Smog - Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs a smog check?

There are three reasons to get a smog check.

  • Registration Renewal: Most vehicles require a smog check every two years to renew vehicle registration with D.M.V.

    Exceptions include the following: gasoline vehicles that are newer than 6 years old or 1975 and older, motorcycles, and diesel vehicles 1997 and older.

  • Change of Ownership: When a vehicle is bought or sold, it will require a smog check. The seller has the responsibility to ensure that the vehicle has had a successful smog inspection within 90 days of the transaction. If the vehicle is not registered within 90 days of having been smogged, it will require an additional smog check.

    Exceptions include gasoline vehicles newer than 4 years old or 1975 and older, motorcycles and diesel vehicles 1997 and older.

    Also note that a change of ownership between certain family members, does not require a smog check.

  • Bringing in a car from out of state: If you are registering a car in California that came from out of state you are required to have a Smog Check and VIN Verification. (We are one of the few shops that can handle both.)

    Motorcycles, gasoline vehicles 1975 or older, and diesel vehicles 1997 and older do not need a smog check to be registered in California.

Do I need to smog my diesel vehicle?

Maybe. You don't need a smog check if your diesel vehicle is 1997 or older, or if your diesel vehicle has a Gross Vehicle Weight over 14,500 lbs.

Can you smog my all-wheel drive vehicle?

Yes. All-wheel drive vehicles get a two-speed idle smog test instead of being tested on a dynamometer.

Can you smog my full-sized motorhome?


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.

Do I need to bring my D.M.V. renewal form with me?

Your renewal form will help get you in out more quickly, but we will still be able to do a smog check if you didn't bring the form with you.

Will my car pass with the check engine light on?

No. However, you may still opt to get the smog check done to take advantage of the states Repair Assistance program.

Will my car pass with an aftermarket air intake or other modification?

You will need a sticker with the eo#. This sticker comes from the part manufacturer and must be affixed to the vehicle, usually under the hood. Please ask us before we start the smog check if you have any questions on after market parts, not after we start.

Smog Resources

Vehicle Smog Check History

You can check your car's smog check history at the state website if you know either the license plate number of vin.

Financial assistance for repairs

California has the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) to help cover the expenses of emissions related repairs.

We can print out an application for you. You can also print your own application from California Department of Consumer Affairs or call them at (800) 952-5210.

California's Aftermarket Parts Look-up Web Site

You can search California's Aftermarket Parts Database here.

California's Official Smog Check Web Site

Visit for more Smog Check information.