DMV, Specially Constructed Vehicles

FABRICATOR

Well-Known Member
Article from the Bureau of Automotive Repair, Smog Check Advisory:

In effect January 1, 2003,

“SB 1578 (Johannessen, Chapter 693)
This new law allows currently registered specially constructed vehicles to apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for a special year-model designation. The old law only permitted this special designation to new specially constructed vehicles that were making initial (first time) application with the DMV for registration. As long as the annual total does not exceed 500, now both currently registered or newly built specially constructed vehicles can apply for the specified year-model designation.

The new law also provides the following:

*First, once the registration limit of 500 specially constructed vehicles has been reached for a specific year, DMV will be required to assign the current model-year to any additional specially constructed vehicles applying for initial registration that same year.

*Second, it allows an owner, upon registration renewal of a specially constructed vehicle, to apply for, and receive, from DMV a “reassignment” of the vehicle’s model year. However, DMV will be required to deny any model-year reassignment applications, once the 500-registration limit has been reached for a specific year.

*In either case, the vehicle owner could apply again to reassign the vehicle's model-year upon registration renewal in the next calendar year.”

Note: Please direct questions to the DMV or BAR (Bureau of Automotive Repair)
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
I think you will still have to meetthe smog requirements for the engine/frame combo by the numbers used from either the engine block or the chassis ID. This isn't a loop hole, it is a catch all for those who couldn't meet definitions in the book. Like a after market duece chassis with a glass body...is it a '32 or an '03? Thats whatthis is for. Or for the totally scratch built stuff. Like a Chenowth chassis with an XR's only street legal kit on it and a scale slip that syas less than 1500 pounds so you don't need fenders...how do you smog it, especially if it has an ARPM case. What are the smog specs for that?
 

SpareChangeRacng

Well-Known Member
JDfab - as Martin said - they go off body style or engine block for smog. So, depending on what motor you plan on running, you have a choice of 96 (or whatever year your T-100 body is), or engine block year. If you plan on putting a large motor in the thing, say a chevy 400 for example, get a block out of a 73 or older (have fun finding one that's not .060 over) and then ad newer accessories, etc. This way when you pick whether you smog your truck (your truck, like mine is well over 80% custom) by body style or engine, they'll look up the # on the block (It will most likely be easier if you document where the motor - block only in this case - came from) and it'll be pre 73 so - no smog.
Don't take my word on all of this though - as many of you I am in the midst of researching it (thanks to those who post their tidbits here), just in case I wanna go bigger with my motor (at some point well down the road Rob
). Steve
 

Curtis Guise

Administrator
Right now it is a 95 with the stock 3.4 V6 with a TRD supercharger. I could get it to pass smog if I put a stock fuel cap and the correct fuel lines and charcoal canister etc. when I go to smog it. But I have been thinking of trying to sell the motor and supercharger and finding a Tundra V8 to drop into it. Then add a SC to the V8 later maybe.
it would just be nice not to have to smog it at all.
 

YotaWhoopRunner

Well-Known Member
Like others, I have been researching the bill as well. I spoke with a co-author of the senate bill and it seems like the only way to by-pass smog with a late model truck is to add a pre-73 engine. Once you make this change and you qualify as a specially constructed vehicle, you should be exempt by the year of the engine.

The original bill on this post meant that if you are registered as a specially constructed vehicle that is registered to the current year that it was built, it can be re-registered as an older vehicle according to body or engine year.

The only part I am unsure about is the clause that says "If the year of the engine can not be determined, it will default to 1960." I am wondering what kind of motor would default to this.
 

NORCALf150

Well-Known Member
might be a stupid question buy how can you pin down the year of a block? besides the obvious year of the truck it was in, like for instance i have a long block in my backyard but have no clue where and when it came from
 

UndercoverFab

Well-Known Member
if its a chevy engine and you post the number i have a book with the codes in it, if its somethign else pep boys and advanced auto can put it in their computer and tell ya what year it is and what it came out of,as for a block being defaulted to a 1960 model year i was told that in the case of a block with no vin or a racing block (ie GMPP block or ford racing) that it would be defaulted, i got my info from an 1800 number to the dmv cause i already have an engine built around a bowtie block that i want to use when i move.
btw if the engine is a new style like a ford modular motor a chevy ls1 a northstar somethign like that its gonna be alot harder to slip through then say a 302 ford or a 350 chevy since they know those engines havent been around for 40 years.
 

YotaWhoopRunner

Well-Known Member
Undercover fab-> Your comments got me thinking...

Would the case of an imported Japanese motor default to 1960? I'm not sure if they have a VIN or any other Identifying marks that the chp can pull up? If so, this might be a way for me and curtis with our toyotas to get through.


btw... chp/smog referee can get the yearof the block by the vin number.
 

