- Apr 9, 2017
- La Crescenta, California
Hello @gilmorneauHey @edmond4822 , does California require that imported vehicles have the FMVSS compliance certification plate? That seems kinda silly since any car being imported that was originally built for a different market won't have one. Those plates are only affixed to vehicles built explicitly for the US market--there's no reason for a manufacturer to affix the plate or even conform to US FMVSS for a vehicle not intended for sale in the US.
That's the whole point of the 25-year import rule--it grants an exemption from US FMVSS, and thus an exemption from the requirement to have the certification plate.
I mean, California can make any requirements they want, but that would be a complete "game over" for anyone wanting to import a foreign-market car into California. Looks like @Rawloh44 has come up with a good workaround.
You are correct about the federal safety plate.. All the cars manufactured for the US market have the plate because they passed the safety requirements. All cars not intended for the US market won't have this plate.
Fortunately most states don't require you to show proof of the federal safety label. They even don't have to see the car for inspection as long as you send the title and the picture of the vin number plate. Every state works different but they are all more easier then registering it in California.
The problem with California DMVs and especially in the big cities here is that they require to see the Federal safety label for safety reasons and also we have the problem of the SMOG inspection. California has its own anal rules.. They don't care about the 25 year import rule..
It's a case of luck for the some buyers in California.
You can go to a DMV and they might not check the Federal safety label and not send you to the highway patrol to determine further if this car is a USA spec car. If the Highway patrol determines that the car is a gray market car then the DMV will refuse to issue a title for it..
Another problem with the Cali sellers doing this and getting a Cali title the funny way is that when the time comes and they sell the car to a Cali buyer, and this buyer goes to a DMV or if the DMV asks for an vin inspection and they see that the car does not have the safety plate then this will cause a big problem to them and they will be forced to register the car in another state..
Some folks in California are driving their out of state plates. I see all kinds of cars here with out of state plates. It's nothing new. All high end cars that don't want to pay Cali sales taxes are getting their plates done out of state.
In my case, I don't deal with this mess in California. I register my trucks in Montana and almost most states don't require what California requires.. Its really not worth all this headache..