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Anyone in the Southern California area who has their stock exhaust with the Cats still on? I recently moved to San Diego from South Carolina because I'm in the Navy, and need to pass smog so that I can register my Mustang here. There were no emissions laws in SC so I didn't keep the stock exhaust, but now I have no Cats on my car. A stock exhaust new is probably crazy expensive and it would be a step in the wrong direction. I'm just looking for anyone willing to sell or even just rent me their stock exhaust so that I can get this thing smogged. Also open to any other wallet friendly ideas on how to register this car in California. Thanks!
 

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When I was in the Navy, I kept my home state registration and driver license. I am a California resident and I was stationed in upstate New York for 6 months for NPTU and later on an Aircraft Carrier home ported in Norfolk VA for over 4 years. When I was stopped by law enforcement in VA, I would show my CA DL, my military ID and the car had CA plates. I never had a problem.

Wouldn't be easier and less expensive to keep your SC plates, SC Driver License, and pay your vehicle registration back in SC.
 

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Unless you absolutely want to register your car in CA, I second the recommendation of Kraig1957. Keep it registered in SC if you meet SC DMV requirements to continue doing that.

I also think you can retain your SC license. In fact would recommend that if possible if you do not plan on staying in CA so there is no question about your legal state of residence as an active duty member. But your wife will probably not have that courtesy if she is not an active duty member herself.

Lastly, welcome to the forums, thank you for your service, and enjoy your tour in SoCal.
 

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@Kraig1957 when I was in the Navy (got out in ‘04) I too was stationed in VA and my car was registered in my home state of TX. But, I still had to get an inspection sticker done in VA every time my sticker was out. So I had TX plates, a TX drivers license, and a VA inspection sticker.
Did you not?
 

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@Kraig1957 when I was in the Navy (got out in ‘04) I too was stationed in VA and my car was registered in my home state of TX. But, I still had to get an inspection sticker done in VA every time my sticker was out. So I had TX plates, a TX drivers license, and a VA inspection sticker.
Did you not?
I had to get a VA inspection sticker in order to drive on the base. It was good for six months at a time but wasn't the same as a smog inspection. California doesn't have a vehicle inspection program, just a smog check required every other year, for diesels less than 14,000 GVWR from the year after you buy it; and for gas engines every year after the car is 7 years old. You get the notice to get your smog check with your vehicle registration. Your CA registration sticker goes on your CA license plate. The VA vehicle inspection was a joke, check the horn, check the right front brake shoe, check the head lights, gimme $50, now we put a sticker over the bottom of the windshield where the windshield wiper shaft is located. That sticker location violated CA state law.

If Calvin W gets CA vehicle plates, CA driver license he then becomes a CA resident and has to pay CA income tax for as long as he his stationed in CA. I just paid the registration for my 1 ton pickup, over 6 years old it was $701. My Mustang is 5 years old and the registration was $346. When I was in the service Gov Jerry Brown was in his first term as Gov moonbeam. He signed into law if you are a CA resident stationed outside of CA, you don't have to pay CA state income tax. That's why I kept my CA registration on my car and CA residency. My registration from 1976-82 was $24, and I didn't have to pay for a Norfolk VA property tax sticker for my car, and no state income tax because I was stationed out side CA.

Stay a resident of SC, vote absentee, and save all those taxes and don't worry about a CA smog check.
 

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Unless you absolutely want to register your car in CA, I second the recommendation of Kraig1957. Keep it registered in SC if you meet SC DMV requirements to continue doing that.

I also think you can retain your SC license. In fact would recommend that if possible if you do not plan on staying in CA so there is no question about your legal state of residence as an active duty member. But your wife will probably not have that courtesy if she is not an active duty member herself.

Lastly, welcome to the forums, thank you for your service, and enjoy your tour in SoCal.
As long as you keep your home state Driver License and call it your state of residence, even for dependents.

