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87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

i found an 06 sport classsic in NM for sale for a good deal. Id like to know if i can regestir it in CA. And if there might be any problems i might encounter regarding emissions. 49 state law etc. Any info is appreciated, thank you

Old Wizard
3,007 Posts
Importing Motorcycles into California

The rules for registering new vehicles in California are DIFFERENT for California residents than for people moving to California from other states. People moving from other state can bring their 49-state models with them regardless of mileage.

The system is intended to prevent current California residents from buying a "new" motorcycle in another state and then registering it in California. So the state says the bike has to have more than 7,500 miles WHEN YOU BOUGHT IT.

Exceptions are made if you acquire a vehicle through a transfer by inheritance or by a decree of divorce. Also, the bar to registration would not apply if your vehicle was damaged or stolen while out of California and you had to replace that vehicle while out of California.

Importing Motorcycles from Other States by California Residents

Individuals are prohibited from importing, purchasing, or leasing a new vehicle from another state, unless the vehicle was manufactured for sale in California, and the EPA label certifies the vehicle has California smog equipment. California considers a new vehicle to be any vehicle with less than 7,500 miles on the odometer AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE.

In other words, in order to prevent California residents from buying a new motorcycle in another state or country and then importing it into California thereby bypassing the more expensive and stricter emissions (read lower performance models) required by California, the state says you must have at least have 7,500 miles on the bike to bring it in.

The 7,500 mile requirement is ONLY for vehicles that don't meet the California emissions requirements. There is no 7,500 mile minimum requirement for motorcycles that have a manufacturer’s sticker indicating that they comply with California standards. A lot of the newer motorcycles are 50-state models so check this first.

The odometer statement on the title or bill of sale should exceed 7,500 miles. The California DMV wants the mileage to be over 7,500 miles at the time it enters the state. They check the odometer reading against the odometer statement on the title and/or bill of sale. They consider the date of the sale (i.e. when you take ownership) as the time the bike "enters the state." If your bike was purchased and documented with 3,000 miles, and you try to bring it in with an odometer reading 7,500+ miles, you’ve got a problem. If it doesn't pass muster, the bike's serial number is entered into their computerized database so as to prevent you (or anyone else) from ever registering it at another DMV office.

When you attempt to register the bike for the first time the emissions label is inspected at the Department of Motor Vehicles to determine what standards the bike meets, and the odometer reading taken. The DMV doesn’t visually check that the California emissions equipment is actually installed, so swapping parts with a California-certified bike to obtain the manufacturer’s emissions sticker could be a work-around (depending where on the bike the sticker is mounted). There is no emissions testing of motorcycles in California.

Importing Motorcycles from Other States by New California Residents

Non-resident motorcycle owners (recent arrivals) must register their out-of-state bikes in California within 20 days of the date they accept employment or establish residency in California. Special rules apply for people in the Armed Forces.

In order to register your motorcycle you will need to:

(1) Complete an Application for Registration Form Reg 343/31 available from http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg343.pdf

(2) Submit your out-of-state registration certificate.

(3) Submit your out-of-state title if you have it.

(4) Bring your vehicle to a DMV office for verification of the vehicle identification numbers. Set up an appointment ahead of time if you want. The DMV agent visually checks both the VIN and the engine number on motorcycles. It helps if you know where the numbers are located.

If the numbers don't match the out-of-state title and/or registration (i.e. possibly stolen) you could have a serious administrative hassle to get it permanently registered. If necessary, you pay your fee, get a temporary registration, and get sent to the California Highway Patrol for a more detailed inspection and resolution of the issue.

(5) Proof of insurance (from your CA insurance company)

(6) Pay the registration and license fees. You have to pay a California Vehicle License Fee on the (declared market value, so try to save yourself some money here) value of the bike and a registration fee ($32). The Vehicle License Fee (VLF) is the portion of the registration renewal fees paid in lieu of personal property taxes.

That’s it. Also, note that California motorcycles (unlike cars and trucks) do not have to be smogged (inspected for tailpipe emissions). There is a 80db allowable exhaust noise limit but the DMV doesn't inspect for it during the registration process.

For more information see:http://www.dmv.ca.gov/newtoca/newtoca.htm

Don’t forget you also need to get a California motorcycle license so you need to bring your birth certificate (post 9/11).

53 Posts
If you purchase or acquire a vehicle from a private party, you have 10 days from the date of sale to report to DMV the change of ownership. Transfer fees must be paid to DMV within 30 days of the purchase date, even if you do not have all of the required documents. Failure to pay your fees to DMV within 30 days will result in transfer and use tax penalties.

The penalties can be huge.

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