Smog FAQ

Do I Need a Smog Check?

California Smog Check LogoNot all vehicles must get a smog check. Additionally, some vehicles only need a passing smog check when they are being sold or being registered in California after previously being registered in another state. Whether or not a vehicle needs a smog check depends on the type of vehicle, the model-year, and the area in which the vehicle is registered.
Under California vehicle emissions control laws and regulations, you must get a smog check for your car in the following cases:

1.) My Registration Renewal Notice says “Smog Certification Required”
2.) I am selling my car.
3.) I am bringing a car into California to be registered.

When you sell a vehicle in California, the seller is responsible for getting a smog certificate prior to completing the sale. When you bring a vehicle into California to be registered, you are required to get a smog certificate prior to registration.

Some vehicles are not required to obtain a smog check inspection for registration purposes. Vehicles that are six or less model-years old are abated from the biennial smog check inspection requirement. For vehicles with registration renewals due in the 2008 calendar year, the abated years include 2003 through 2008. Vehicles that are four or less model-years old are abated from the smog check inspection requirement upon change of ownership and transfer of title transactions with the Department of Motor Vehicles. In 2008, the abated years are 2005 through 2008.

As of April 1, 2005, the 30 year rolling exemption was repealed. 1976 and newer vehicles are now required to have smog check inspections for biennial registration renewals, change of ownership transactions and initial registration in California.

Vehicles being initially registered in California that were previously registered in another state are exempt from the biennial smog check inspection requirements if the vehicle is a 1975 or older model. All 1976 to current year vehicles are required to obtain a smog check certificate of compliance prior to initial registration in California.

What do I need for my Smog Check?

If you are renewing your registration, you only need to take your vehicle, your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Registration Renewal Notice , and a method of payment for the smog check. If you are transferring a vehicle, or registering it in California for the first time, take the vehicle, a form of payment, and all of your registration documents to JUST SMOGS™.

What happens during a smog check?

While performing a smog check, our certified technician will connect measuring equipment to your vehicle. This equipment is connected to computers at the Bureau of Automotive Repair.

Measurements taken during the smog check are recorded and available immediately to BAR. Certifications are immediately transmitted to the DMV. Our staff at JUST SMOGS™ will tell you the results of the test. We will give you a receipt and a copy of the test results, known as a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR).

What to do next

If your vehicle passes, you may complete your vehicle registration. Be sure to follow the the exact instructions provided by DMV. In some cases, such as paying your fees at a DMV field office, you will have to notify DMV that you received a smog certification before they will send you the renewed registration and sticker.

What do I do if my vehicle fails a Smog Check.

If your vehicle fails a biennial smog check, you have several options to meet your smog check obligations.

1.) Have your vehicle diagnosed and repaired at a licensed Test and Repair station.
2. )Apply for financial assistance for emissions-related repairs from the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP).
3.) Seek a Repair Cost Waiver through the Referee System.
4.) Retire Vehicle to State of California (If program/funds are available).

If you choose to have your vehicle diagnosed and repaired, keep in mind that all emission related repairs to correct a smog failure must be performed by a licensed smog technician at a licensed station.

The Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) consists of a Vehicle Retirement Program and a Repair Assistance Program. In order to participate in CAP, you must submit a CAP application and receive approval before attempting to repair or retire the vehicle. Please contact CAP for further information regarding the Vehicle Retirement and Repair Assistance Programs.

The Repair Cost Waiver process is available if you have had some repairs performed to reduce emissions and cannot afford further repairs to pass the smog test. The Repair Cost Waiver will allow you to register your vehicle for one biennial cycle, even if the vehicle still fails a smog test. To be eligible for a Repair Cost Waiver, the vehicle must not be tampered with, and have at least $450 of emission related repairs performed by a licensed technician at a licensed station. The Repair Cost Waiver is issued by the Referee.

Take advantage of our smog check coupon. An Appointment (optional) can be made in advance or same day:  (714) 596-1019JUST SMOGS® will take care of all your smog check needs. Directions: 7722 Talbert Ave #B Huntington Beach, CA 92648