Ace Your Smog Test

What is a smog check? New California residents and those getting a driver’s license in the state for the first time often have questions about this auto requirement. Here’s what California drivers need to know about the state’s smog test.

All vehicles must have a smog test every two years to be legally registered in the state. New residents must have an inspection of this kind completed within 20 days of establishing residency to register their cars in the state, even if they already have a certificate from another state. The certificate can then be brought to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) so the car can be registered.

Drivers must have this test done at a DMV-approved smog test facility. The requirement is waived for certain vehicles, including gas-powered cars built before 1975, vehicles over 14,000 pounds and powered by natural gas, diesel-powered vehicles either over 14,000 pounds or made before 1997, electric vehicles, and motorcycles. In addition, certain zip codes and counties do not require the test.

A smog test is just as important as regular maintenance for your vehicle. Make sure you’re up to date on yours before hitting the road.