UndercoverFab

Well-Known Member
i make no claim that that was 100% accurate because i havent moved yet so i haven`t seen it in person but that it what i was told over the phone.
as far as the import engine not havign a vin i guess it all depends on if its an engien that came here in an import car/truck or you mean an engine actually imported (one never offered in a car in the states) wouldnt know about toyota`s but i`ve seen three cars that were never offered here and they all had vin numbers, holden monaro (australian general motors) that had an ls1, nissan skyline and a ferrari f355, good luck though.
 

Dillon

Well-Known Member
I could have sworn the law says that if you are swapping an engine into a vehicle (a vehicle AFTER the '73 year mark), the engine has to be of either the same year as the vehicle or from a later date. So you couldn't drop 350 from an old 1500 into a newer Silverado because the smog restrictions on the old 1500 weren't the same regulations applied to the Siverado cuz they didn't apply at the time.
 

sirhk100

Well-Known Member
That's true but in the case of a specially constructed vehicle I don't think it's not being based on a particular model year because it's considered a vehicle built basically from scratch.
 

SpareChangeRacng

Well-Known Member
Very true. IF you are just doing an engine swap (at least here in CA) the engine has to be the same year or newer than the vehicle it is going in. If you are doing a custom buildup (80% custom or more) then go hog wild and put whatever you want in, BUT beware of the newer motors as the MIGHT not let them defaul because they know how new they are. Steve
 

Dillon

Well-Known Member
I see what you are saying totally, I was responding to what YotaWhoopRunner wrote...

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Like others, I have been researching the bill as well. I spoke with a co-author of the senate bill and it seems like the only way to by-pass smog with a late model truck is to add a pre-73 engine. Once you make this change and you qualify as a specially constructed vehicle, you should be exempt by the year of the engine.

[/ QUOTE ]

At the point that you have a custom vehicle, the engine has nothing to do with it anyways. Once you qualify it won't matter what engine you have, strap on a space shuttle rocket for all they care from what I understand.

500 a year seems pretty damn low tho, the chances of qualifying for one are gonna be pretty slim I think.
 

YotaWhoopRunner

Well-Known Member
In the previous post, I was not referring to a bone stock vehicle.

580. A "specially constructed vehicle" is a vehicle which is built for private use, not for resale, and is not constructed by a licensed manufacturer or remanufacturer. A specially constructed vehicle may be built from (1) a kit; (2) new or used, or a combination of new and used, parts; or (3) a vehicle reported for dismantling, as required by Section 5500 or 11520, which, when reconstructed, does not resemble the original make of the vehicle dismantled. A specially constructed vehicle is not a vehicle which has been repaired or restored to its original design by replacing parts.

By reading the definition of a specially constructed vehicle in the vehicle code, it seems that there is a very large door open for vehicles to qualify. It sounds like a fullly glassed truck with some frame modification can qualify.
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
Here is what happened to me for a specially constructed vehicle. The smog test station said it was a spec con, so it would have to be tested by a smog referee. Made the appointment. I didn't think it would make a huge difference, the car was a fiberglass dunebuggy built on a 1959 pan, but was registered as a 1973 spec con. What smog is there on a 1959 vw? Well, the referee said the car would be smogged based on the engine block year(unfortunately, a 1975 block) so I was screwed. I told them it was a rebuild and the block was just what they used in the exchange sale. No deal he said. After argueing aboutthe year of the chassis and getting nowhere, I asked him what would happen if there were no identifying numbers on the block. He said they would go by the chassis number then. Off to home, out with the grinder, a little pot metal, hit it with a hammer, smudge some grease, and at re-test, it was passed simply by the year of the chassis requiring no smog, so they didn't even test it. So don't fall into the Engine/Chassis number fray. The new program allows then to determine smog requirements from either. If you use a production chassis to base your project on, pay attention to year used, same with engine. You want some way to tie your project back to pre 1974.
 

Dillon

Well-Known Member
Gotcha, I see what you are saying by and large. I was just kind of confused why you would mention swapping an engine if it wouldn't matter what kind of engine the vehicle has since it'll be classified as custom vehicle anyways.

&gt;&gt;&gt;By reading the definition of a specially constructed vehicle in the vehicle code, it seems that there is a very large door open for vehicles to qualify. It sounds like a fullly glassed truck with some frame modification can qualify. &lt;&lt;&lt;

A very good thing indeed, but 500 a year? SEMA cars are going to take a good portion of those every year...
 

YotaWhoopRunner

Well-Known Member
Actually, the 500 spots don't fill up all too fast. The last one was just given out June 12th and they were available at the beginning of the year.
 

V8Ranger

Well-Known Member
Martin,

Wouldn't you need a pink slip that matched the VIN that you stamped into the frame? That's what I was planning on doing but I heard that there is a pretty severe penalty if you get caught.
 
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