Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia - Honda-Tech - Honda Forum Discussion


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Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

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Old 10-26-2009, 07:00 PM   #1
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Default Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

I am trying to find out what the legalities are for a RHD firewall conversion is in California...
for example:
I have a 1992 Acura Integra and I wish to do the RHD firewall conversion to this car...I have the front clip but before I proceed I want to know how to make it street legal...this is what I know!!

The CHP VIN Officer says that if the car is converted it is illegal, however if the complete car is imported from japan or any other place then the CHP can issue a blue VIN..which makes it legal to have RHD vehicle...not fair

The CHP tells me that i would need to bring the firewall and dash so that they may keep the old stuff due to possible VIN fraud, then they contradict themselves by saying its totally illegal to even to the conversion.

The CHP says that I need to contact the BAR to have it cleared for street use, but the BAR says they have nothing to do with that department and why would that even want to be done in the first place....

So far it looks like nobody knows what the legalities are for a RHD conversion....I think certain departments just dont want it done and would rather turn the other cheek..I have read all CVC (california vehicle codes) and none of them state that it is illegal to have a RHD vehicle...

One of my questions is this!!! Why is it illegal to convert a LHD to RHD? please give me a valid answer to this question!!!

All I have is a stock US car with all state emissions requirements met and I just want to change the location of the steering to RHD!! Its basically apples for apples, I am not changing the integrity of the car..The only thing that is changing is the VIN numbers on the RHD firewall and the dash VIN being on the right side!!!
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

and yet you bought the clip before confirming this?
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

lets not be rude with questions or comments like night said...there are other ways to have the car done without being street legal...it could be a show car!!!

I just want someone who has run into this problem or have not to give me straight answer...I would prefer the car to be RHD street legal!!
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

What does the dmv say?

Cali is the strictest place on earth when it comes to mods so itll be hard
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

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Originally Posted by fastrxu View Post
What does the dmv say?

Cali is the strictest place on earth when it comes to mods so itll be hard
believe me I am contacting every department in california regarding anything about cars....so far I havent gotten a straight answer from anyone....
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

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Originally Posted by Wungun RT View Post




..I have read all CVC (california vehicle codes) and none of them state that it is illegal to have a RHD vehicle...

One of my questions is this!!! Why is it illegal to convert a LHD to RHD? please give me a valid answer to this question!!!

All I have is a stock US car with all state emissions requirements met and I just want to change the location of the steering to RHD!! Its basically apples for apples, I am not changing the integrity of the car..The only thing that is changing is the VIN numbers on the RHD firewall and the dash VIN being on the right side!!!
Really? That book is like 3 inches thick. You probably skimmed thru it skipping over vc's that apply.

A firewall conversion means you tamper with the VIN numbers and their locations. Last time I checked that was illegal.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

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Originally Posted by fourthgenhatchB17 View Post
Really? That book is like 3 inches thick. You probably skimmed thru it skipping over vc's that apply.

A firewall conversion means you tamper with the VIN numbers and their locations. Last time I checked that was illegal.
Excuse me (fourthgenhatchb17) It appears that I forgot to add a few facts, I do understand that it would be tampering with numbers which is cvc code 10751, I also have a family friend that is a police officer and he says that there is no law against the convesion however you can find ways around not tampering with the firewall VIN but the dash VIN could be a factor unless the correct department states otherwise....like I said before...these certain departments dont talk to the other departments...so far they say that it can be done then they contradict themselves and say its illegal...for example a CHP VIN officer tells me as long as I bring him the old firewall and the old dash he would issue me a blue VIN...sounds like a deal due right, but to VIN fraud the CHP keeps the old stuff....then a couple days later he tells me that he had bad news and said it was illegal unless the complete car was imported from japan....SO WHATS THE ISSUE WITH A CONVERSION?? its factory and its legit parts!!!!! what difference does it make when shops can import the clips for sale....but the conversion cant be street legal....what about street sweepers, and mail trucks, and converted jeeps for the mail routes..why can't we convert our own cars???

