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Virginia Emissions - 78 no cat converter

Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
264
Location
Stafford, VA
Corvette
1978 L-82 4 speed Pace Car
Hello again - it's been a long time since I've visited CAC. Nice to see some of the familiar names are still hanging around. Buying a Harley, getting married, and transitioning from the Marine Corps into a civilian role has kept me pretty busy the past year!

Now that I am off active duty, I actually have to take up residency where I am living - and that is now Virginia - whic has state inspections and emissions tests.

I have a 78 - that means she was manufactured with a catalytic converter. A previous owner removed the catalytic converter.

What are the Virginia rules on emissions tests?

Does the car have to have all original emissions equipment, or does it just have to pass the computer sniffer test?

How old does a car have to be to be exempt from emissions tests in VA? Does the car have to be registered as a classic/antique in order to be exempt?

Thanks for any help that my fellow Virginian C-3 owners can provide!

Semper Fidelis,
Culprit
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
Hey Culprit & welcome back!:w

You're in luck! The age of your car exempts it from an emissions test due to the rolling 25 year exemption, although legally speaking youare still required to keep all factory emissions equipment in place for visusal inspection.

How are you registering your 78? If you go with antique plates, you don't even have to get it inspected at all, safety or emissions. Technically you do if you still want to drive it whenever you want.

Short story, you shouldn't have any problem unless the shop you visit is a stickler.
 
D

Dave Z

Guest
What I found when I did my research is, while you don't need to go through an emissions test, the cat, along with all of the other emissions components still needs to be on the car as part of the yearly safety inspection. That's the visual inspection Eric was speaking of. None of it even has to work properly, as long as it's there, go figure;shrug. My cat is still on (gutted), but will be removed for sidepipes in the spring. Like Eric stated, if you get a real anal inspector, they'll fail you.
What part of VA are you moving to?
 

Crimson Thunder

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2001
Messages
814
Location
Orange Park FL USA
Corvette
1970 Marboro Maroon Convertible
Just go to your local muffler shop and grab a couple of old converters out of their junk pile.Have them plasma cut the tops off (after you gut them) so it will slip over your exaust and weld them on.Ive seen a lot of 5.0 Mustang guys do this to their off road pipes to fool the inspectors when we had inspections here in Florida.I'm planning this modification to my 94 Z28.
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2003
Messages
264
Location
Stafford, VA
Corvette
1978 L-82 4 speed Pace Car
Thanks for the info guys.

So my 78 is emissions exempt for being 25+ years old. But I need the annual safety inspection.

If I register as an antique, then I don't need an annual safety inspection - but what is the catch? Is there an annual mileage limit or higher cost or anything like that?

I have settled in North Stafford along Rt 610. I'm doing the van pool thing commuting into DC working for a defense contractor on Navy contracts. The company has an office in Stafford so if I pay my dues for a year or so and learn the business, I should be able to move down to Stafford, work on Marine Corps contracts, and end the insane commute!
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
If I register as an antique, then I don't need an annual safety inspection - but what is the catch? Is there an annual mileage limit or higher cost or anything like that?
It's kinda fuzzy. Inspections and city/county stickers are not required cars registered as antiques. But without those stickers you are restricted daylight driving to and from events, repairs shops, etc. Most cops won't hastle you on that but that's the way the rules work. If you get it inspected and get the city sticker you can drive it just like any other car but then what's the use in having antique plates.

Here are a few items from www.dmvnow.com (VA's DMV site)

Emissions Exemption Info
Any gasoline powered passenger or property carrying vehicle with a model year that is more than 25 model years old before January 1 of the current calendar year and with a manufacturer's designated gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more (i.e. on January 1, 2005, vehicles with a model year of 1980 are exempt from emissions; on January 1, 2006, vehicles with a model year of 1981 are exempt from emissions).

These vehicles also fall within the definition of "Antique Motor Vehicles". However, a vehicle that is twenty-five or more model years old does not have to display antique license plates to be exempt from emissions requirements.

