This data from: http://www.smogtips.com
It's true, there is a difference with California legal and Federal legal emission requirements. And, for the most part California is stricter. However, a USED vehicle which has all the Federal required emission components, can pass the California smog inspection process and be legally registered in this state. It is true that California cars have different, and in some cases more, emission components then Federal cars, but this does not mean that these cars can't be registered in California. A vehicle which is equipped with the necessary Federal Emission Components is eligible for California registration as long as the vehicle's exhaust emissions fall within California's limits.
Registration can not be completed with out a smog certificate and up to one month's time can be given for completion after you move to the state. You're first step should be to take the vehicle to a reputable smog station and obtain a California Smog Inspection. Your vehicle should only require a regular smog check, which may be obtained at either a Test Only smog station or Test & Repair. Next you will need to visit the DMV and present the vehicle title and smog certificate to the DMV agent. They will then register the car. You will also have to show proof of liability insurance.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If there is anything I can help with in the future, don't hesitate to e-mail.
For more information you may want to locate a reputable smog service center in your area by simply typing in your zip code in the Smog Shop Locator search section at http://www.smogtips.com.
Alec - SmogTips Support
Humor of the Week - Presented by Harry from Glendale,CA
A bagel salesman standing in Central Park is helping a customer. A man running by drops 50 cents in the bagel man's money jar and continues running down the path without taking a bagel. The next day, again the same man running down the path drops another 50 cents in the bagel money jar and continues running on. This goes on for about two months, until one day the bagel salesman stops the runner and just as he's about to ask him a question, the runner interrupts him saying... "I know what your about to ask me... Why do I keep on dropping money in your jar but not taking a bagel...right?". The bagel man says..."Not really, I wanted to let you know the bagels are a dollar now".
Food for Thought - Presented by Adrian from Irvine,CA
The average life of a human being is 26,972 days. I think I'll reconsider sleeping in tomorrow...