I’m in the process of buying a used car. The guy I’m buying it from is in Irvine, and I’m in Santa Barbara, so it was a bit of a trick to test out the car and make sure it would be good (for those not local, it’s about 2 hours driving). I managed to arrange to go down when a friend is driving down anyway, so I can inspect the car and take it to a mechanic in the area. Also, it needs a SMOG check. In CA, the DMV assures me that the seller is required to certify the vehicle, but the seller in this case didn’t have time to take it in before I get there, so I said I can do that at the same time the mechanic checks it, as long as he pays for it.
Alas, it fails SMOG. One of the NOx tests comes back as 573 PPM when the limit is 560 PPM. Since I am unwilling to buy the car until it passes, he offers me this: I take the car now, but he retains title until it passes SMOG. Whatever needs to be done to get it to pass (probably not much), I can get done, and then I will pay him the agreed upon price less whatever the SMOG fix costs. This saves him having to deal with the tests and saves me the four hour round trip (with a friend) to pick up the car later.
A few days later, I take it to my mechanic, and he looks at the SMOG test that was done, and he says that it doesn’t even need to pass the NOx test in Santa Barbara. There are apparently two different SMOG tests in CA, Basic and Enhanced. Irvine is Enhanced, but SB is Basic. Worse, Basic is not technically a strict subset of the Enhanced tests, so I we can’t just ignore the test that failed (and isn’t even included). It has to be tested again. Even if it had passed the one in Irvine, it would have to be tested again to register in Santa Barbara.
But, of course, he can’t test it yet, because the SMOG test equipment is all electronically linked to the DMV or the BAR or someone, and when he puts in the information for my car, it refuses to do the test because, of course, that’s an Irvine car :rolleyes:
So, the DMV’s website claims that you can’t buy a car unless it’s been smogged, but the only way to get it smogged is to have it registered in your name… which you can’t do until you buy it.
The apparent solution is going to involve at least two trips to the DMV and another trip to my mechanic. RRRRrrrgh.