Smog Checks in California – What You Need To Know

smog checkCalifornia is a beautiful state that is unfortunately known for smog. This why the government has established vehicle regulations requiring regular smog checks. A smog check is required to renew a vehicles registration, and so there are a number of things that California drivers need to know about smog checks. This includes knowing what cars needs a smog check, when they should be performed, and how to go about getting a smog check.

What Cars Require A Smog Check

The first thing to learn about smog checks is what cars require a smog check. Smog checks are not required for trailers, motorcycles, and cars powered by natural gas or electricity. Smog checks are required on all diesel powered cars older than 1997, and on gas powered cars older that 1975. Smog checks are not required on cars that have a GVWR over 14,000 pounds.

In addition, certain areas require all cars newer than six years old to pay a smog abatement fee. The abatement fee is lower than the cost of a smog check, and will not require owners to bring their cars in for an inspection. The DMV will likely send a notice before the abatement fee is due, but it is a good idea to check the deadline for the abatement fee in order to avoid being late.

When To Have A Smog Check

Smog checks are required in certain parts of California. It is possible to find a map of these areas, and then determine how often a smog check is required. Our recommended smog check shop in Oakdale, CA is  It is possible to look up a current list of counties that require a check. As a general rule smog checks are required twice a year. It is also a good idea to check to see if a smog check is required with the purchase of a used car. Usually the smog check can be transferred with the payment of a small fee.

Where And How To Get A Smog Check

Smog checks are performed at what are known as STAR Stations. Most businesses will advertise if they offer smog checks, and a quick internet search can help car owners easily find a station. A smog check involves simply taking a reading of the vehicles emissions, and can be performed inside of half an hour. However, it is prudent to make an appointment with the STAR Station.