Smog - Frequently Asked Questions
Who Needs a Smog Check?
There are three reasons to get a smog check:
Every two years a smog check is required on most vehicles to renew your registration with D.M.V.
Exceptions: Gasoline vehicles newer than 8 years old, electric vehicles, motorcycles, gasoline vehicles 1975 or older, and diesel vehicles 1997 and older are exempt from this requirement.
Change of Ownership
Most vehicles need a smog check when they are bought or sold. It is the seller's responsibility to have the vehicle inspected prior to the sale of the vehicle. If the vehicle is not registered within 90 days of being tested it will need to be inspected again.
Exceptions: Gasoline vehicles newer than 4 years old, electric vehicles, motorcycles, gasoline vehicles 1975 or older, and diesel vehicles 1997 and older are exempt from this requirement. Transfer of title between certain family members does not require a smog check.
Out of State Vehicles
Most cars coming from out of state seeking registration in California need to be tested.
Exceptions: Electric vehicles, motorcycles, gasoline vehicles 1975 or older, and diesel vehicles 1997 and older are exempt from this requirement.
Do I need to smog my diesel vehicle?
Maybe. Diesel vehicles 1997 and older are smog exempt. Diesel vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight over 14,500 lbs are also exempt from the smog inspection.
Can Smog 'N Go test my full-sized motorhome?
Yes, we can.
However, since motorhome smog checks are performed outside our bays, we prefer that you bring your motorhome during dry weather.
My renewal notice doesn't specify that I need to go to a test-only center or a star-certified center. Can you still smog it?
Yes. We can perform a smog test on your car whether or not it has been directed to a test-only center or a star-certified center.
Can you send my smog results to the DMV if I don't have my renewal form with me?
Yes. We use the Vehicle Identification Number that is imprinted on the vehicle itself to identify the vehicle with the DMV.
Will my car pass with the check engine light on?
No. However, you may still want to have your car tested anyway so you can take advantage of the Consumer Assistance Program to help pay for repairs.
Will my car pass with an aftermarket air intake or other modification?
Aftermarket parts such as air intakes need a sticker with an eo# affixed to the vehicle to prove that those parts are legal for street use in California. If you have questions about specific parts on your car, ask us before we start the smog check, not after.
Vehicle Smog Check History
If you know your vin number or license plate number, you can check your car's smog check history at the state website.
Financial assistance for repairs
California has the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) to help cover the expenses of emissions related repairs.
You can apply online at the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
You can also call them at (800) 952-5210.
California's Aftermarket Parts Lookup Web Site
You can search California's Aftermarket Parts Database here.
California's Official Smog Check Web Site
Visit www.smogcheck.ca.gov for more Smog Check information.