In California, for cars that are more than eight years old, smog inspections are mandatory every other year. Apart from this, you would need a smog check if you sell a car that is more than four years old or want to register an out-of-state vehicle in California for the first time. For registration renewal, most vehicles in California need to pass a biennial smog review.
A licensed technician can mount a measurement device to your vehicle during a smog check, which will filter out the contaminants from the exhaust pipe of your car. The measurements taken are registered and made available to the agency responsible for vehicle emission monitoring in your state.
Smog Abatement Fee
You don’t have to have your car tested every two years for smog if your vehicle is six years old or less. Instead, for the first six years of enrollment, you would need to pay an additional $20 smog abatement fee. You will be subject to the regularly scheduled smog checks after the first six years to make sure your vehicle is up to par.
The smog abatement fee is NOT for:
- Vehicles Non-Resident
- Diesel-powered vehicles made in or after 1998 with a weight of less than 14,000 lbs
- Specially built vehicles that were manufactured in or after 1976
How to Finish a Smog Scan
You can carry your vehicle to one of the following California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) station locations, depending on your situation (and what your registration renewal reminder indicates):
- STAR stations: Follow the standards of performance defined by BAR. Some only conduct examinations; others carry out both tests and repairs. ‘Gross polluters’ are frequently advised to visit STAR stations, but STAR stations are not limited solely to high-emission vehicles.
- Test-Only stations: Only test vehicles; repairs are not carried out.
- Test-and-Repair stations: both checking and fixing vehicles (if necessary)
- Repair stations only: Here you can get your car checked, but they can do any repairs you need.
You’ve got to show your:
- License of a Driver
- Proof of insurance
- Title Titles (if you own the vehicle)
- Registration, Registration
Once your car passes inspection, when you file or renew your vehicle registration, you can receive a smog inspection certificate to present to the CA DMV. Generally, most smog check stations often electronically report inspections to the DMV. This helps if you want your registration to be renewed via mail or online. PS: Fees vary by platform.
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