California Vehicle Smog Inspection

California Vehicle Smog Inspection Santa Rosa

If you desire a Santa Rosa California smog check & test, the best smog repair shop is the Callagy smog testing station. Callagy is registered and certified with the state of California. Our expert smog mechanic will do everything possible to make each inspected auto passes the California smog test without a test only smog check. Callagy is not a test only smog station. A smog coupon isn't necessary at our shop because our price is incredibly low! Passing the smog test, a referee at the DMV will be avoided - a great relief. Like a quick smog or want to know more about smog laws, schedule appointment now with online smog inspection form. Get a repair for you car! Callagy Auto provides a complete automotive car care services. Callagy services all of Sonoma County, including Windsor, Petaluma, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Guerneville, Forestville, Novato, San Rafael, and Marin. Make an online appointment now!

Not all vehicles must get a Smog Check. Additionally, some vehicles only need a 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.

Some vehicles are completely exempt

All 1973 and older model year vehicles are exempt from all aspects of the Smog Check program, but owners of these vehicles are required by law to keep their emissions systems intact. Vehicles built in 1973 for the 1974 model year are 1974 vehicles and must be tested accordingly.

Additionally, vehicles with diesel engines, vehicles with two-cycle engines, vehicles with engines smaller than 50 cubic inches of displacement, electric vehicles, and motorcycles are exempt from the Smog Check program.

New vehicles exempt until their fifth year

Vehicles four model years old and newer (model years 1998-2001, for registrations due after 1/1/2001) are not required to have a biennial Smog Check performed until their fifth year. However, these vehicles must have a Smog Check performed if the vehicle is sold or being registered in California for the first time during that time.

Change of Ownership areas vs. Basic and Enhanced areas

Most areas of the state require vehicles to have a Smog Check performed every two years, when being sold, and when being initially registered in California. These areas are referred to as the state's Basic and Enhanced Areas. However, Change of Ownership Areas only require a Smog Check when the vehicle is being sold or initially registered in California. You can determine the Smog Check area you are in by calling the Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Automotive Repair toll-free at 1-800-952-5210 or by checking the ZIP Code Locator this website.

How do I know if my vehicle needs a Smog Check?

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will note on your DMV Renewal Notice whether a Smog Check is required to reregister. In addition, an information insert explaining the Smog Check Program requirements will be included in that mailing.

No Smog Check required on sales within immediate family

Section 4000.1 (d)(2) of the California Vehicle code exempts transfers from parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, or spouses from the smog inspection requirement.

Useful Tips

We are pleased to provide for you the following tips that will assist you in ensuring that your vehicle will be kept in the best condition possible. If you maintain the following tips, your car should have less difficulty with a smog test.

