How Does Smog Check Work In California?

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.

Are You Looking for a Smog Shop You Can Trust?

If you’re looking for a licensed smog check technician trusted by thousands of happy customers, look no further than autoTECH Blackhawk. Why? We differ from other automotive repair stops because we are a relationship shop. This means that the more of your car repair needs we support you with, the better able we are to customize our recommendations based on your driving habits and needs. Whether you want to keep the daily driver in ‘good enough’ condition, style your new car so that it’s customized just for you, maintain your favorite car in ‘like new’ condition, or even train your whole family to be more knowledgeable about cars – we partner with you to ensure that your cars meet your needs. We also offer an industry-leading 3-Year/36,000 mile warranty, so we only use Original Equipment and manufacturer recommended products. Contact us now to book your no-contact, friendly appointment! We truly value your trust and your business, so thank you for staying local with your auto repair needs.

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