For Military personnel and dependents from the CHP website:

Privately-owned vehicle

  • California resident on active duty - must have in possession a current California driver's license.
  • Nonresident on active duty - must have in possession either a current, California driver's license or a valid driver's license issued by the military person's state of residence.
  • Dependents - must have in possession a current driver's license issued by either California or the person's state of residence.
  • Minor dependents - Minors between 16 and 18 years who are California residents must have in their possession a valid California provisional license or a valid California license. Nonresident minors must have in their possession a valid license from their state of residence and a Non Resident Minor's Certificate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Motorcyclists - military personnel and dependents must possess either a Class M California drivers license or a license from the state of residence. The out-of-state license must be endorsed for motorcycle operation if required by the issuing state. Drivers who want to want to obtain a California Class M license must take written and riding skills tests.
  • Former duty station - If you obtained a drivers license in the state of a former duty station (other than California) it must be replaced with one issued by California or your state of residence within 10 days of entering California. A written test is always required, but the Department of Motor Vehicles usually will not require a driving test.
 
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As long as you keep your home state Driver License and call it your state of residence, even for dependents.

For Military personnel and dependents from the CHP website:

Privately-owned vehicle

  • California resident on active duty - must have in possession a current California driver's license.
  • Nonresident on active duty - must have in possession either a current, California driver's license or a valid driver's license issued by the military person's state of residence.
  • Dependents - must have in possession a current driver's license issued by either California or the person's state of residence.
  • Minor dependents - Minors between 16 and 18 years who are California residents must have in their possession a valid California provisional license or a valid California license. Nonresident minors must have in their possession a valid license from their state of residence and a Non Resident Minor's Certificate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Motorcyclists - military personnel and dependents must possess either a Class M California drivers license or a license from the state of residence. The out-of-state license must be endorsed for motorcycle operation if required by the issuing state. Drivers who want to want to obtain a California Class M license must take written and riding skills tests.
  • Former duty station - If you obtained a drivers license in the state of a former duty station (other than California) it must be replaced with one issued by California or your state of residence within 10 days of entering California. A written test is always required, but the Department of Motor Vehicles usually will not require a driving test.
I had to get a VA inspection sticker in order to drive on the base. It was good for six months at a time but wasn't the same as a smog inspection. California doesn't have a vehicle inspection program, just a smog check required every other year, for diesels less than 14,000 GVWR from the year after you buy it; and for gas engines every year after the car is 7 years old. You get the notice to get your smog check with your vehicle registration. Your CA registration sticker goes on your CA license plate. The VA vehicle inspection was a joke, check the horn, check the right front brake shoe, check the head lights, gimme $50, now we put a sticker over the bottom of the windshield where the windshield wiper shaft is located. That sticker location violated CA state law.

If Calvin W gets CA vehicle plates, CA driver license he then becomes a CA resident and has to pay CA income tax for as long as he his stationed in CA. I just paid the registration for my 1 ton pickup, over 6 years old it was $701. My Mustang is 5 years old and the registration was $346. When I was in the service Gov Jerry Brown was in his first term as Gov moonbeam. He signed into law if you are a CA resident stationed outside of CA, you don't have to pay CA state income tax. That's why I kept my CA registration on my car and CA residency. My registration from 1976-82 was $24, and I didn't have to pay for a Norfolk VA property tax sticker for my car, and no state income tax because I was stationed out side CA.

Stay a resident of SC, vote absentee, and save all those taxes and don't worry about a CA smog check.
Yeah that’s right I remember now, I had to get the VA sticker to get on base. So he doesn’t need the CA smog sticker or whatever it is to get on base?
 

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Yeah that’s right I remember now, I had to get the VA sticker to get on base. So he doesn’t need the CA smog sticker or whatever it is to get on base?
There is no "smog sticker" or "inspection sticker" in California. In order to register your vehicle in CA, if your registration paperwork says "smog check required" you take your vehicle to a smog check station, they scan the bar code on your registration paperwork. If you pass the visual inspection for smog equipment and the tail pipe emissions test, the CARB inspection computer sends to the DMV computer electronically that you have passed. When the DMV gets your registration fee and the digital confirmation from the CARB, you get a colored sticker that shows the year your registration expires. You put that on your rear license plate. If you don't pass and you send your money for registration, you will get a notice of incomplete registration from the DMV but you will avoid late fees, when you finally do pass.
 

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Kraig1957: thanks for the update on the dependent DL info.

OP hasn't come back on so we don't know what work around they have available to get their GT smog checked. I have a feeling there is more to this story than meets the eye than just cats. CAI? Tune?
 
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