Hello all. I live in the Los Angeles area. I bought an '88 GT5-S Amerisport over a year ago. I bought the car in NJ, it is currently being restored and I should have the car back in the next few months or so.
After I bought the GT5-S, I took the title and purchase agreement and tried to register the car at my local DMV here in Los Angeles. They looked at the title and told me because the car is an out of state vehicle they would need to visually check the car. The lady said all they check for on the visual inspection is that the VIN# on the car matches that on the title paperwork. From there I would be sent to get a smog certificate.
I have a friend who knows someone who owns a smog shop, and my friend told me he could get the smog cert done for me by hook or crook, so to speak. So at that time I thought I would be ok.
Problem is, when the lady entered the VIN# into her computer at the DMV, she said it didn't come up. She said she has never seen that before and didn't know how to handle that. But she said first I needed to have the car with me for the visual, so to come back when I have the car.
At the time when the lady said the VIN# didn't come up in her computer, I didn't think much of it. However, I have recently learned that if the VIN# doesn't come up in the DMV's computer, I will be directed to an agency called CARB. They will charge me around 10k for the inspection, and they will require all the correct smog equip be put back on the car, including putting cat converters, smog hoses and all that stuff. I have a fontana engine with absolutely no smog stuff on the car. So for me, dealing with CARB will surely become an expensive nightmare for me.
I was thinking of driving my GT5-S to Arizona and registering the car there. While AZ requires smog certificates in all of the major cities, there are several small towns that do not require smog certs. Problem is, you have to apply for the exemption and they will ask for a current utility bill or tax return to prove that you actually live in that smog exempt town. That is a problem for me obviously.
Is there anyone out there who owns a GT5-S in California that has any work arounds or suggestions for registering my car here in California?