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Discussion Starter #1
Hi People,

Searched "smog test" with no results. Will be coming to LA by next February and thinking ahead of it all......have a 87 spider with no mods except a home made AAV valve (choke cable/heater line valve). Whats the deal with smog testing out there? Do I have a good chance to pass? If not, man, Im gonna have to store the car at home in FL...

Thanks, People.
Sr
 

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Moving to S Cal with 87 Spider, Need Advice

Hi People,

Searched "smog test" with no results. Will be coming to LA by next February and thinking ahead of it all......have a 87 spider with no mods except a home made AAV valve (choke cable/heater line valve). Whats the deal with smog testing out there? Do I have a good chance to pass? If not, man, Im gonna have to store the car at home in FL...

Thanks, People.
Sr
What prompts the short-term move?

An 87 spider will have to be smogged. There are a few around. I have a friend that is probably not going to bring his 78 in because it has all the things California looks for removed. The rolling smog stopped at '75, I believe. So '75 or below would be exempt after initial inspection and registration anything else has to follow the rules.

Here's a link for starters: Smog Information

then search for bringing a car in from out of state and there may be other additional information available. Since DMV's are on furlough Friday's here because of the budget impasse, they are impacted and not terribly helpful all the time.

If it's not a permanent move, you might be able to leave the Florida plates on it for the time you're here as a visitor, for example, if your company transfers you out here for 3-6 months for a special project or something like that. You might look into that and see if there's a provision.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Pat, loads of info on that site. Time to study. Oh, Its actually for my son who will be starting film career/internship in LA upon graduation. Kinda permanent, I figure. Yeah, I wish I could keep it as FL plate, not sure what the time limit is.

I'll let you know what happens.

Sr
 

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....I wish I could keep it as FL plate, not sure what the time limit is.

I'll let you know what happens.

Sr
Once you establish residence in our fare state, you are suppose to register your vehicle(s) within 10 days. But there is an out. As long as you don't get some kind of traffic citation in the car on a California drivers license, when you finally do register your vehicle, tell the clerk you just brought it into the state. Just remember to not do the smog test/check before you're ready to register.
 

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It's not too bad to get a fuel injected Spider to pass smog, provided your cat converter is up to snuff. If you have any concerns about that you might want to get the emissions tested in FL and get the cat converter replaced *before* you come to CA: per a recent CA law aftermarket cats are fairly tightly controlled here and you can't just slap in one of the more inexpensive ones, you need an OEM-type CA-approved model.

Depending how clued in and/or picky the smog tech is, you will quite possibly fail the visual inspection due to your modified AAV. Doesn't matter if it passes the emissions or not: mods like that are not allowed. Might want to pop in an original AAV to be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thaks, Gub and Geh. Yeah, I wanted to get an emissions test here in FL years ago but no luck, even if I anted to pay for it AND it had not been mandatory for years. All the equipment went obsolete/out of use, I was told.

So you mean my son should get a Ca lisence asap when arriving but not register? That could work for me as long as not pushing the law too badly........Have to read up on Pat's link for sure....no time today though.

A Ca cat, huh? Man, who sells them? Alfa suppliers in CA? Guessing they cost a bit, huh?
Thanks!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Once you establish residence in our fare state, you are suppose to register your vehicle(s) within 10 days. But there is an out. As long as you don't get some kind of traffic citation in the car on a California drivers license, when you finally do register your vehicle, tell the clerk you just brought it into the state. Just remember to not do the smog test/check before you're ready to register.
Hmm, I really think this will work, geh.

Oh, I read Pat's link (wasnt too long), and it clearly says [the alfa 87 spider] is NOT exemp from testing. Not that you said so....just heard from others that it MAY be exempt. No such luck. A car is exempt if older than 1975 year......
 

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My suggestion, since the car will be in S. Calif, is to take it to Santo's and let him handle it.
After visiting a number of "certified smog locations" and having nothing but grief, I have done this will all of my Alfa's.
Santos will take care of whatever is legally necessary to pass the test, and then get it smogged for you.
An absolute no-brainer!
 

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Moving to S Cal with 87 Spider, Need Advice

Once you establish residence in our fare state, you are suppose to register your vehicle(s) within 10 days...
This is incorrect information; you actually have 20 days not 10. It used to be 10 some years back.

