CA smog and title help!

I just bought a car without smog certification, The DMV website says that I need the smog certification to register the car under my name… Yet when I looked up how to get the Smog it says you need the title in your name. Soooo what do I do?!

Legally, the car couldn’t be sold to you unless the seller had a recent smog inspection and the paperwork to prove it. Depending on where you bought the car you may be able to get the seller to get the inspection (as he is legally required to do). It may just have been an oveesight ormisunderstanding of the regs onbhis part. If all you want is to get this done, you can offer to pay for it as many private sellers won’t want to want to do it at all. Waving the regulations around may improve his focus. If you don’t get anywhere with this you’ll need to work your way through the structure of the DMV to find out what the procedure is for cases like this. They happen all the time so they must have some paperwork to handle it. I would find the statewide DMV customer service people insteadcof tryimg to get answers from your busy local branch office.

While I’m not saying that you should mention names and so on you might provide some information about how this deal came about.

Buy from a private seller at their home, from eBay or Craigslist, met with someone in a parking lot, etc, etc.
Can you now contact the seller or the seller now unreachable?

Just trying to determine if you’ve been curbstoned or not.

He advertised on a facebook group with an account he dedicated to sell cars, I met him at a parking lot outside the local mall, i have his phone number but im awake it could be prepaid and may not help me, I did however follow him to his moms house so he can take everything out of the car as he was using the car to get around, I did a bill of sale and i have a license number on the bill of sale that i checked was identical to his license… if that really was his license since he looked quite a bit older from the picture on the license, the car has an operation permit on the rear windshield however i just saw the title and it has an EXPORT ONLY sticker!! does that mean im screwed?!

From my understanding of the laws in California you will not be able to register the car or get plates for it. Does it have plates on it now, if so from what state? Look under the hood there should be an emissions label, it will say something like 50 state legal, federal emissions, or California emissions. If it says Mexico or Canada or any other country contact the seller and ask for your money back.

Texas’s (NOT texases) take on the issue:

My guess is that you’ve been curbstoned and sold a salvage car that can’t be registered. If the DMV confirms that it can’t be registered, I think you need to get to an attorney as soon as possible. Some illegal things probably happened here, so the police might end up being involved as well.

Oh my. Attorneys, Calif DMV, and Calif emissions all at once. Don’t panic, just step through the issues starting at the DMV one by one. That’s the only way to determine the resolution. It may not be as much of a problem as it appears.

I suspect you already know this, but it’s a good idea to contact the DMV before buying a used car from a private seller, just to find out everything that is required. They would likely have told you to make sure to ask the seller to obtain a current emissions certificate before doing the deal.

About all I can suggest is trying to contact the seller. If they’re not responsive, can’t be contacted, or even found then I’d say you’ve been had by a curbstoner and your options are slim.

Maybe a trip to his alleged mother’s house after asking a county sheriff or local PD to tag along would be a good idea seeing as how there could be multiple violations of the law.

Seems to me the seller shouldn’t even have been driving the car himself, not in the USA

Sounds like OP got snookered . . . and that’s putting it nicely

First thing . . . contact seller, request to reverse the sale

If that’s unsuccessful, time to call the authorities, DMV, etc.

Year, make, model, mileage of the vehicle? Amount of money involved?

Nobody ever asked me for ID when getting a car through smog check, so if you have a current registration just present it. No law says the owner must be present while testing happens, I hope. I’m thinking about buying this car and want it tested.

If the title is branded “for export only” there is no way the car is getting smogged and registered in the state of california

I just checked the dmv website, and the vehicle codes. It’s pretty clear

OP got played for a fool, unfortunately

I have a feeling things are going to get ugly


I certainly hope we hear the final outcome, as this is more interesting than some of the other threads

Here in NY state we have California emissions requirements but no smog testing. The buyer, not the seller has to get a safety and emissions test to register the car but a failed test will not void the sale. The emissions test just checks the gas cap , sees that no check engine light is on and all monitors are ready to read although you can pass with one incomplete.
If you buy a car from a private party, when you register it you can get a 10 day permit to get you time for inspection and repair.
Our plates never go with the car and our title and registration are completely separate documents.