Smog Abatement Fee and how it works:

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If your vehicle is six-years-old or less, you do not have to have your vehicle smog checked every two years. Instead, you’ll need to pay an annual $20 smog abatement fee for your first six years of registration. After these first six years, you will be subject to your regularly scheduled smog checks to make sure your car is up to standards.

The smog abatement fee does NOT apply to:

  • Non-resident vehicles.
  • Diesel-powered vehicles that made in or after 1998 that weigh under 14,000 lbs.
  • Especially it constructed vehicles that made in or after 1976.

Continue reading to know What is smog abatement fee in california and what details you need for it?

Alright, now let’s get to the good stuff: 

How to Complete a Smog Check

Depending on your situation (and what your registration renewal reminder indicates), you’ll bring your vehicle to one of the following California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) station locations:

STAR stations: Meet BAR-established performance standards. Some perform only tests; others perform both tests and repairs. Often, “gross polluters” are instructed to visit STAR stations, but STAR stations aren’t limited just to vehicles with high emissions levels.

Test-Only stations: Only test vehicles; they don’t make repairs.

Test-and-Repair stations: They both test and repair vehicles (if necessary)

Repair-only stations: You can get your car tested here, but they can make any repairs you need.

You must present your:

  • Driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance
  • Title (if you own the vehicle)
  • Registration

Once your vehicle passes inspection, you’ll receive a smog inspection certificate to present to the CA DMV when you register or renew your vehicle registration. Generally, most smog check stations also report inspections to the DMV electronically. It helps in case you want to renew your registration via mail or online. PS: Fees vary by location. Call ahead for fee and schedule information.

General information of Smog check:

The Smog Check Program is an important part of the State’s efforts to improve the air we breathe. Smog Check inspections designed to identify vehicles with excess emissions so can properly repair them. The Program has greatly reduced air pollution created by millions of cars in California.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) administers the Smog Check Program. Vehicles are inspected each year by more than 7,000 State-licensed and independently owned stations throughout the State.

Gasoline-powered vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and alternative-fuel vehicles that are the model year 1976 and newer require a Smog Check, with the following exceptions:

Eight model-years and newer do not need a biennial (every other year) inspection.

Four model-years and newer do not need a change-of-ownership inspection.

To determine the first year a vehicle is subject to a biennial or change-of-ownership Smog Check, add eight or four, respectively, to the model year of a vehicle. For example, a 2010 model-year vehicle will first be subject to a biennial Smog Check-in 2018 (2010 + 8 = 2018) and a change-of-ownership Smog Check-in 2014 (2010 + 4 = 2014).

  • Diesel-powered vehicles 1998 and newer with a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds and less require a Smog Check.
  • Motorcycles and electric-powered vehicles are currently exempt from the Smog Check Program.

The Smog Check has exemption based on the model-year of the vehicle, not the date of manufacture. Accordingly, a 1976 model-year vehicle is not exempt. There are approximately 7,500 privately owned and operated Smog Check stations in California. The inspection and repair fees they charge are neither set nor collected by BAR. Rather, prices are market-driven. An $8.25 Smog Check certificate fee is assessed on vehicles once they pass their Smog Check. Its money funds BAR, including administration of the Smog Check Program and consumer protection operations relating to automotive repair.

The average Smog Check takes about 20-30 minutes to complete. BAR does not regulate inspection prices but recommends that you shop around and compare prices of several different stations before taking your vehicle in for its Smog Check. An electronic certificate of compliance is issued and stored at DMV when a vehicle passes a Smog Check. The certificate is valid for 90 days.

Performing regular and proper maintenance according to your owner’s manual and not tampering with the emissions-control equipment will help improve your vehicle’s chances of passing a Smog Check. If the “Check Engine” light comes on, take your vehicle to a licensed repair station as soon as you can to have the problem diagnosed-do not wait for the vehicle’s next scheduled Smog Check.
 A blinking or flashing light indicates a malfunction that should address immediately to avoid serious damage to the engine or emission-control systems & you can write for us here. Check your owner’s manual for repairs that may cover under your vehicle manufacturer’s emissions warranty.

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