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Old 09-26-2014, 07:55 AM   #1
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Default SoCal Guys, I need your opinions!

Looking for advice from the SoCal guys on street driving a modded Miata in and around san Diego area

Okay so I have searched the Cali DMV and google and have tried to find concrete answers but I have found no luck.

I am Active Duty in the Navy and currently stationed in MS. I'm coming up on my window to pick orders and I'm looking to get orders to San Diego next as I've never been to the west coast and it seems to be a good place to be when it comes to tracking Miata's.

Here are some details on my situation:

I am a Florida resident, my MSM is Registered in Florida and will stay that way if stationed in Cali.

Vehicle Information for Military Personnel in California

The link state that if the vihical is registered in Cali then Smog is required but doesn't necessarily say that non resident military are exempt...

My MSM is far from stock and at this point there is no turning back.

Aside from motor work the major upgrades I'm running that I think would stick out are as follows:
MSLabs MS2e
ARTech top mount EFR-6258 turbo set-up
Corksport 80mm Catback w/no Cat
FIC 775cc injectors
Walbro 255 fuel pump
Wilwood BBK Front and back
Gen-1 Xida CS

I'm also looking into adding Sparco Sprints, 6pt harnesses and HD door bars as soon as I get back from deployment before my next trackday. At this time I would consider my Miata is a dual purpose street car/HPDE build and I really don't want to make my car a track only vehicle while in Cali.

So my question really is, what am I really getting myself into if I get orders to San Diego and try to daily drive my car to and from base, on the streets going when it comes to cops? Am I in for a lot of harassment?

I read somewhere that Cali can impose the smog regulations on vehicals even if they are registered out of state(but now I can't find it). Am I in for a massive headache? Can they seize my car?

I really don't want to make my car a track only vehicle while in Cali.
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:53 AM   #2
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I've been in this exact situation. You are fine as long as you keep your Florida license and keep your car registered in Florida. I got pulled over a few times without issue. I've never encountered the roadside smog checks though, so I don't know about that.
By the way, you don't actually need a California license to register a vehicle in California, should you choose to buy one there some day.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:18 AM   #3
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I've been in this exact situation. You are fine as long as you keep your Florida license and keep your car registered in Florida. I got pulled over a few times without issue. I've never encountered the roadside smog checks though, so I don't know about that.
By the way, you don't actually need a California license to register a vehicle in California, should you choose to buy one there some day.
Thanks, yeah I'll be keeping my Florida DL for at least the entire time I'm enlisted since we don't have State taxes there. I spent a little time in Norfolk, VA and I don't want to get stationed there if I can help it. Cali just seems to have all the big Miata shops and racing support.
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:23 PM   #4
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Cali just seems to have all the big Miata shops and racing support.
Why you leave me?!?!?!?
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:31 PM   #5
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Hahah you can always come up to MS and go to NOLA with me one track weekend! I still want to take some leave and get at least one track weekend in at Sebring too... Better hurry up and finish that car of yours!
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:53 PM   #6
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Well, I've live in San Diego my whole life so maybe I can be of some assistance.

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Originally Posted by FrankB View Post
So my question really is, what am I really getting myself into if I get orders to San Diego and try to daily drive my car to and from base, on the streets going when it comes to cops? Am I in for a lot of harassment?
You'll probably be 100% fine as long as you don't drive like an A hole. Miatas are not really on the radar around here like civics and integras. Actually to speak of it, most of the attraction towards ricers/street racers/bikes, etc, seems to have died down a lot the past few years.

Someone mentioned this, but I've never is my life seen a mobile smog assault unit, or even a db meter being used on anyone.

Everyone drives 70-80 around here (65mph freeways), so as long as you mostly stay 70-75 on the freeway and don't drive like an idiot, you'll probably not even ever get a ticket.


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Originally Posted by FrankB View Post
I read somewhere that Cali can impose the smog regulations on vehicals even if they are registered out of state(but now I can't find it). Am I in for a massive headache? Can they seize my car?

I really don't want to make my car a track only vehicle while in Cali.
Not sure about the smog regulations as they pertain to active duty/drivers licenses and car registrations, but I'm sure if you keep everything FL, you'll be fine. But like I said, you probably won't have any issues with law enforcement agencies. Just make dams sure you don't have to smog, because you'll never pass in the current condition of your car.

Also the closest track from here is Chuckwalla and it's more than 3 hours away. Willow Springs is 3.5 and Buttonwillow is 4.5 hours. Those numbers are with no traffic. And you've pretty much got to get through LA or Riverside for all the above.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:29 PM   #7
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I think you forgot autoclub as well.


