Currently, smog inspections are required for all vehicles except diesel powered vehicles manufactured prior to 1998 or with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR) of more than 14,000 lbs, electric, natural gas powered vehicles over 14,000 lbs, hybrids, motorcycles, trailers, or gasoline powered vehicles 1975 and older.

Vehicles registered in areas subject to the biennial smog certification program are required to submit evidence of a smog certification every other renewal period. Owners of vehicles six or less model years old will pay an annual smog abatement fee for the first six registration years instead of being required to provide a biennial smog certification. The registration renewal notice mailed to you by the department will indicate if a smog certification is required. If a smog certification is required and you have not had a smog inspection, you may still pay your registration fees to avoid any late fees. However, you will not receive your new registration or year sticker until the smog information has been received by DMV.

NOTE: Upon initial registration, nonresident, diesel powered vehicles manufactured in 1998 or after with a (GVWR) rating of no more than 14,000 lbs, and specially constructed vehicles 1976 and newer require smog certification. The six or less model years old  rule does not apply to these vehicles.

When you transfer a vehicle that is four or less model years old a smog certification is not required. (Determine the oldest-qualifying year model by subtracting three from the current year.) The four or less model years old rule does not apply to diesel powered vehicles. A smog transfer fee will be collected from the new owner . When a vehicle is more than four model years old, a seller must provide evidence of a current smog certification except when one of the following occurs:

  • The transfer occurs between a spouse, domestic partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, or grandchild.
  • A biennial smog certification was submitted to DMV within 90 days prior to the vehicle transfer date (a vehicle inspection report may be required for proof of certification).

Smog certifications are good for 90 days from the date of issuance.

Smog inspections are required unless your vehicle is:

  • Hybrid
  • Gasoline powered 1975 year model or older
  • Diesel powered manufactured prior to 1998 or with a Gross Vehicle Weight rating (GVWR) of more than 14,000 lbs
  • Electric
  • Natural gas powered with a GVWR rating of more than 14,000 lbs.
  • Motorcycle
  • Trailer

The seller is required to provide the buyer with a valid smog inspection certification at the time of the sale or transfer. Smog certifications are good for 90 days from the date of issuance.

The inspection is not required on a transfer if a biennial smog certification was submitted to DMV within 90 days prior to the vehicle transfer date (a vehicle inspection report may be required for proof of certification).

NOTE: Smog certifications are not required for transfers that occur for a gasoline powered motor vehicle that is four or less model years old. (Determine the oldest-qualifying year model by subtracting three from the current year) the four or less model years old rule does not apply to diesel powered vehicles. A smog transfer feewill be collected from the new owner.

DMV cannot provide technical information or advice in this area. We recommend that you call the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) toll free number at 800-952-5210. You may be eligible to participate in the Voluntary Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Program (also known as the old vehicle buy back program).

Vehicles registered in areas subject to the biennial smog certification program are required to submit evidence of a smog certification every other renewal period. Starting January 1, 2005, owners of vehicles six or less model years old will pay an annual smog abatement fee for the first six registration years instead of being required to provide a biennial smog certification. The registration renewal notice mailed to you by the department will indicate if a smog certification is required. If a smog certification is required and you have not had a smog inspection, you may still pay your registration fees to avoid any late fees. However, you will not receive your new registration or year sticker until the smog information has been received by DMV.

NOTE: Upon initial registration, nonresident, diesel powered vehicles manufactured in 1998 or after with a Gross Vehicle Weight rating (GVWR) of no more than 14,000 lbs, and specially constructed vehicles 1976 and newer require smog certification. The six or less model years old rule does not apply to these vehicles

Counties that require biennial smog inspections are listed above.

If you acquire a vehicle that is currently registered in California from a spouse, domestic partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, or grandchild, you are entitled to an exemption from the smog inspection. Other family members or relations are not exempt and are required to obtain a smog inspection certification.

For more information read “Transfer a Vehicle Between Family Members.

What’s New?

California’s updated voluntary vehicle retirement program is now available. The program is administered by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) and provides $1,000 per vehicle and $1,500 for low-income consumers for unwanted vehicles that have either FAILED or PASSED their last Smog Check Test and that meet certain eligibility guidelines. For more information, visit BAR’s website. You can also obtain a copy of the application, or call BAR at (866) 272-9642.

Background

Voluntary accelerated vehicle retirement or “car scrap” programs provide monetary incentives to vehicle owners to retire older, more polluting vehicles.  The purpose of these programs is to reduce fleet emissions by accelerating the turnover of the existing fleet and subsequent replacement with newer, cleaner vehicles.  Reducing emissions from the existing fleet is a component of California’s State Implementation Plan, which outlines the State’s strategy for meeting health-based ambient air quality standards.

Both State and local vehicle retirement programs are available.  The State’s recently enhanced Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) was developed by the ARB in consultation with BAR and provides $1,000 per vehicle and $1,500 for low-income consumers for unwanted vehicles that have either FAILED or PASSED their last Smog Check Test.  For information on the development of the new program, visit ARB’s Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program website.  For information on CAP, visit BAR’s website or call BAR at (866) 272-9642.  You can also obtain a copy of the application.

Local voluntary accelerated vehicle retirement (VAVR) programs are also available for vehicles that have PASSED their most recent Smog Check or are not subject to the Smog Check requirement.  Administration of a VAVR program is entirely optional.  As such, check ARB’s VAVR website for more information related to district programs and to see if your district offers one.

ARB Contact Information

The ARB does not administer car scappage programs. The ARB is responsible for developing the regulations that provide guidelines to BAR and the local air districts that choose to administer VAVR programs.  However, if you need assistance or have general questions, contact John Ellis at (626) 350-6516.

Use this form to apply for Clean Air Vehicle Stickers. The stickers allow single-occupant qualifying vehicles to use high-occupancy vehicle lanes (carpool or diamond lanes) in California.

Application for Clean Air Vehicle Stickers REG 1000 (PDF)

 

Source: DMV. State of California. Aug. 8, 2011. <http://dmv.ca.gov/faq/faqsmog.htm>

smog inspection san jose

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