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I'm looking at a 2012 Lexus rx450h but will be moving to one of the states (Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia) under the California emission laws soon and wonder if it will automatically qualify for California emissions or would I have to make modifications to the car? If not automatic, can I use the VIN to determine whether the car already qualifies?

If it does not qualify and it will require modifications, what kind and scope of modifications would be required and is there any possibility of doing them yourself or must it be done by a regulated mechanic? If modifications are required, what if any impact would this have on its regular maintenance schedule, would there be extra maintenance, would it be more costly?

If it does qualify, does that mean the more stringent California warranty of 150K/10yrs automatically applies to the hybrid batteries?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Open up the hood and look at the emissions control system label. That will indicate whether it meets California emissions standards or not. See this page from the California DMV for what to look for.

Also, at least for California (Not sure about other California-standards states), you can register a 49-state vehicle in California after you move there if you previously registered it in your previous home state.

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