He was being transferred to California, but the car was Federal, California had a cat that year, Federal did not. I advised him to sell the car, because it wouldn't pass Cal Emissions when it was new.
In CA it's legal to import a used car from another state, even if it's non-compliant with CA emissions. If the car is used (which they define as over 7500 miles), it just has to meet Federal standards.
See here (http://www.bar.ca.gov/80_BARResource...Equip_Req.html
): "Smog Equipment Requirements for Used Vehicles (A Guide for the Used Car Buyer) ... The vehicle must meet either U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or California standards. It is legal in California to buy or sell a used vehicle that meets only federal standards."
Also see here (http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/NonCAVeh/NonCAVeh.pdf): "If you are a resident of California and buy or acquire a new car, truck or motorcycle in another state, it must be 'California Certified' to meet California emission laws... California Law considers any vehicle purchased with less than 7,500 miles on the odometer a NEW vehicle."
New cars imported from another state have to meet the CA standard. Used cars only have to meet the Federal standard.
And in his case, he would have been OK even if he had been under 7500 miles, because the law makes an exception for people moving to the state.
He called sometime later and told me the car had passed Cal emissions
It's possible your efforts helped the car pass, but it passed because it met the Federal standard, not the CA standard.