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SB100 Registration in California - Latest Amendments

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  • SB100 Registration in California - Latest Amendments

    There was an article in today's LA Times summarizing the legislation that Governator Schwartzennegger has signed into law. Disturbingly, the list included the following:

    "Old Cars: A bill ending the exemption on smog checks that cars at least 30 years old now get and requiring emissions tests for all vehicles made since 1976. (AB 2683 by Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster)."

    Fearful that my SB100 smog exemption might have come to an end, I read the bill, as well as the relevant sections of the Health and Safety Code which the bill amends. The text of the amendment and the Code are confusing, to say the least, and the interpretation of the provisions is made even more difficult by the fact that there is another amending bill that must be read in conjunction with AB2683. That said, here is my understanding of the current state of the law:

    - SB100 survives. Those of us who have registered our cars as specially constructed vehicles can continue to enjoy the smog exemption as it previously applied. AB2683 does not appear to change the SB100 status quo.

    - If you did NOT register your car under the SB100 exemption, but instead relied on a smog exemption because your car either (i) was manufactured before 1974; or (ii) was more than 30 model years old, then you may be toast. The new bill tightens the exemption so that it now only applies if your car was "manufactured" before 1976.

    I would be interested to know if there is any industry commentary on this bill, as it took me by surprise. In particular, if anyone hears a contrary view on the bill's effect on SB100, please post here.

  • #2
    A 7 owning friend, who is presently going through the SB 100 registration process, recently told me that SB 100 was going away after next year. I think that he heard this from DMV. However, given all the confusion surrounding these registrations, it would not be surprising if a DMV employee did not have it real clear. When I registered my car under SB 100 it was my impression that I knew more about SB 100 than any person on the DMV premises. That does not mean that I knew very much about the legislation.

    Having our cars already registered under SB 100 I think that we are "grandfathered" as permanently smog exempt. This might have a log term positive effect on the value of our cars. 8)


    • #3
      Originally posted by Roll a 7
      ...told me that SB 100 was going away after next year.
      Does this mean, if true, starting in Jan. 2006 and not Jan. 2005? I might have an expensive an not too useful kit or car in my garage if the latter. I don't think SB100 is in jepardy yet or we probably would have heard about it. The government doesn't know what it's doing from one month to the next and it seems that they wouldn't pull the rug from us kit builders without enough time to finish those kits already ordered or started building. I wonder if anyone has seen any posts about this on the kit car forums or hot rod forums. They would really stand to be affected if SB100 goes out.



      • #4
        The government doesn't know what it's doing from one month to the next and it seems that they wouldn't pull the rug from us kit builders without enough time to finish those kits already ordered or started building.
        An interesting sentence to be sure. Personally my experience is that the 1st half of the sentence is entirely accurate while the 2nd part may not be. Governments can and will do whatever the hell they want, regardless if it makes any sense or not and certainly without regard to the effect on individuals who might have committed to a course of action based on what the law may have been at a given time. The only law that governments pass sucessfully and consistently is the law of unintended consequences.

        According to the (current) law of the Fascist Republic of California (recently renamed from the People's Republic of California, in accordance w/ current Federal Gummint requirements here in the U SS of A):

        Sept. 30 Last day for Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature before Sept. 1 and in his possession on or after Sept. 1 (Art. IV, Sec. l0(b)(2)).

        Oct. 2 Bills enacted on or before this date take effect on Jan. 1, 2005 (Art. IV, Sec. 8(c)).

        So, happily for you, it appears that the deadline for bills to take effect for next year (on Jan. 1) is already passed. As Michael wrote, it looks like SB100 is safe, at least for the next year's 500 applicants. As for the usefulness of an unlicensed Super 7, well, that's why we have Racetracks.
        A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


        • #5
          I am not sure what that means about old cars....If they move the time limit to 1976 that should mean the regulation is now more generous (it used to be 1974). I think the idea is to not let the moving 30-year limit drag into future endlessly but cut off clean with the '76 models. Sounds like I should be safe with my old '69 junker 8)



          • #6
            I've been out of the game for a while, but many moons ago, the year designation of the kit was a bit confusing. It was either by the year of the chassis, or the engine, whichever is/was newer. So, if my '69 VW chassis kit car has a mid-80's powerplant, it would need to pass smog based upon that engine...

            The Cat of course is not based-upon a donor chassis, so I'm ignorant here. I do know that as a prospective CA owner of a new 7, I'm quite interested in this discussion. I am still a couple years out before I buy one as I need to build a garage first, and get an automatic ride for my wife. Otherwise, I'd be scrambling to get one now...

            Let me ask, is getting an SB100 critical if one is going to be running with a new Duratec 2.3? I can see where the SB100 is essential on the older powerplants, but on this new one, with all of the emission controls, it should pass CA smog, right? Maybe there are some performance modifications being done that would make it not smog legal.

            One of the reasons I'm wanting to buy a new Cat, with a new engine, is to avoid the SB100 route, and thereafter be dependent year after year on the whims of legislators. This is a rather large investment for me/us in time, energy and money to have it essentially taken away (minus the track of course). I want to register my future 7, and if at all possible, w/o SB100. If I'm missing something, please enlighten me.

            Thank you much!


