California Title and Registration of Diesels

Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
448
Location
Los Angeles
 
They are eligible, but you need to become CARB compliant to register in CA. That will cost you quite a bit of money (i've heard up to $10,000). The facility to do this is in Santa Ana...
I explored the option with my last vehicle. The process is very opaque with a lot of smoke and mirrors. The owner of the company will not even provide you a real quote, he just writes the figure on a piece of paper and hands it to you. I chose to sell the truck and start over.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Orange County
good point
You would have to smog a gas model, and you would have to start with a USA block with a USA VIN attached. It becomes a BAR issue. They don't want to mess with diesels. In order to do this with a gas truck you would have to make it match a USA issued truck of the same year or newer, all the way down to EVAP. Not worth it in my book.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2004
Messages
43
 
 
 
My two pesos worth
Down here in Baja pretty much every American has their vehicles titled and registered in South Dakota. Their fees are a fraction of the cost compared to California and they are some of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet.
There was a rumor that Cal-law-fornia got wind of us criminals down here that we’re circumventing their tax grab so it was rumored that if you got stopped with your South Dakota plates and did not have a South Dakota driver’s license, they could impound your vehicle. As of today I don’t know anyone who’s had this happen to them, it’s the usual “license , registration and insurance”

To make sure that Cal-law-fornia doesn’t have a leg to stand on in regards to plates and where your license is from, many have gone to America’s Mailbox (go online) and secured a South Dakota address and a South Dakota driver’s license. Perfectly legal.
Is there a process? Yes, but for me that doesn’t own any property in Cal-law-fornia why should I pay them a single penny so they can continue to run the once-great state of California into the ground.

Current South Dakota plated vehicles
2008 Lexus GX470
2017 Chevy Colorado
2017 Polaris General UTV

All titled and licensed in Clay County South Dakota with Mary (go online and type in Clay County South Dakota Treasurer) Yes, real people answer the phone, not some “press one” BS

Well I hope this might help someone and besides two pesos is like 8 cents

Cheers Baja Charlie
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Messages
5,216
Location
Traffic Land
 
Yes, it is far safer to have your title, license and insurance all with match address.
At that point you simply visiting family in CA.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Rescue, CA
I'm in California. What are peoples recent experiences with title and registration of an HJ61? Any vehicle I'd be buying would come with out of state registration (and then I'd register it in CA) or some companies even can get a CA title and registration. If one does the import yourself, its easiest to get a vehicle registered in CA if it comes with out of state registration.

Here's the crux though. I spoke with a local JDM importer who is a registered dealer with the state and he doesn't do CA sales of diesels. He told me the DMV can and does give title and registration to an HJ61 using the 30 year rule but this is mostly due to laxness or ignorance of the DMV employees. He, as a registered dealer, wont try to get CA title and registration because its not legal for him. He does get other states registration however. He claims that technically, no non-US imported diesels are legal under any circumstances in this state unless they are 1978 (or 1979?) or older. They are only legal if they go through the retrofit process (~$12k). The owner of a CA title and registered vehicle can still have it seized an any given moment during a traffic stop for example or as part of an organized criminal investigation. WTF? How can a vehicle if CA gave title and registration to a vehicle seize it later if its not legal?
Christ, I think I need to speak to a lawyer (my least favorite pastime)..... :bang::worms::censor:
I've been trying for a year to register my JDM HZJ77 in CA with no luck. I bought it from a resident who had it registered in NV already. CA DMV told me they still needed to treat it like a foreign import. I thought if it was already registered in another state it would be pretty straightforward? Does anyone have any DMV directives? Thanks.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Orange County
I've been trying for a year to register my JDM HZJ77 in CA with no luck. I bought it from a resident who had it registered in NV already. CA DMV told me they still needed to treat it like a foreign import. I thought if it was already registered in another state it would be pretty straightforward? Does anyone have any DMV directives? Thanks.
From what this thread has gathered, that's the brick wall you're going to hit. If you can't "sneak" it past the suits in Sacramento you're pretty much screwed
 
