Generally, any product that affects airflow into or out of the engine, impacts the containment or delivery of fuel or affects the functionality of an emissions control system or device must demonstrate emissions compliance to be considered legal for street use. This includes, but is not limited to, intake systems, exhaust components, tuning products, intercoolers, turbos and superchargers.
  • A common misconception is that as long as you don’t sell your product in California, it is 49-state legal. This is not the case. The Federal Clean Air Act prevents the modification of vehicles with products that impact emissions unless the product has demonstrated compliance, just like California. For an engine-related product to be legal anywhere in the U.S., there must be a reasonable basis for representing that a product is compliant.
  • Currently, the only certification process is the EO program administered by CARB. CARB will issue an EO to products that have gone through an application and testing process. The CARB EO is recognized by the Federal EPA as demonstrating emissions compliance and provides coverage for all 50 states. (Note: There may be some isolated cases in which a reasonable basis demonstration without a CARB EO is recommended, making a product legal in 49-states, but not in California.)
  • Both CARB and EPA oversee air quality and are authorized to administer fines against manufacturers, sellers, installers and users of products that do not comply with the clean air laws.
  • Emissions compliance should be considered a priority for manufacturers that make engine-related products that are intended for street use. SEMA is here to help. Our Compliance Center includes experts and resources available to help members navigate the process, including:
    • Evaluation of your product and recommendations for compliance procedures
    • Assistance with the CARB EO process
    • Interaction with CARB staff on your behalf
    • Review and evaluation of test data
  • The SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, CA, includes an automotive emissions laboratory where SEMA manufacturer members are able to test their products at an affordable cost. Our testing capabilities include all tests* required by CARB for the purposes of obtaining an EO for both gasoline and diesel vehicles.



Toprank International Vehicle Importers specializes in importing and selling JDM (Japanese domestic market) cars. From Nissan Skylines to Toyota Chasers, vehicles over 25 years old are legal to import. In addition to JDM cars, we can also import cars from other countries, Show or Display vehicles, and race cars. Financing Available. Nationwide Shipping Available Please contact us for details. 844-523-2233 or sales@importavehicle.com All vehicles are As/Is No warranty. Imported vehicles can not be registered in California (http://toprankjdm.com/California) until brought into California compliance. Please check all local state laws for information on title and registration. 25 year old vehicles are exempt from FMVSS requirements. Vehicles over 21 years old are exempt from EPA compliance requirements for importation.

FAQ (http://toprankjdm.com/FAQ)

Insurance for JDM/Imported Vehicles (http://toprankjdm.com/Insurance)

Right Hand Drive (RHD) http://toprankjdm.com/RHD

California legalization of imported vehicles (http://toprankjdm.com/California)

Inventory List (http://toprankjdm.com/cars)

Parts and Maintenance for Nissan Skyline (http://toprankjdm.com/Parts)

Find Your Car - Looking for a car we don’t have in stock? Looking at a car that will be legal in the future? We can help you find, buy, and legally import a vehicle to the USA. From Japan, to Australia, New Zealand, Europe, or anywhere else in the world. Learn more http://toprankjdm.com/Find

When do these JDM vehicles start to turn 25 years old?

Japanese (JDM) cars turning 25 years old in 2021 and beyond (http://toprankjdm.com/2021) Honda Integra Type R DC2 Oct 1995 = Oct 2020 Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 LM Version May 1996 = May 2021 Mitsubishi Evolution IV Aug 1996 = Aug 2021 Toyota Chaser JZX100 Sep 1996 = Sep 2021 Mitsubishi Evolution V Jan 1998 = Jan 2023 Nissan Silvia S15 Jan 1999 = Jan 2024 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 - Jan 1999 = Jan 2024 How to Buy and Store an R34 GT-R in Japan until 2024 (http://toprankjdm.com/BuyR34)

Back to Blog