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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings,

I'm considering the purchase of a used car that was registered by the original owner and builder of the car as an SPCNS (specially constructed vehicle) in CA under SB100 some years ago. The car has a VIN tag and a BAR sticker affixed and is smog exempt. What I am cannot seem to find any information about is whether anything needs to be done after the purchase and transfer of title to register the car under my name and maintain the smog exempt status. Obviously I need to take a much closer look at the car and the seller's documentation if this is not just automatic.

I figured there were two avenues for asking this (seemingly simple) question: the DMV and the BAR. So, I wrote a message to the BAR info email address over the weekend and then called the DMV yesterday.

At the moment, one cannot get anyone on the phone at the DMV phone #, so I used their live chat feature to ask these questions. At first they seemed to be clueless (quoting from the DMV website that SPCNS vehicles are "not for resale") but when I explained the situation better, I was told that:
  • The transfer of title and registration were like any other car
  • The smog exempt status would be carried over
The answer seemed clear enough, but on such chats, it's always difficult to tell whether the person you are "speaking" to really knows what they are talking about.

Then, today, the BAR people (Edit: I had been referred by BAR to asktheref.org) got back to me by phone and gave me basically the opposite answer: Once the title has been transferred, I must go through the entire SB100 process again to register the car under my name, including all the paperwork, the CHP inspection, and the BAR inspection. This seems like total nonsense to me - I'm not building the car - but the person I spoke to seemed very knowledgable and was insistent that this is correct.

So, despite the fact that I can find almost no information online about this situation, I know these cars are bought and sold all the time, so many folks here must know the answer!

Thanks and Cheers,
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Greetings,

I'm considering the purchase of a used car that was registered by the original owner and builder of the car as an SPCNS (specially constructed vehicle) in CA under SB100 some years ago. The car has a VIN tag and a BAR sticker affixed and is smog exempt. What I am cannot seem to find any information about is whether anything needs to be done after the purchase and transfer of title to register the car under my name and maintain the smog exempt status. Obviously I need to take a much closer look at the car and the seller's documentation if this is not just automatic.

I figured there were two avenues for asking this (seemingly simple) question: the DMV and the BAR. So, I wrote a message to the BAR info email address over the weekend and then called the DMV yesterday.

At the moment, one cannot get anyone on the phone at the DMV phone #, so I used their live chat feature to ask these questions. At first they seemed to be clueless (quoting from the DMV website that SPCNS vehicles are "not for resale") but when I explained the situation better, I was told that:
  • The transfer of title and registration were like any other car
  • The smog exempt status would be carried over
The answer seemed clear enough, but on such chats, it's always difficult to tell whether the person you are "speaking" to really knows what they are talking about.

Then, today, the BAR people got back to me by phone and gave me basically the opposite answer: Once the title has been transferred, I must go through the entire SB100 process again to register the car under my name, including all the paperwork, the CHP inspection, and the BAR inspection. This seems like total nonsense to me - I'm not building the car - but the person I spoke to seemed very knowledgable and was insistent that this is correct.

So, despite the fact that I can find almost no information online about this situation, I know these cars are bought and sold all the time, so many folks here must know the answer!

Thanks and Cheers,
Tim
OK, so the person at the BAR referee line had no idea what they were talking about. Today I managed to get a response from the BAR itself who were able to tell me that an SB100 SPCNS that has a lifetime smog exemption remains exempt on transfer of ownership: the exemption stays with the car and is not specific to the owner. Hopefully this (brief) thread will be helpful to someone else searching for this info someday :)
 

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I was just about the say the same thing. I have never had a problem buying or selling a SB100 car. I did have an issue with a SPCN registered car before the whole SB100 thing came about. The DMV changed the year of the car to the year I bought it. Even though it was already registered and titled. That was a mess to fix. Nowadays, with SB100, you just pay your sales taxes and drive the car.
 

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OK, so the person at the BAR referee line had no idea what they were talking about. Today I managed to get a response from the BAR itself who were able to tell me that an SB100 SPCNS that has a lifetime smog exemption remains exempt on transfer of ownership: the exemption stays with the car and is not specific to the owner. Hopefully this (brief) thread will be helpful to someone else searching for this info someday :)
Great information. Confirms what I suspected but did not know for sure. Thanks!
 
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