Urestricted Antique Driving
In order to enjoy unrestricted driving privileges in your antique vehicle, you'll need to provide vintage license plates and register your antique vehicle for general transportation purposes. Just like owning a modern vehicle, you'll have to:

Renew your vehicle registration every year or every other year (depending on whether you renew for one or two years), pay the same registration fee you would pay to purchase standard license plates.
  • Display month and year decals on your vintage license plates.
  • Obtain an annual safety inspection sticker for your vehicle.
 

C3 4ME

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
72
Location
Mechanicsville, VA
Corvette
1979 Black L-82 4 speed
Eric is wrong I beleive about daylight only driving. Look a little further on DMVNOW.com. I'm pretty sure I remember the wording that you can use it for functions, parades and the like and "the occasional pleasure drive, not to exceed 250 miles from home". My 79 is a weekend only driver and I've had no problems whatsoever. In fact, my 70 pickup is primer and rust with 1970 plates but registered as an antique and I use it to run back and forth to the dump every other week and have never had a problem. In short, if you don't do anything to attract attention, you'll never have a problem.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
Eric is wrong I beleive about daylight only driving. Look a little further on DMVNOW.com. I'm pretty sure I remember the wording that you can use it for functions, parades and the like and "the occasional pleasure drive, not to exceed 250 miles from home". My 79 is a weekend only driver and I've had no problems whatsoever. In fact, my 70 pickup is primer and rust with 1970 plates but registered as an antique and I use it to run back and forth to the dump every other week and have never had a problem. In short, if you don't do anything to attract attention, you'll never have a problem.
I stand corrected, nothing about daylight driving, but while driving to the dump may be pleasure driving or an event in some parts of the country, I don't think that's quite what they had in mind;LOL. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Is your antique vehicle just for show…?

If you plan to use your antique vehicle or trailer solely as a collector's item, you may register your vehicle with antique license plates or permanent vintage license plates.

antiqveh_tn.jpg



ant2_tn.jpg


Registering your vehicle either of these ways limits your use of the vehicle to:
  1. Participation in antique car club activities, exhibits, tours, parades, and similar events.
  2. Testing its operation, obtaining repairs or maintenance, transportation to and from events as described in number 1 above and for the occasional pleasure driving not to exceed 250 miles from your residence.
You may not, however, use your vehicle for general, daily transportation. This includes, but is not limited to, driving to and from work.

If you are providing vintage license plates,
  • The issue year of the license plate must match the model year of the vehicle.
  • DMV must inspect and approve their physical condition.
 

Lucy64

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
369
Location
South Riding, VA, USA
Corvette
1964 Red Convertible and 2005 DSOM Z51 Coupe
I am the co-founder of the Northern Virginia Car Club Council. During the last session of the Virginia government they tried to pass HB 288 that would have, along with other things, reduced the miles we can drive to within 50 miles of your residence instead of the existing 250 mile limit. This was the the House of Delegates answer to handling the abusers of the existing laws. Instead of enforcing the existing laws they are attempting to change the laws to make it hard on all the rest of us in the hobby. The state is now really coming down on those that do not follow the letter of the existing laws. The more abusers that are caught also makes it harder on the law abiding antique car owners. I hate to say it but that every other week run to the dump is one of those little things that will only cause the state to tighten the laws and take it out on all the rest of us in this hobby.
 

zachh

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
221
Location
virginia beach, va
Corvette
1979 black 'n' silver L82 1978 Trans Am Y88
I was told, when I got my antique tags that I could drive it all I want, just not to exceed 2500 miles a year. Usually, if you have antique car insurance, thats where they tell you when and where you can or can't drive it.
zachh
mine: 79 L82
186_4.jpg
 

Lucy64

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
369
Location
South Riding, VA, USA
Corvette
1964 Red Convertible and 2005 DSOM Z51 Coupe
Who told you that?? The DMV?? There is no limit of total miles that you can drive with antique tags in Virginia. You are right some Insurance companies do have limits, but not the Virginia DMV. We have found during the forming of our car club council that employees at the DMV have been making alot of mistakes in what they are telling people. We even have some people that were told by DMV employees to get antique tags when it was there daily tranportation, and that is clearly in violation of the law.
 

zachh

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
221
Location
virginia beach, va
Corvette
1979 black 'n' silver L82 1978 Trans Am Y88
I asked the fella and he said that the car wasn't old enough to have milage limitations. I don't know if thats true or not....... For myself, it doesn't really matter, i dont drive 'er that much. It would be nice to know, though.
zachh

ITS NOT THE FALL THAT KILLS YA, ITS THE SUDDEN STOP!
 