            • #7
              TonyB: As presently worded SB 100 allows the kit owner to decide whether the car is to be registered by the chassis or the motor; choosing the respective year of manufacture of each. The kicker is that choosing the modern motors (zetec,duratec,etc.) would require meeting smog regs from the year the engine block was mfd: BUT, an owner can also choose the year of manufacture when his Lotus/Cobra replica was ORIGINALLY mfd, not the year when the kit was created. So, by presenting pictures of, say, a 1962 Lotus to the DMV referee you are able to get a sticker on the firewall which would say "1962 Lotus", while the actual registration says 2004 "SPCNS" (2004 Specially constructed vehicle). By selecting the year of the chassis which is being replicated the owner is subject to the emission laws in effect that year; 1962 in this example. By chance, there were no emission regs in 1962, so the car is now permanently exempt from smog regs. Truly an enthusiasts law, thanks to Senator Johanessen wanting to register his kit Cobra.

              An equally sensible solution (if not more so) might be for the state to grant "energy credits" to builders of kit cars for getting old gross polluters off the road and crushed. A good example would be to buy and crush an old VW beetle, which is about 25 times as dirty as a modern car. If it would make the state happy crush two. This would likely have the effect of reducing pollution by removing dirty old cars and by the fact that most of our cars are not daily driveres so don't tend to rack up a lot of miles. And those in stock form are likely to pass smog regs anyway.

              A web search on SB 100 should turn up the exact text of the bill for further enlightenment. The kit Cobra websites also offer a lot of guidance on that subject. Likely some one on this site may come along and provide a link. 8)


              • #8
                Roll a 7 - thank you! I love the "energy credit" idea. I'm going to check the Cobra sites, as well as read the exact wording of the bill. I appreciate you taking the time to share with me!


                • #9
                  SB 100 registration

                  Magnus has written up a helpful registration process document on this page. It should clear up some questions. I'll be registering my car early in '05 and will probably follow what he advises.



                  • #10
                    Wow, that is one very resourceful link! Just what I was looking for :wink: Thanks a bunch!


                    • #11
                      Did you make it up to the Festival at Sears this weekend? Saturday was drizzle all day and I didn't bother to go but yesterday was beautiful. Not too many cars there (maybe about 6-8) but got a few very fun rides from Gert and Pierre. Hope you were able to get there.


                      • #12
                        Steve, no, I did not. I needed to go to the San Jose bus depot to pick-up the wife and her family in the afternoon, so I didn't bother. I hate being rushed, so I'll just wait for another time...

                        I'm going to continue reading more, partaking in this forum, and working on getting a garage! I won't be a stranger :wink: .


                        • #13
                          Following are excerpts from AB 2863, which has now been signed into law, that I read as relevant. The full text of the bill can be found at:

                          44011. (a) All motor vehicles powered by internal combustion
                          engines that are registered within an area designated for program
                          coverage shall be required biennially to obtain a certificate of
                          compliance or noncompliance, except for all of the following:
                          (1) Every motorcycle, and every diesel-powered vehicle, until the
                          department, pursuant to Section 44012, implements test procedures
                          applicable to motorcycles or to diesel-powered vehicles, or both.
                          (2) Any motor vehicle that has been issued a certificate of
                          compliance or noncompliance or a repair cost waiver upon a change of
                          ownership or initial registration in this state during the preceding
                          six months.
                          (3) Any motor vehicle manufactured prior to the 1976 model-year.


                          (C) Any motor vehicle excepted by this paragraph shall be subject
                          to testing and to certification requirements as determined by the
                          department, if any of the following apply:
                          (i) The department determines through remote sensing activities or
                          other means that there is a substantial probability that the vehicle
                          has a tampered emission control system or would fail for other cause
                          a smog check test as specified in Section 44012.
                          (ii) The vehicle was previously registered outside this state and
                          is undergoing initial registration in this state.
                          (iii) The vehicle is being registered as a specially constructed


                          SEC. 7. This act shall become operative on April 1, 2005.


                          It looks to me like there will not be a problem as long as one can get their Seven through the registration process on or before March 31st, 2005. But I'm no lawyer; the important thing is how this is interpreted and implemented by your friendly local DMV, Smog Referee, etc.
                          - Sean


                          • #14
                            The good news, it seems, is at least SB100 seems to still be in force.

                            The CRITICAL piece of SB100, for us, is being able to have the engine year set as a 1961 year model. As I read it, this means that even if we DO get stuck with a biennial smog check, the only hardware needed, is that needed for a '61 car, i.e. a closed cranckcase (sealed oil cap and any cranckcase breathers being vented inside the air cleaner). No exhaust emmision equipment is requiered for engines "built" before 1966.

                            The sniffer requierments for a '61 vehicle are high enough that any reasonably tuned car should have little problem passing.

                            We'll soon see.....

                            Dave Ganzer
                            [email protected]
                            [email protected]
                            805-527-6089 h


                            • #15
                              SB 100 allows a selection back to 1960.

                              I don't know when the requirement for the crankcase valve (PCV) started, 1960 or 1961.

                              When I had my car inspected they asked what year I wanted it to be. I said 1960 and that is what is on the sticker.

                              Michael, have you had more thoughts on this?