You need to get it weighed before you can register. You also need to get it smog inspected, the smog inspections are are good for 90 days so register before it expires.
You’ll have to take it to a DMV for a physical VIN verification, this is part of the registration but it’s a pain if you happen to be out of state, you can’t just file the paperwork. If you’re already in CA no big deal.
You pay taxes to CA and it’s even broken down by locality, usually by zip code. If the state you buy it in has a lesser tax rate vs CA you will owe CA the difference at the time of registration in one lump sum. If the state you purchase in has a higher tax rate you’ll be entitled to a refund.
Your title has to be sent to CA dmv beforehand as well. It has to be converted to a CA title or paperless/electronic title. This is hit or miss and after 3 out of state purchases I’m still not sure how this works as my first didn’t require me to do anything about the title. My second, DMV had me ask my bank to send the physical title to them so they can “convert” it and DMV sent it back to my bank. It was a pain as my bank wasn’t to keen on the idea of sending a title without the truck being paid for. Currently on my third purchase. I know a little better now but CA DMV is backlogged in mail. As of 10/18 they said they were barely opening mail from Aug 3. So it will be about 2.5 months before they even open my application and paperwork the dealership sent in. They also sent it to DMV HQ in Sacramento and DMV HQ mentioned it would have been better if they just sent it to my local DMV. In the meantime my temp tags will expire and CA cant issue anything until they at least enter my VIN into the system as, technically the truck doesn’t exist, they can’t issue any temp tags. I’ve contacted the dealer of the state I purchased in and they are willing to work with me and issue an extension or two. This last part honestly seems to be a pain in the *** and it’s also one of those things that might not be an issue for you or it might be a huge pain. YMMV I guess. The other stuff, smog, weight, VIN inspection is standard for every out of state truck.
Good luck! Keep us posted how you DMV process goes. Someone else will reference this post at some point I’m sure of it. If you have tips put them down.
After this initial smog check, is the vehicle not required to smog for the first 7 years like most new vehicles?