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Bringing a 49 State car to California

Discussion in 'E23 (1978-1987)' started by IEbimmerguy, Mar 13, 2009.

    IEbimmerguy guest

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    Would I have issues with bring a 1987 735i into my home state of California? The car is in New Jersey. I ran a VIN search, and it does not have a catalytic converter according to the search.
    I'm wondering if this would not be an issue since it's over 22 years old. Looking on the CA DMW website isnt very clear.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    • Member


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    This car has a catalytic converter. Just about all US cars have since the late 70s/ early 80s. If you look under the hood there should be a sticker that tells you if the car is a 50 state car or not. My 84 318i is a 50 state car and there is a big sticker telling me so.

    Do you currently own the car? If you do, I think you can bring non 50 state cars into Cal if you own them for a period of time outside the state before you bring them in. Like 6 months to a year. My cousin got a diesel into Ca that way.
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    • Technical Service Advisor


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    It does have a cat for sure, unless it was a gray market car.
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    Brian A

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    An old diesel may have different rules.

    I think "50 state legal" is just another way of saying "capable of passing a California Smog test". I don't think you can get out of the Smog test requirement. I have heard of people keeping out-of-state registration on a vehicle because they couldn't pass Smog here (this is bad: let's keep the air clean).

    Just had my 1987 325i Smogged last weekend. (Just barely passed NO at 15 mph/1900 rpm.)

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