Here are a couple of more links about out of state cars being brought into California:

Link: Buying a Vehicle Out of State
Link: California DMV HTVR9 How To Register A Out of State Vehicle Nonresident Vehicle

geh458 said:
... But there is an out. As long as you don't get some kind of traffic citation in the car on a California drivers license, when you finally do register your vehicle, tell the clerk you just brought it into the state. Just remember to not do the smog test/check before you're ready to register.
I'm not sure that this is a good plan especially with cities out looking for every source of revenue, depending on how well the police know their particular area and notice the same car with an out of state plate. You could simply get stopped because they notice that. In other cities police encourage residents to report drivers with out of state plates that are not abiding by the 20 day rule. So you're fighting both California drivers and police with this approach.

It is much easier to do the reverse. I had a friend that was employed in California but never relinquished his home state license. He drove a company car with California plates on his out of state license for 10 years and would just go home and renew his license.
 

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This is incorrect information; you actually have 20 days not 10. It used to be 10 some years back.
....
If it's 20 days now all the better, but it was 10 when I moved back to California 11 years ago.

And Cheryl, I didn't say it was a good idea, it was just something that worked for me when I moved back. I had a permanent job, but not a permanent address until two months after I got here.
 

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Funny AAA told me 10 days earlier this year when I brought my GTV in from out of state. On the smog topic I have personal experience that if the tech is diligent enough to see something not stock then they won't even test it. Letting an Alfa mechanic that can do smog handle it sounds like good advice to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My suggestion, since the car will be in S. Calif, is to take it to Santo's and let him handle it.
After visiting a number of "certified smog locations" and having nothing but grief, I have done this will all of my Alfa's.
Santos will take care of whatever is legally necessary to pass the test, and then get it smogged for you.
An absolute no-brainer!
Maybe I should call this santo up and discuss ahead of time. There is nothing modified on my alfa...just like I said, the AAV is gone (I actually still have the old one in the drawer, HeHe), and I made a home made one, but exhaust should come out like a stock alfa, of course.

Wonder what is costs for Santo to check it out? I like no brainers, like lawrence said......
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is incorrect information; you actually have 20 days not 10. It used to be 10 some years back.

Here are a couple of more links about out of state cars being brought into California:

Link: Buying a Vehicle Out of State
Link: California DMV HTVR9 How To Register A Out of State Vehicle Nonresident Vehicle



I'm not sure that this is a good plan especially with cities out looking for every source of revenue, depending on how well the police know their particular area and notice the same car with an out of state plate. You could simply get stopped because they notice that. In other cities police encourage residents to report drivers with out of state plates that are not abiding by the 20 day rule. So you're fighting both California drivers and police with this approach.

It is much easier to do the reverse. I had a friend that was employed in California but never relinquished his home state license. He drove a company car with California plates on his out of state license for 10 years and would just go home and renew his license.
10 or 20, I'll verify with the DMV , I guess. Bigger deal is yeah, I was afraid of the approach of not registering, driving around in the neighborhood, with a red Alfa, un noticed. Kinda taking a chance with that. Oh, in FL, reg fees have skyrocketed last 3 years or so. Used to be say, $50 or so, now its between $300-500. What are they charging in CA? (Time to read Pat's links again, Im sure theres more info to be gleaned.

Tanks, People, and Pat.
 

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Moving to S Cal with 87 Spider, Need Advice

Funny AAA told me 10 days earlier this year when I brought my GTV in from out of state. On the smog topic I have personal experience that if the tech is diligent enough to see something not stock then they won't even test it. Letting an Alfa mechanic that can do smog handle it sounds like good advice to me.
I think this is the difference, if you buy or purchase a car you have 10 days; if you bring an out of state car in you have 20 days. My guess, Triple A automatically quotes the lower figure or assumes you are talking about a purchase.

I concur on smog, especially with an Alfa, you need to have someone that you can rely on if you have trouble and that knows what they're doing as well as knows the law. With Pat's knowledge he was often able to talk reason to the DMV or CHP guys; your son may not have the same skill.
 

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Keep the Fl plates, registration, driver's license as long as you can. If you don't have to get an inspection in Florida and just have to send them your payment to renew, keep the plates. Fly back to renew the driver's license, if you have to get a picture taken. Keep the less expensive Florida insurance (if it is cheaper).

If you want to go through the hassle of doing the change right away, smog testing shouldn't be difficult. Probably best to establish residency first, then smog. If you don't/can't pass go to a gold shield testing station, go through the process and have the state pay for your smog repairs. Since you haven't really modified the car, put on the original AAV, smog it, pass, change it back. Or, not that I'm saying you should, find a place and have it passed.;)

I wouldn't worry about being pulled over for out of state plates, especially in LA/Hollywood. SOOO many cars around here with out of state plates, obviously current Ca. residents (Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, Georgia, Texas, Florida... to name a few). This all changes if you get a ticket etc, but if both plates and license are still Florida probably not (since you're just visiting). I kept my old plates for about a year. Don't get the new license until you have found a place to live that you're happy and comfortable with. Pain in the butt to have to change your address on the license if you move after a few months.

