California DMV Smog Check Stations

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Vehicles registered in the state of California are required to obtain a smog certification every two years, unless exempt. Nearly 40 counties within the state require smog certification, which can be obtained by bringing the car to a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) smog check station.

DMV Smog Check Stations

There are currently more than 7,000 California DMV smog check stations which can inspect your car and provide the necessary certification. The California DMV website offers you the option to search smog check stations by zip code, county or name. Each smog check station sets an individual price for inspection, as well as a fee for the smog certificate.

Used cars

If you purchased a used car, the previous owner must provide you with a valid smog inspection certification which was performed no more than 90 days before your purchase. The vehicle will need to be reinspected if the smog certification was older than 90 days. This is not necessary for gas powered vehicles less than four years old. Instead, the new owner pays a smog transfer fee.

Exemptions

The following vehicles are exempt from biennial smog certification: hybrid, electric, gas powered models prior to 1978, diesel powered models prior to 1998 or those with a gross vehicle weight rate over 14,000 lbs, motorcycle; natural gas powered with gross vehicle weight rate over 14,000 lbs, and a trailer. Vehicles less than six years old do not require smog certifications, but do require the owners to pay an annual smog abatement fee.

Failed Inspection

If your vehicle fails the smog inspection and you meet certain income requirements, the California Department of Consumer Affairs Consumer Assistance Program may be able to repair your vehicle so that it passes smog inspection. If you do not meet that requirement, you may want to take advantage of the Voluntary Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Program, which will pay you a set fee for older vehicles which may have failed the smog inspection.
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Source: Renata Yvonne

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