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California resident buying a Nevada e30

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    California resident buying a Nevada e30

    I'm looking to take the dive into e30s with a 1988 325 coupe located in Nevada. I've never dealt with buying a car out of state and I have a few concerns, the primary one being that I would like to drive it back rather than paying for a trailer. It's my understanding that the previous owner needs to keep the plates to return to the DMV in Nevada but in California, the plates typically go with the car. Does California have any provisions for this or would my only option to legally transport the car back be a trailer considering the lack of plates? In addition, do I need to worry about this car passing smog? I can't find any hard numbers on tailpipe emissions requirements other than the information on strictlyeta.com from 2006. All information is appreciated!

    #2
    Im pretty sure you can get a temporary transport "plate", its just a piece of paper that you tape to your window. Smog, is gonna be on you.
    1985 325e
    1998 M3
    1998 318ti
    1984 533i

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      #3
      NV dawg here. You will need to go to the DMV & get a temporary moving permit which should only run you a few bucks. I don’t know where you’re picking the car up, but if it’s in the Reno area, the DMV here has a queue for moving permits so you could be in & out in 10-20 minutes without an appointment. Only 2 counties in NV do smog (Washoe & Clark), so unless you’re getting it from Reno or Vegas, chances are smog hasn’t been done (Buyers responsibility).
      Last edited by Tisoc; 11-04-2018, 12:36 PM.

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        #4
        you will probably need to show that you have insurance on the car before you can get a temp plate.
        sigpic
        Gigitty Gigitty!!!!

        88 cabrio becoming alpina b6 3.5s transplanted s62
        92 Mtech 2 cabrio alpinweiss 770 code
        88 325ix coupe manual lachsilber/cardinal
        88 325ix coupe manual diamondschwartz/natur
        87 e30 m3 for parts lachsilber/cardinal(serial number 7)
        12 135i M sport cabrio grey/black

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          #5
          Originally posted by flyboyx View Post
          you will probably need to show that you have insurance on the car before you can get a temp plate.
          It’s actually not required to have insurance to get the permit, just a signed title,
          but I’d still take out a policy for obvious reasons.

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            #6
            Many (all?) insurance companies in California automatically cover any car that you buy for up to 30 days. You should also be able to just call and add the car immediately after buying it, before even driving it home. Check with your insurer to be sure.

            I believe Nevada requires the seller to make sure the car passes a smog test before selling the car if the car is sold in a county that requires smog. California has the same law. I would insist on the seller getting the car smog tested and then look at the results such as NOX, CO, and especially HC. You don't want to get stuck with a car that cannot pass a smog test once you get it back to California - getting a failed E30 to pass smog can get expensive and frustrating.
            Randy Walters

            88 325is (w/89 bumpers, recently sold)
            89 325is (Broadsided long ago RIP)
            96 328is (Weekend fun car)
            03 530i Sport (current daily driver)
            05 X3 (little woman's car)
            Driving Instructor BMW CCA L.A. & S.D. Chapters
            Multiple L.A. & S.D. Region SCCA Autocross Championships

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              #7
              Originally posted by randywalters View Post
              You should also be able to just call and add the car immediately after buying it, before even driving it home. Check with your insurer to be sure.
              This is how I've done it in the past. Should work no problem with most insurers
              1984 Delphin 318i 2 door

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                #8
                Wouldn't the car have to pass CA smog once registered making a nevada smog check pointless? CA has famously different standards of emissions and I've never heard of registering a car and not having to smog it


                it's a Kenny Powers quote on wheels

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Das Delfin View Post
                  Wouldn't the car have to pass CA smog once registered making a nevada smog check pointless? CA has famously different standards of emissions and I've never heard of registering a car and not having to smog it
                  In California, you cannot register a car until AFTER it has passed a smog test. If it Does Not Pass, you Cannot complete the registration process. BTDT. This is why California law requires the seller to get the car smog tested before selling. It is not the buyer's responsibility, nor should it be.

                  My point was to have the Nevada seller get the car smog tested and provide the printout of the results. Having those results is a great indicator of if the car will pass the California test or not, and a good indicator of if the engine is running properly or has issues. The biggest issue in passing the California test is the HC numbers which is mostly due to how the ignition system and catalytic converter are performing. Even if Nevada's HC/CO/NO limits are different than California's, the raw numbers on the test results are very useful to know, and they can be compared to other California E30 owners' printouts (which shows the allowed limits).