Get Trapster for your Iphone or whatever mobile phone you have. It will show where where most all of the redlight cameras are (watch the the little crosswalk guys for the countdown, so you don't get hit with an outrageous ticket). Don't worry about all the helicopters, you'll get used to them at night. Don't be surprised when asked about the earthquake or fire in the LA area, that you have no idea about, by someone from out of state. Its a fairly large area, and you either won't see the fire or have felt the earthquake (you may see the sunlight change to an orange color and see or smell the smoke, doubtful though). Do keep a working flashlight and a pair of shoes by the bed (for the earthquakes and broken glass).:)

Btw, it was easier to use "you" for both you and your son, then go back and correct everything.
 

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My suggestion, since the car will be in S. Calif, is to take it to Santo's and let him handle it. After visiting a number of "certified smog locations" and having nothing but grief, I have done this will all of my Alfa's. Santos will take care of whatever is legally necessary to pass the test, and then get it smogged for you.
This is good advice. The smog test procedure is pretty user unfriendly to walk-in customers - if your car fails, the test center is supposed to report that failure to Sacramento. However, when the car is brought to the tester by a repair shop - especially one they work with on a regular basis - then if there is a problem they will let the shop fix it before considering the test "official".

Also the repair shop will know what modifications their testing buddy will or will not pass. Something like a home made AAV might get ignored, especially by an emissions tester who regularly works with an Alfa repair shop.

Santos has a great reputation, and I would encourage you to use them. However, if you happen to settle somewhere that isn't close to their Northridge location, any competent repair shop can work on a Bosch injected Alfa, and handle the smog thing. I use some guys down here in south Orange County who work on a wide range of European imports, and they have no difficulties.

shadowburn said:
Keep the Fl plates, registration, driver's license as long as you can. If you don't have to get an inspection in Florida and just have to send them your payment to renew, keep the plates. Fly back to renew the driver's license, if you have to get a picture taken. Keep the less expensive Florida insurance (if it is cheaper).
Boy, I'm not sure I agree. I do concur that you can get away with driving with out of state plates - California roads are full of them, what with tourists, transients, etc. But the insurance thing would scare me - seems that if you had a claim, the insurance company might discover the scam, and refuse to pay. Plus, it sounds like license fees are cheaper here than in Florida - insurance may well be higher - but the sum total is probably about the same. It is also useful to have a local drivers license for ID purposes.

Be sure to attend some AROSC events once you arrive!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks again, people. So much advice....one should be that lucky. So, yeah, insurance is something not to fool with. I need to get "santo's" #....anybody know? Where's Santo?? (no pun relating to game on back of cereal boxes).......

What could Santo charge for an inspection/quality control check?

LA move should not be "temporary". It will be a job/internship. Once the smog test passes/is dealt with., I have no problem doing things right (registering/residents lisence). I dont like messing with cops/inventing stories/etc, and dont advise it to a younger guy starting out in a foreign land.....LOL

Hey, Thanks for the invitation for joining the local club there. Maybe if he has time from the film studio he could get away (that schedule sure would be easier than film school, for sure!!)

Regards,
J P Sr
 

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The number to Santo's Italian Car Service is: 1-818-701-1614. They are in Northridge, California. You can also try a Private Message (PM) to "ITALCARGUY". The website is: Santo's Italian Car Service

Hope this helps, they've always done right by me.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If you want to go through the hassle of doing the change right away, smog testing shouldn't be difficult. Probably best to establish residency first, then smog. If you don't/can't pass go to a gold shield testing station, go through the process and have the state pay for your smog repairs.
Too Much, shadow, you mean someone else can pay for my repair ifn it dont pass???!!! hey alfa forum members, why didnt yous mention this before....LOL!

Gold Shield Testing Station.....hmm, dont tell me you need to be on Govt assistance income/welfare to be able to qualify.......

Im gonna look for that website, shadow.........(lets see, mumbling, slowly: g-o-l-d s-h-i-e-l-d.....)
 

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The number to Santo's Italian Car Service is: 1-818-701-1614 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-818-701-1614      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. They are in Northridge, California. You can also try a Private Message (PM) to "ITALCARGUY". The website is: Santo's Italian Car Service

Hope this helps, they've always done right by me.
Got it...thanks, Geh.
 
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