  • Make sure your tires are inflated properly and check wheel alignment.
  • Change your engine oil and oil filter regularly.
  • Change your fuel filter regularly.
  • Always refer to your owner's manual and use the motor oil and fuel recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Change your air filter regularly.
  • Keep your engine tuned.
  • Check your emission control devices.
  • Service your engine right away when warning lights go on.
  • Check all hoses, wiring and belts.
  • Check the PCV valve and breather elements.
Questions & Answers
  • My renewal notice says my car needs a Smog Check. But the car is out of state, and will not be back for many months. It's too far to bring it back to California for a smog inspection. Can I get the car smog checked in another state and send the results here?
  • Do not obtain a smog inspection in another state; it will not be valid here. Unless your vehicle is in Nevada or Mexico, you need not bring it back to California in order to complete your registration. Simply fill out and sign DMV's " Statement of Facts " form (you need the free Adobe Acrobat reader to download and print this form). The registration tags will be mailed to wherever the car is currently located.
  • For how long is a Smog Check certificate valid?
  • Section 44015 (e) of the California Health and Safety Code states that a Smog Check certificate of compliance or non-compliance is valid for 90 days.
  • Who is responsible for obtaining a Smog Check when a vehicle is sold?
  • Section 24007 (b)(2) of the Vehicle Code states it is the responsibility of the seller to provide a valid smog certificate at the time of delivery of the vehicle. There is no provision in the law to sell a vehicle "as is."
  • I just purchased a vehicle and the seller did not provide a Smog Check. The vehicle needs expensive repairs in order to pass. What should I do?
  • Go back to the seller, inform them about Vehicle Code section 24007 (b)(2), and try to work things out amicably. If that fails, you have the option to pay for the repairs and the Smog Check yourself, and then take the seller to Small Claims Court to recover your costs. Although the law clearly supports the buyer, collecting on a small claims judgment can be difficult, so the amicable solution is usually best. If the seller is a state-licensed auto dealer, buyers have the additional option of filing a complaint with the DMV, which regulates new- and used-car dealers.
  • I have a motor home. Is it safe to smog it on the dynamometer? What should I do?
  • Any vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR; fully loaded weight) of 8500 pounds or more is excused from dynamometer testing. Your Smog Check technician will be able to give any such vehicle the two-speed idle test. Some motor homes with a GVWR of less than 8500 pounds still may not be safe for dynamometer testing. If your Smog Check technician decides he or she cannot safely test your motor home on the dynamometer, they should write that on your invoice. Then, call the Referee Scheduling Center at 800-622-7733 and make an appointment at the nearest Consumer Assistance and Referee Center. Bring your invoice. The referee will be able to give you the two-speed idle test.
  • I recently smogged my vehicle; now I'm selling it. Do I need to smog it again?
  • According to Section 4000.1 (d)(1) of the California Vehicle Code, a car which has had a Smog Check and received a certificate of compliance in connection with an annual registration does not need to be smogged again when sold if the sale date is within 60 days of the registration renewal date.
  • Why am I being sent to a Test-Only station? My car has never failed Smog Check.
  • Your car was most likely picked up in the High Emitter Profile. Even though it may never have failed before, it has been identified through a computer-based selection process as a vehicle which is likely to be emitting unhealthy levels of harmful pollutants. Or, it could be part of the 2 Percent Random Selection Program.
  • When will my post-1974 model year vehicle become exempt from Smog Check?
  • 1974 and subsequent model year vehicles will be exempt from Smog Check when they turn 30 years old. Under current law, a 1974 model year vehicle will be exempt in 2003, a 1975 in 2004, etc.
  • My 1974 model year vehicle was built in 1973. Why isn't it exempt from Smog Check?
  • Many 1974 model vehicles were built in 1973; however, the Smog Check exemption is based on model year, not date of manufacture, so these vehicles are not exempt.
  • Why isn't my vehicle exempt? It's less than five years old.
  • Vehicles four model years old and newer (model years 1998-2001, for registrations due after 1/1/2001) are not required to have a biennial Smog Check performed until their fifth year. However, these vehicles must have a Smog Check performed if the vehicle is sold or being registered in California for the first time during that time.
  • I'm planning to register my vehicle as non-operational this time around. Do I still need a Smog Check?
  • No, the Smog Check is only for operational vehicles. However, if you miss your biennial Smog Check while the vehicle is non-operational, you will be required to get a smog inspection prior to bringing the vehicle back to operational status.
  • What is an Enhanced Area?
  • An Enhanced Area is one which has been designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an area which does not meet federal health standards for ozone.
  • Why are Smog Check stations using the new equipment to conduct the old two-speed idle test?
  • Not all vehicles are compatible with the new dynamometer. Vehicles with full-time four wheel drive, with non-disengageable traction control, or with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of greater than 8,500 pounds, do not go on the dynamometer.
Passing Vehicles -
Emission Levels Below Allowable Standards.

Failing Vehicles - Vehicles with emission levels above their allowable standards and/or those that have missing or modified emission control parts. These vehicles usually have a high level of deterioration and/or a significant emissions control system defect that needs repair.

Gross Polluters - These are the worst polluting vehicles on the road and pollute much more than a typical failing vehicle. Gross Polluter Standards vary according to the age and type of vehicle. For example, a 1987-92 vehicle that is a Gross Polluter pollutes an average of 18 times more than the average Passing Vehicle for that category. These vehicles also usually have a high level of deterioration and/or a major system defect or tampered emission control system that needs repair.

Some vehicles that fail their smog inspections emit such high levels of pollution that a category, called Gross Polluter, was created in law to identify and encourage the repair of the worst polluting vehicles on California's roadways.

Vehicles produce half of the smog in the state. Although Gross Polluters represent only 10 to 15 percent of all California vehicles, they are responsible for over 50 percent of vehicle smog.

Gross Polluters pollute much more than a typical failing vehicle. The emission level at which a vehicle fails as a Gross Polluter varies according the vehicle type and year.

Additionally, older vehicles are not held to the same standards as newer vehicles because older vehicles were built to a less stringent standard when originally manufactured.

By law, a Gross Polluter must be certified at a separate facility - a Test-Only station - from the one that repaired the vehicle.

However, a Gross Polluter Certification Pilot has been created to test the feasibility of having Gross Polluters repaired and certified at the same location. There are over 100 of these pilot stations throughout California for the convenience of motorists.

For motorists who cannot afford to make repairs, there are three options under the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) that offer some temporary financial relief. For more information on Repair Assistance, Repair Cost Waiver, and Vehicle Retirement call (800) 952-5210 or visit

If you are considering buying or selling a used car, remember it must first pass a Smog Check. Be careful not to let any money change hands until the seller has provided you with the Vehicle Inspection Report that will tell you if the vehicle has passed its Smog Check inspection. After failing a Smog Check you should also check to see if your vehicle's warranty will cover any necessary repairs.

Gross Polluters create more smog than all other vehicles. So keep your vehicles well-maintained. It will save you money on gas mileage and major engine failures, extend the life of your vehicle, help you pass your Smog Check, and allow all Californians to breathe a little easier.