Lucy64

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
369
Location
South Riding, VA, USA
Corvette
1964 Red Convertible and 2005 DSOM Z51 Coupe
I asked the fella and he said that the car wasn't old enough to have milage limitations. I don't know if thats true or not....... For myself, it doesn't really matter, i dont drive 'er that much. It would be nice to know, though.
zachh

Who is "the fella"?? Was he a DMV employee? Insurance man?? There is NO mileage limit by the state, that I do know for sure.
 

zachh

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
221
Location
virginia beach, va
Corvette
1979 black 'n' silver L82 1978 Trans Am Y88
"the fella" was the guy behind the counter at the DMV. He issued my tags to me.
zachh
 

wrc3

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
228
Location
Arlington, VA
Corvette
1976 L-48
"2. On the highways of the Commonwealth.....and for occasional pleasure driving not exceeding 250 miles from the residence of the owner. "

That to me is weekend driving.

I think the big thing you have to worry about is if you have a few "sodas" and then hop in the car and drive the cops can use your antique license as a pretext for pulling you over, but really cops can pull you over for whatever they want anyways.

B
 

bluedog20175

New member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
2
Location
Leesburg, VA
Corvette
1982 Collector's Edition
Antique Tags the Way to Go

There is a wide berth if you don't intend your Vette to be a daily driver. Antique tags allow you:

  • testing operation
  • to and from car shows
  • to and from the shop
  • "occasional" pleassure trips no farther than 250 miles from your home
As "occasional" and "testing operation" aren't clearly defined, it does cover just about any driving you want to do.

One of my Corvette friends put it this way: "If you've got an old beater pickup and you're using the tags to exempt you from emissions inspection, you're gonna get pulled over. If you've got an obviously nice old classic car like a Corvette, unless you are breaking some other law, they'll usually leave you alone."

I'm getting Antique tags for my 82CE as soon as it meets the definition of 25 years.
 

C3 4ME

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
72
Location
Mechanicsville, VA
Corvette
1979 Black L-82 4 speed
ok, so ya'll dont' like me driving my Sanford and Son pickup to the dump. Yes, it's a strech to call it pleasure driving. What gets me is the truck is safer than a lot of vehicles registed as an anitque. The mechanicals on it are in better shape than a lot of new cars, the body just needs some attention (ok a lot of attention), but it's not like I'm driving around on worn steering and no brakes. Anyone got a rust free cab for a 67-72 truck they want to sell? I also think the wording "for occasional pleasure drive" leaves a pretty wide interpretation. My closest buddy is a cop and drives his 600 hp 66 vert Sting Ray with 66 plates back and forth to the store, or pretty much anywhere he wants to, but no, not every day, sometimes it might sit for a month at a time.
 

Lucy64

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
369
Location
South Riding, VA, USA
Corvette
1964 Red Convertible and 2005 DSOM Z51 Coupe
The law is wide open with the 'occasional pleasure trip' and you will have a hard time calling a trip to the dump a pleasure trip. I also take my 64 to the store or dinner on a nice evening, so what is a 'pleasure trip' is hard to define. I have been driving with antique tags for 6 years and have never been pulled over to just be hassled. I have been stopped 2 times. The first was a roadblock checking everyone county stickers and the second was 54 in a 35. Can't argue about either stop, and the officer cut me a break on the second one by only writing a ticket for failure to obey a traffic sign. She also had a classic car so she was very nice about having to write me paper. But if you are running around in an obvious beater with antique tags you will be stopped and hassled eventually, no matter how good it is mechanically.
 

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