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
448
Location
Los Angeles
 
It is still possible to get California plates. After 5 stressful months of research, planning, relationship building and trail and error I walked out of the DMV last week with plates. I didn’t even have to get all crazy. It’s all about having a VIN verifier on your side and getting your paperwork work straight.
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saltycoconuts

Currently accepting donations
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
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872
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San Diego
It is still possible to get California plates. After 5 stressful months of research, planning, relationship building and trail and error I walked out of the DMV last week with plates. I didn’t even have to get all crazy. It’s all about having a VIN verifier on your side and getting your paperwork work straight.
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Hmmm... maybe I should roll the dice again.

Please update in a few months. Let us know if Sacramento sends any letters revoking registration.
 
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
448
Location
Los Angeles
 
Hmmm... maybe I should roll the dice again.

Please update in a few months. Let us know if Sacramento sends any letters revoking registration.
I will definitely keep everyone posted. I have doubt that there will be any issues, minus the short VIN my paperwork looked like any other out of state diesel. I did A LOT of footwork to get here.
 
Joined
May 22, 2014
Messages
448
Location
Los Angeles
 
Update for everyone: Title came in the mail today just like any other vehicle. It's a done deal now. Registered as a diesel, registration is in the glovebox, good to go. On paper it's just another old diesel, nothing special.

Not saying there's not a little luck involved, but I do think if you have patience and play it right you will get your registration. On my HZJ73 attempt I blew it by not being cautious, and I came into this one with a lot more knowledge and patience.

If you're determined to get CA plates you can do it. Know the laws, be your own advocate, know what the DMV wants to see on that paperwork, and what they would see on that paperwork if it was any old out of state diesel. Work with a VIN verifier, don't let DMV or CHP inspect the vehicle because they get tripped up on the WRONG things and will get you bogged down in their anxiety over the fact that it's not a Camry. Most importantly do not give the DMV any money until they're giving you plates on the spot. If they hassle you, take notes on what they're hassling you about, say "thank you very much, but I'm going to look into this a little more" and walk away to try again at another DMV, hopefully with updated paperwork. You are going to be sailing in some grey waters and you need to be comfortable with that.

I'll get a little soap boxy here: I am exhausted and the BS and conflicting laws and statements that punish collectors and enthusiasts while letting big industry off the hook for doing the actual damage but I do believe in the concept of emissions testing and vehicle safety. I have a diesel so that I get acceptable fuel economy to daily drive, I run B99, small percentages of WVO and propel biodiesel to practice what I preach. I hope some of you CA residents do the same.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Los Angeles
Update for everyone: Title came in the mail today just like any other vehicle. It's a done deal now. Registered as a diesel, registration is in the glovebox, good to go. On paper it's just another old diesel, nothing special.

Not saying there's not a little luck involved, but I do think if you have patience and play it right you will get your registration. On my HZJ73 attempt I blew it by not being cautious, and I came into this one with a lot more knowledge and patience.

If you're determined to get CA plates you can do it. Know the laws, be your own advocate, know what the DMV wants to see on that paperwork, and what they would see on that paperwork if it was any old out of state diesel. Work with a VIN verifier, don't let DMV or CHP inspect the vehicle because they get tripped up on the WRONG things and will get you bogged down in their anxiety over the fact that it's not a Camry. Most importantly do not give the DMV any money until they're giving you plates on the spot. If they hassle you, take notes on what they're hassling you about, say "thank you very much, but I'm going to look into this a little more" and walk away to try again at another DMV, hopefully with updated paperwork. You are going to be sailing in some grey waters and you need to be comfortable with that.

I'll get a little soap boxy here: I am exhausted and the BS and conflicting laws and statements that punish collectors and enthusiasts while letting big industry off the hook for doing the actual damage but I do believe in the concept of emissions testing and vehicle safety. I have a diesel so that I get acceptable fuel economy to daily drive, I run B99, small percentages of WVO and propel biodiesel to practice what I preach. I hope some of you CA residents do the same.

Hell yea, congrats man!
 
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