                  I don't know if the California law requires an out-of-state seller to smog the car before selling, but regardless I would not buy any car that has high HC numbers if the car is to be registered in California.

                  About 10 years ago i went through a lot of trouble trying to get my 180K E30 to pass the HC category even though it was running perfect and strong. I ended up finding a used original low-mile Catalytic Converter and the car immediately passed the HC test with flying colors - night and day difference.


                  .
                  Randy Walters

                  88 325is (w/89 bumpers, recently sold)
                  89 325is (Broadsided long ago RIP)
                  96 328is (Weekend fun car)
                  03 530i Sport (current daily driver)
                  05 X3 (little woman's car)
                  Driving Instructor BMW CCA L.A. & S.D. Chapters
                  Multiple L.A. & S.D. Region SCCA Autocross Championships

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                    #10
                    yes a new cat will fix most of it.. mine wasn't passing until I got one installed at $280.. all readings went to 0 or less than 10.... the original cat honeycomb material was in pieces... lost a couple of pounds too fro smaller cat

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                      #11
                      Alright so i decided to pass on the Nevada car. Just too much stuff about the whole deal made it a bit more of a hassle than this particular car would be worth to me. I'll hold out for one that's local. Thank you for all the good information anyway, hopefully someone can make use of it. To anyone trying to do the same thing I was, if you have AAA their DMV services include temporary operating permits.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by randywalters View Post
                        Many (all?) insurance companies in California automatically cover any car that you buy for up to 30 days.
                        This isn't true and I almost got boned for it. I know it's been said many times, but it's a myth.

                        1991 325iS turbo

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by ak- View Post
                          This isn't true and I almost got boned for it. I know it's been said many times, but it's a myth.
                          Geico told me 7 days I believe.. Once I called them and they knew about the car they wouldn't cover it until i formally added it to my policy. IE if you call your insurance you'll need to add it right then and there, don't ask about it.
                          Build Threads:
                          Pamela/Bella/Betty/325ix/5-Lug Seta/S60R/Miata ITB/Miata Turbo/Miata VVT/951/325xi-6

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by ak- View Post
                            This isn't true and I almost got boned for it. I know it's been said many times, but it's a myth.
                            In the past, we have bought cars that were automatically covered with Mercury, AIS, 21st Century, and AAA Insurance before calling them to officially add them to our policy. When i've called to get a quote for a candidate, they basically said i have to buy the car first, and i'm allowed to drive it home, then please call to add it within x number of days.

                            I don't remember which one(s) told me that we had up to 30 days, but we've always called within a few days to add them so i haven't tested this.


                            Here's info from a consumer site about the grace period:

                            "Policies that extend coverage to new cars typically give you anywhere from seven to 30 days to inform your car insurance company that you purchased a new vehicle. It's important that you know exactly how long you have and inform your insurer about your new car within this grace period. Dec 22, 2017"

                            Regardless, as i said, call your insurance company before buying a car and ask what their policy is, and how long their grace period is, if any.
                            Randy Walters

                            88 325is (w/89 bumpers, recently sold)
                            89 325is (Broadsided long ago RIP)
                            96 328is (Weekend fun car)
                            03 530i Sport (current daily driver)
                            05 X3 (little woman's car)
                            Driving Instructor BMW CCA L.A. & S.D. Chapters
                            Multiple L.A. & S.D. Region SCCA Autocross Championships

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by randywalters View Post
                              In the past, we have bought cars that were automatically covered with Mercury, AIS, 21st Century, and AAA Insurance before calling them to officially add them to our policy. When i've called to get a quote for a candidate, they basically said i have to buy the car first, and i'm allowed to drive it home, then please call to add it within x number of days.

                              I don't remember which one(s) told me that we had up to 30 days, but we've always called within a few days to add them so i haven't tested this.


                              Here's info from a consumer site about the grace period:

                              "Policies that extend coverage to new cars typically give you anywhere from seven to 30 days to inform your car insurance company that you purchased a new vehicle. It's important that you know exactly how long you have and inform your insurer about your new car within this grace period. Dec 22, 2017"

                              Regardless, as i said, call your insurance company before buying a car and ask what their policy is, and how long their grace period is, if any.


                              fine and dandy when there is nothing wrong.. try doing that when you get into an accident and try to do a claim.... error on the side of caution

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