If you want to import a vehicle, legally, contact: ImportAVehicle.com

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

California Certification Procedures For Used Modifier Certified Motor Vehicles

The title to this document from the California Air Resources Board is a bit misleading. At least when I first saw it, I said "whats that got to do with vehicles older than 1975?"

In part I, Applicability, it mentions that this part does not apply to 1974 or older light duty motor vehicles.  Here is what it does say applies to 1974 or older vehicles for California import.

So older than 1974, needs to meet EPA requirements as they existed November 15th, 1972.

Table 1 to §85.1515—Emission Standards Applicable to Imported Light-Duty Motor Vehicles123
OP Year
Oxides of
Useful life
1.5 gpm
15 gpm
3.1 gpm
6.0 g/test
1.5 gpm
15 gpm
2.0 gpm
6.0 g/test
0.41 gpm
7.0 gpm
2.0 gpm
6.0 g/test
0.41 gpm
3.4 gpm
1.0 gpm
2.0 g/test
0.41 gpm
3.4 gpm
1.0 gpm
0.60 gpm
2.0 g/test
0.41 gpm
3.4 gpm
1.0 gpm
0.20 gpm
2.0 g/test
1994 and later
1Diesel particulate standards apply only to diesel fueled light-duty vehicles. Evaporative hydrocarbon standards apply only to non-diesel fueled light-duty vehicles. For alternative fueled light-duty vehicles, the evaporative hydrocarbon standard is interpreted as organic material hydrocarbon equivalent grams carbon per test, as applicable.
2No crankcase emissions shall be discharged into the ambient atmosphere from any non-diesel fueled light-duty vehicle.
3All light-duty vehicles shall meet the applicable emission standards at both low and high-altitudes according to the procedures specified in 40 CFR part 86 for current model year motor vehicles at the time of testing.
4Specified in 40 CFR part 86 for the OP year of the vehicle, as described in paragraph (c) of this section.

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 years of 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.
From the ARB site

The title actually says " California Certification Procedures For 1975 or Later Model Year Used Modifier Certified Motor Vehicles

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Diesel Vehicle Direct Import - Grey Market Requirements - Smog Requirements for California

Direct Import or Grey Market Diesel Vehicle Requirements:
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.

Reference- http://www.arb.ca.gov/html/master_faqs/vehicle_faqs/greymarket_cars_faq.htm

Diesel Smog Check or In Use Check

Diesel Smog Check - Since 2010 California has required all diesel trucks and diesel passenger cars which are 1998 model year or newer, and weight under 14,500 GVW, undergo a biennial smog inspection similar to their gasoline counterparts.

Diesel Smog Test Exemption: The DMV does not require a California emission inspection (smog check) for the following types of vehicles:
  • Any diesel car or diesel pickup truck which is 1997 model year or older.
  • Any diesel truck which weights over 14,500 GVW.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Unpleasant Truths : Comforting Lies

When it comes to importing vehicles, there are just a few ways to do it legally, and many ways to do it illegally.  This cartoon captures this for me.  Most people don't want to hear the truth about their car , that was not imported correctly. They want the comforting lies. They want to know its "state" legal.  Or as some people say "fully legal". Maybe they know, maybe they don't. Maybe they care, probably they don't.

Over the years, I have tried to show people what a car needs to be legal. Some care, many don't. Some get pissed off when I point out that the car they are trying to pass off as "legal" was imported incorrectly.  

Many people say "my buddy" has had one here for 2,4,6,10 years, and gets pulled over all the time. Its all fun and games until that one day ICE comes knocking on your door.  No matter the comforting lies you, or the guy from Florida, that sold you the car said, ICE will seize first, ask questions later.

The latest cars with issues were Land Rovers. Some guys were taking newer Land Rovers, putting old VIN numbers on them, and passing them off as over 25 years old, and legal for import. Eventually they caught one of the main importers, and seized 40 Land Rovers he imported.

So, do you want the UNPLEASANT TRUTH, that the car can not legally be imported, or the COMFORTING LIE, that with a VIN swap, and some trickery, or bring it in as parts, or driving it across the border, that you are good?

Is my imported car legal? 

Then this cartoon was altered by a friend, and also appropriate.  Although now, it is much more of a possibly reality.

Over 25 years old now, NHTSA exempt. Over 21 years old EPA exempt in original configuration. Check out some inventory here - http://www.importavehicle.com/

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2014 Review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 - Australia

Infrastructure in Australia is looking for public submissions on reducing costs and improving safety.  You can make submissions at the link below.

Recently Holden, Ford, and Toyota have announced that they are pulling manufactuering out of Australia. The high costs associated with building cars has made the companies look for alternatives. Losing jobs is always a bad thing, but in a global marketplace, a company has to be able to compete in order to be profitable, and survive.

Also check out this article.  Imported Used Cars Aren’t a Threat to Australia

"On 16 January 2014 the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon Jamie Briggs MP, approved the Terms of Reference for a comprehensive review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 with a view to reducing regulatory costs to business and individuals and improving the safety and environmental performance of road motor vehicles."


Since the last major review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 in 1999 there has been significant change in the domestic and global environment of vehicle manufacturing, in vehicle technologies and in purchasing preferences of consumers. A copy of the 1999 report is available for viewing:
In 2013 a Public Consultation process was conducted by the Department to seek feedback from interested parties on the need for a review and on the currency and operation of the legislation.

The 2014 Legislative Review

The 2014 review will involve a submission process along with public consultations on possible future options for the Act. An Options Discussion paper has been prepared and a number of public workshops will be used to facilitate this process. The public submissions will be used to develop recommendations to Government and to prepare a Regulation Impact Statement.
Further updates on the status of the review will be provided on this website and enquires can be made via the MVSAreview@infrastructure.gov.au email address.

2014 Options Discussion Paper

On 4 September 2014 the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon Jamie Briggs MP, released an Options Discussion Paper for the review of the Act and called for submissions from all interested parties.
The Options Discussion paper is now available for download. The Options Discussion paper outlines the problem, considers the need for government involvement, identifies some broad options and poses a number of questions for stakeholder responses. Stakeholder feedback is a crucial part of a Regulation Impact Assessment process and will help design the options that are taken forward to Government later this year. A separate document has also been prepared summarising the questions within the Options Discussion paper to assist contributors in framing their submissions.

Public Submissions

The closing date for submissions on the Options Discussion Paper is COB Monday 20 October 2014.
Written submission should be emailed to MVSAreview@infrastructure.gov.au. An acknowledgement email will confirm that your submission has been received.
Received submissions will be made publicly available on the Department's website unless the submission is marked confidential by request or as a result of being determined by the Department to contain private or confidential information.
Please also indicate if you wish either your personal identity and/or your paper (in part or full) to be confidential.
All submissions provided to the Department will be given consideration in the conduct of this review.


Public workshops will be held for any interested person or organisation to discuss the content of the Options Discussion Paper in the following cities:
  • Sydney (Parramatta), Tuesday 23 September 2014—afternoon
  • Brisbane, Wednesday 24 September 2014—morning
  • Melbourne, Friday 26 September 2014—morning
  • Adelaide, Wednesday 1 October 2014—morning
  • Perth, Thursday 2 October 2014—morning
Additional places are now available for these workshops
If your preferred workshop fills, please go onto the waiting list so that you can be contacted if additional sessions are held or there are cancellations.
Note that you are encouraged to bring your own copy of the paper to the workshop, as additional copies will not be available.
Please note, places at these workshops are limited. For more information or to book in for a workshop, please go to the attached booking site atwww.eventbrite.com.au/o/mvsa-review-6940182573.

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