View Full Version : Mini from England to pass state inspection?

05-07-2007, 02:20 PM
I'm importing a 1980 Mini from england and intend to use as my daily driver. Being that I will be driving it every day, I am not supposed to get Historic tags for it. So, it needs to pass my state inspection. Does anyone know if I'm going to have to make massive changes to it? And how much are those changes going to cost me?

Or (ahem) what kind of fines/penalties would I get if I get called on driving a car with historic tags every day (I live in MD)?

... not that I would do something like that.

05-11-2007, 12:24 PM
We have a similar law here in Illinois. I have "been told" that you can run with the historic plates reasonably safely as long as you have a destination you are going to or from. Who can prove you were NOT going to or coming from the parts store, body shop, or a meeting at a friends house to work on the car. I know of a certain right hand drive red Mini that still wears it's british plates.....

I know I see more than a few cars here every summer on a regular basis wearing Historic plates.....as long as you keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down you should be ok.....

Hope this helps,

05-12-2007, 10:38 AM
Here in Wisconsin any vehicle is eligible for collector's plates after it reaches twenty years of age, and has not been modified from the manufacturer's original specifications.

They require you to have at least one other vehicle registered.

The car has to be submitted for an emmissions test before they issue the plates, then it is exempt for as long as you own the car. In addition, you are allowed to use it as a daily driver if you wish, the only restriction being that you must not drive it in the month of January.....

05-12-2007, 09:03 PM
the only restriction being that you must not drive it in the month of January.....

Is that because you may not be quick enough to get out of the way of the snowplows? lol

05-13-2007, 08:32 PM
Probably! Those guys take no prisoners!

05-14-2007, 06:56 AM
In order to qualify for "Historic Plates" you need to have a "Historic Car" insurance. With this insurance you only have a limited number of miles you can use (depends on which package you choose) and you need a garage to store the vehicle in.

As far as getting the vehicle through inspection, that's a whole other story.
Make sure the paper work for your state is in order. You would need a title and registration before you can go through inspection. Since most people at the inspection station have never seen a Mini, they will look confused at first and then realize that most tests cannot be completed because there is no testing data available. On mine, they couldn't performd the brake tests because the clamp does not fit 12" wheels.
The big thing they will test is the emissions.

But either way, no modifications are needed to get a classic Mini through inspections as long as it is 25 years or older and have the proper paperwork from your state.

05-15-2007, 12:28 PM
Thanks for all your help! Now I just need to get it through customs....

06-06-2007, 06:14 PM
Sorry to be so tardy with this reply:

I live in Maryland, and drive a 62 Cooper.

It has 'regular' tags (Why would I want to give up "M1N1"?)

However, it has collector car insurance, through JC Taylor.
Never had a problem with the law.

AND, there are LOTS of folks in the DC area who drive much newer 'Classic" Minis than yours, every day.

Do a search on the Capital Mini Register, and give some of the Gurus there a call.

What you are trying to do has been done many, many times.

Good Luck!

06-07-2007, 09:29 AM
I was always under the impression that a car as new as 19080 is nigh unto impossible to get into the US and registered legally. I am curious to know how this worked.

I know there was a group selling essentially new "old" Beetles from Mexico which used an old Beetle as a base (how much remained, I do not know) so that it was registered as a '67 or whatever. Is that how it is for you, or were you able to get it worked out as the importation of an '80 Mini?

06-07-2007, 09:11 PM
Legally, any car less than 25 years old (build date, not model year) has to comply with EPA and DOT regulation in force at the time.

All the newer Mini's you'll see on Evilbay and elsewhere are bogus and illegal! They will tell you they've been "reshelled". All they've done is take the VIN plate off a scrapped car and put it on a newer car. Not a game I want to get involved with, thanks very much. Doesn't seem to bother other.

I've heard that Customs people are catching on to this scam. They're starting to realize that 1965 Minis didn't have multi-point fuel injection, airbags, air conditioning or power windows.

This Mini Monte Carlo Limited Edition was actually produced in 1994:-

https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Real-Mini...1QQcmdZViewItem (https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Real-Mini-Monte-Carlo-one-of-200-factory-Air_W0QQitemZ180128055260QQihZ008QQcategoryZ107007 QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

And this one looks suspiciously like a 2000 Mini Cooper Sport:-

https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mini-Coop...1QQcmdZViewItem (https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mini-Cooper_W0QQitemZ150129643032QQihZ005QQcategoryZ107 007QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

Good luck to all who chose to take a walk on the "wild side".

06-10-2007, 08:37 PM
How do you pass state inspection? Is your car right hand drive?

I ended up with historic tags...