Last edited by Wungun RT; 10-29-2009 at 06:54 PM. Reason: misspelling and additions to the post
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

Police officers only know a fraction of all the laws that exist, as they are mostly familiar with day to day/common stuff. Point being, they are probably the worst person to ask for this type of situation. You will have to keep digging and calling all the agencies until you find someone who is knowledgeable enough to answer your question correctly. As Ive said before, VIN tampering in any way, shape or form, is generally illegal. In my opinion, that single law is enough to justify the "illegal" standpoint. Shops selling front clips has nothing to do with your case. Even so, front clips are not always used for conversions, its just an easier way to import and resell the parts. As for your conversion being "factory," not sure what you meant by that. And just because you use factory parts, doesn't make it OK to do whatever you want. BTW man, Im not trying to rain on your parade but I usually take the no BS approach in my responses.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

Register it as a mail delivery vehicle.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

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Register it as a mail delivery vehicle.
or zip tie some push brooms to the front of the car and register it as a street sweeper
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

...or move away from such an over regulated state.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:42 AM   #12
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

rip off your vin from the usdm dash go get it blue tagged they will rivet it on the door jam do the firewall conversion but use the us vin grind, paint make it look clean and their you go
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

move to the east, u good to go.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

^thats why i havent done this to my ride....**** all the bullshit...

>good luck dude...

J.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:36 AM   #15
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

look i did my ferio rhd and honestly i pass up chp here n there no issues yet i mean if they run my plate they come back the car that their running u feel me now i have been pulled over for a non related issue and all the cap said was that i better be ligit or my cars his and yea i was so then i got no ticket ...............my buddys rhd got impounded for a non related issue and he evn got it back after 30 days i mean yea dont tamper wit the vin but then if u do just keep both vins hey the worst there gana do is take the registration away and give u an off road permit witch hey even wit that permit u can even drive to shows ....lol im sure u can make up show evens ........but hey even i dont bugg the po po u feel me .....
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:02 AM   #16
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

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Originally Posted by JDM-JAMES View Post
rip off your vin from the usdm dash go get it blue tagged they will rivet it on the door jam do the firewall conversion but use the us vin grind, paint make it look clean and their you go
ok this is a good way. but dont touch the fire wall vin at all the new blue tag vin is your new vin for the car. thats the vin the cops will check they also blue tag cars when vins dont match so (rhd) the firewall vin wont match but ur blue tag vin makes up for it. that is your new vin for the car..
people even take rhd cars to the chp and they blue tag them the same way, so its the same thing

i live in cali, i do RHD conversions and also drive rhd cars on the streets all they really worry about is swaps and things so make sure your motor is legit.
i hope i helped in any way

Last edited by joetdk; 01-06-2012 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:42 AM   #17
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

I converted my crx rhd and drove it for bout 2 years. One day I got stopped and then an illegal search of my vehicle they found the firewall vin different than the american vin on my dash. That's when they stopped the registration on my car. If I were you, when you do the firewall swap, cut out the jdm vin and put your old american vin from the original firewall in. That way you will not have the same problem that i did.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:07 PM   #18
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

Do the swap... It is illegal to swap VINs if you are trying to diguise a car as something other than the original.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

i have an idea why dont you go to chp requesting they put a blue vin on your door because you will be removing your dash due to a color prefrence in dash... meaning you will remove your original dash that has your og vin so the chp has no choice but to do it cuz they clearly see your car is legit with the right fire wall and vin dash.. after its done do the rhd conversion and your car is leagally tagged not to have the right dash in a way its not a 100% but imo i think you would at least get away with the fact that u did not ilegally remove your vin from your dash or firewall
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:01 PM   #20
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

Why not cut the own fire wall and seal up the holes and re paint it my buddy said since it's the vin will stay the same and if I keep the dash vin and put it on the new dash it works but I will have to take out my b20v and do it then have them look at it with a dummy motor.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:41 PM   #21
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Default Re: Legalizing a RHD conversion in Califonia

names aaron.
New too the forums..
Just curious if anyone has,
Cutt around the fire wall vin and the vin on the dash,to swap LHD too RHD.

That's not tampering with the vin, if you cut around them..right?

Has anyone ever donthat
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