What is the process to legalized a EV conversion?

I just started my research in EV conversion. I was just wondering what would be a good donor. I am looking into a small compact vehicle. The lighter the better. The only thing that I am concern with is the process to make a vehicle legal in California. I was wondering if it would be best to get a vehicle that is older than 1974 since this won’t require smogs, etc. or is the process to legalized the EV conversion easy enough to do it on a newer vehicle. I had in mind a 1995 ford escort. What do you think? Any information on the process for those that have done it in California?

Thank you