California Title and Registration of Diesels

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Hmm, so I could borrow my dad's car from out of state. He is a stand up guy and always willing to help me when the need arises.
 
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Hmm, so I could borrow my dad's car from out of state. He is a stand up guy and always willing to help me when the need arises.
Yes, that would be a good choice. Things to consider are does your dads address exist in a district where smog/inspections would apply to your vehicle i.e. would you pass and would the vehicle need to be present, the registered owner will be responsible for reg renewal, insurance payments so would they pay and you pay them back? They could also report the vehicle as stolen hence the trust issue. This scenario is not 100% effort free on the part of the one doing you the favor.
 
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Another thing you should do if you're going to have your vehicle titled and registered to someone else - have them sign the title without a date to release interest and give it to you. Then if for any reason you need to re-claim it or sell it you won't need their co-operation. This will really come in handy if they die or you have a falling out.
 
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@calux what's the latest on your situation? I'm here in SF in damn near the exact same scenario. Have a 1991 LJ71 (diesel) originally imported from Japan to NC then driven around NC for a year. Bought it over thanksgiving and had it shipped here. Like you I tried AAA at first but had the exact same experience. Since then I've been to the DMV 3 times, they eventually referred me to CHP to get the VIN verified. Waiting for that appointment to happen but noticed I appear to be missing the US Federal Certification Label / have no EPA sticker and have officially started panicking.
 
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Had any experience with the limited exceptions for new residents?
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.
And ... the nuclear option. How far would one have to go to create a Specially Constructed Vehicle? SB100 allows for 500 vehicles a year to be registered, smog exempt, after a lengthy bureaucratic process. I'm not sure how far one would have to go to create a sufficiantly special vehicle. Like say a 1990 Troopy body on an 80 series frame with a 1hz diesel.

There doesn't appear to be a requirement for an EPA label for a specially constructed vehicle. I assume that as long as it was titled as a pre-1997 diesel it would be smog exempt and ready to roll. That's a pretty crazy to consider going to this length though.
 
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SteveJackson

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Not sure how far you’d get with the special construction exemption but the new residents exemption still requires an epa label.
 
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@calux what's the latest on your situation? I'm here in SF in damn near the exact same scenario. Have a 1991 LJ71 (diesel) originally imported from Japan to NC then driven around NC for a year. Bought it over thanksgiving and had it shipped here. Like you I tried AAA at first but had the exact same experience. Since then I've been to the DMV 3 times, they eventually referred me to CHP to get the VIN verified. Waiting for that appointment to happen but noticed I appear to be missing the US Federal Certification Label / have no EPA sticker and have officially started panicking.
It took me 18 months but i was able to successfully register and title my ‘85 surf. That being said, my situation was somewhat unique and not necessarily applicable to others who are trying to bring anything non-US market into CA.
 
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What was your situation?
I moved to California from NC in 2017. Before moving I checked the DMVs direct imports page for guidance on registering and titling my truck, and it said if I had it registered and titled in my home state for at least year prior to moving I could reg it in CA without issue.

After moving here I went to register it (followed everyone’s advice: 3rd party VIN verifier, avoided big-city DMV office, etc.) and received a rejection letter a few weeks later stating that I’d need a Toyota Letter or a letter from the EPA. I called DMV Technical Compliance and explained that a) I acted in good faith on the information they posted on their website, and b) neither the EPA nor Toyota’s legal dept would ever issue the letters they’re looking for (I called the EPA and Toyota of America in Plano, TX to confirm this). The DMV essentially told me to fk off. I took a screenshot of the DMV’s webpage a day before they removed the language referencing the 1-year home-state registration exemption and mailed it to them, and explained that I had just moved across the country at great expense based on the misleading info they published; they still didn’t give a st and once again told me, in so many words, to f**k off.

So I bought another car so I could drive to work while figuring out what to do. Then the Tubbs fire came through and destroyed the car I had just purchased (I got away in the truck). At that point I contacted DMV Technical Compliance again and resent them the screenshot of the language on their website, along with a letter asking them very politely to stop being assholes given what had just happened. That, combined with a lot of assistance from CARB (I also wrote them a letter) made it happen, after a lot of emailing, calling, and waiting. Again, the whole thing took 18 months.

I will say that the folks I spoke with at CARB made it crystal clear that my situation was extremely atypical and that they are cracking down heavily on direct-import vehicle registrations in CA. My understanding is that, without getting tests and modifications done at California Environmental Engineering in Santa Ana (apparently the only lab in CA that does the necessary testing and mods), you can’t legally register and title JDM or EDM trucks in CA anymore. I also got the impression that going with an established outfit that has connections and really has the process down cold makes a huge difference in CA (not sure about other states).
 
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I have yet to find an established outfit that can make this work in CA. I'm hearing bad things about the Santa Ana lab (including some search results that seemed to tie them to scammy mileage-increasing bolt-ons).

Did the ARB letter contain a certificate of conformance from ARB?

Does anyone know if any 25+ year-old Canadian market diesel land cruisers have an EPA label on them?
 
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And I'll add another question ...

Does anybody know what the DMV vehicle code or the ARB health & safety code says to back up this statement?

No motorcycle or diesel-powered vehicle can be converted to California emission standards. For details, contact the California Air Resources Board (ARB).

This seems to contradict some of the earlier posts (@ChapterX ?) about having success getting diesel landcruisers through the process. I wonder if something's changed (again) or there is some nuance I don't understand.
 
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hoser

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Does anyone know if any 25+ year-old Canadian market diesel land cruisers have an EPA label on them?
My CDN BJ70 did not have the EPA sticker. But it did have the FMVSS plate on the drivers side and at the time I registered it (many years ago), that was enough for CA DMV.
 
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And I'll add another question ...

Does anybody know what the DMV vehicle code or the ARB health & safety code says to back up this statement?




This seems to contradict some of the earlier posts (@ChapterX ?) about having success getting diesel landcruisers through the process. I wonder if something's changed (again) or there is some nuance I don't understand.
I recall that clause being up there for a long time. There's no reason not to call ARB and ask any questions you have. I have bombarded them with calls in the past and they have always been forthcoming and are generally nice people.
 
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I recall that clause being up there for a long time. There's no reason not to call ARB and ask any questions you have. I have bombarded them with calls in the past and they have always been forthcoming and are generally nice people.
This is good advice. The people at CARB, at least the ones I spoke with, are way more knowledgeable and willing to discuss the ins and outs of their regs than the people at the DMV. I would absolutely call CARB and ask politely what the deal is. If you can, get them to email you whatever they tell you over the phone.
 
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I have yet to find an established outfit that can make this work in CA. I'm hearing bad things about the Santa Ana lab (including some search results that seemed to tie them to scammy mileage-increasing bolt-ons).

Did the ARB letter contain a certificate of conformance from ARB?

Does anyone know if any 25+ year-old Canadian market diesel land cruisers have an EPA label on them?
If they weren’t originally sold in the US, or intended for sale in the US, I wouldn’t count on them having an EPA label. I don’t know how imports from Canada work, since they’re in North America and there might be some reciprocity between our federal laws and theirs, but again I wouldn’t count on it.
 
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