Actually, if you are looking at a UC campus, you want to establish CA residency. You can buy a NEW car with the difference in in-state vs. out-of -state tuition over four years. The difference is substantial. Obviously doesn't apply to private universities/colleges. Most all Federal cars of the '90s up have all CA mandated smog stuff, but must pass the actual emissions test. I'd get the figures for CA and have your TX tech run your fed. car and see if it satisfies those requirements (they are not that different, if at all). FWIW.
The Golden Rule
1984 300SD (bought new, sold it in 1988, bought it back 13 yrs. later)