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Well, I've live in San Diego my whole life so maybe I can be of some assistance.



You'll probably be 100% fine as long as you don't drive like an A hole. Miatas are not really on the radar around here like civics and integras. Actually to speak of it, most of the attraction towards ricers/street racers/bikes, etc, seems to have died down a lot the past few years.

Someone mentioned this, but I've never is my life seen a mobile smog assault unit, or even a db meter being used on anyone.

Everyone drives 70-80 around here (65mph freeways), so as long as you mostly stay 70-75 on the freeway and don't drive like an idiot, you'll probably not even ever get a ticket.




Not sure about the smog regulations as they pertain to active duty/drivers licenses and car registrations, but I'm sure if you keep everything FL, you'll be fine. But like I said, you probably won't have any issues with law enforcement agencies. Just make dams sure you don't have to smog, because you'll never pass in the current condition of your car.

Also the closest track from here is Chuckwalla and it's more than 3 hours away. Willow Springs is 3.5 and Buttonwillow is 4.5 hours. Those numbers are with no traffic. And you've pretty much got to get through LA or Riverside for all the above.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:36 PM   #8
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Yeah. I knew I should have mentioned that. That is definitely a decent option. Between 1 and 1.5hrs away depending how far south in San Diego you live. I really want to get up there myself actually. I figured some people might now consider that reall "track" or road coarse. But I'll take whatever I can get.
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:14 PM   #9
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It is a full infield and such so I see no reason not to call it a track. Sadly I have yet to make it there as well, almost did this past weekend but couldn't go :(.

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Yeah. I knew I should have mentioned that. That is definitely a decent option. Between 1 and 1.5hrs away depending how far south in San Diego you live. I really want to get up there myself actually. I figured some people might now consider that reall "track" or road coarse. But I'll take whatever I can get.
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Old 09-26-2014, 09:48 PM   #10
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Yeah. I'm trying to get into one of the Speedventure events. It's close enough that my AAA 100 mile towing will cover in case I break something
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Old 09-27-2014, 12:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slmhofy View Post
Well, I've live in San Diego my whole life so maybe I can be of some assistance.

You'll probably be 100% fine as long as you don't drive like an A hole.
^ This.

I lived in SD county for 8 years, and the cops there are about as laid back as you can imagine. You'll never be able to register the car in CA, but as long as you can legitimately maintain the FL reg, and you don't drive like an *******, you'll be fine.

Being active-duty military will help should you ever be pulled over for anything other than DUI. Between Pendleton, Miramar, USGC and the Navy base, they've got so many military personnel there that the LEOs have seen it all and really don't give a ****.
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:04 AM   #12
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Hey there Sailor,

I'm active duty Marine Corps in Camp Pendleton. Here we have to have base registration, and for that we need a smog check no matter where our vehicle is registered. They even make dudes with pre '74 cars get smogged, even though their are no smog regulations for those cars. Not sure if thats a Pendleton thing or a military wide thing. If you end up needing a "special" smog check there are many placed that will do that too.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:13 AM   #13
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Wow, that sucks. Coronado didn't require that, but that was a few years ago. Call someone at the command you're headed to and ask them about it.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:01 PM   #14
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Well I haven't received orders there yet so kind of hard to call the command since I don't know which one I'd go to. I think my cousin just got stationed in San Diego now though. I'll try to see if that smog thing applies on base there. Thanks for the great info guys it's definitely given me more to take into consideration.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:37 PM   #15
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Some of my boys are still there. I'll ask them for you. What is your rate by the way?
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:42 PM   #16
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Some of my boys are still there. I'll ask them for you. What is your rate by the way?
Thanks, I'm a LS2. I'm trying to get back to back sea orders to a DDG or other small boy over there. So if they know which ones are better than the others that'd be good to know too.
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:19 AM   #17
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So it looks like Socal will have to wait anothr 4 years... :(
I got my new orders and come November I'll be heading out to Norfolk, VA instead.

Refer back to my previous statement

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I spent a little time in Norfolk, VA and I don't want to get stationed there if I can help it.
FML... hahaha
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:36 AM   #18
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There are a few mt.net people in the 757.
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:53 AM   #19
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PM Kotomile, he still has FL tags on all his cars and lives in Monterey.

e: when you get lucky enough to actually live here, that is.
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:30 PM   #20
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There are a few mt.net people in the 757.
I'll have to figure out who 757 the track guys are.

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PM Kotomile, he still has FL tags on all his cars and lives in Monterey.

e: when you get lucky enough to actually live here, that is.
Thanks, will do. Hopefully I'll get lucky enough to be stationed there next time.
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