Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers.
For how long is a Smog Check certificate valid?
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?
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.”
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 the federal ozone health standards. Areas affected are San Diego County, San Joaquin Valley, South Coast, Southeast Desert, Ventura County, and Sacramento.
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-disengage able traction control, or with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of greater than 8,500 pounds do not go on the dynamometer.
I bought a car but did not get a smog certificate. Now I need expensive repairs in order to register the vehicle. What should I do?
Contact the seller to see whether that person will work with you on repairs. If they are not willing to help you resolve the problem, your option is to pay for the repairs yourself and then attempt to recover those costs in court.
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 10,000 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 10,000 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.
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, starting in 2003. 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 currently exempt.