Does my vehicle qualify for a smog exemption?
Smog inspections are required unless your vehicle is:
1975 year model or older
Diesel powered (1997 and older)
Natural gas powered and has a Gross Vehicle Weight rating of 14,001 lbs. or more.
When a car is sold, who is responsible for the inspection?
The seller is required to provide the buyer with a valid smog inspection certification at the time of the sale or transfer. Smog certifications are good for 90 days from the date of issuance.
A new smog check is not required if a biennial smog certification was submitted to DMV within 90 days prior to the vehicle transfer date.
Even if the Seller mentions the car is sold "as-is" they are still responsible for providing a smog check. This is because the law doesn't recognize the "as-is" policy. If you are buying a vehicle, make sure to ask the seller for a smog certificate. You will not be able to register your vehicle without it.
Note: Smog certifications are not required for transfers that occur for any motor vehicle that is four or less model years old. (Determine the oldest-qualifying year model by subtracting three from the current year.) However, a smog transfer fee will still be collected from the new owner.
A family member gave me a car. Is a smog inspection required?
If a spouse, domestic partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, or grandchild gives you a California registered vehicle, you are entitled to an exemption from the smog inspection.
Is it true that only low income people qualify for the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP)?
Absolutely not true. If your registration renewal notice says "Smog Certification Required at a Test Only or Gold Shield Station" the qualification for the repair program is automatic. Please see our page titled “C.A.P.”.
What if I can't make the DMV Registration deadline, what can I do?
Go ahead and pay the DMV your vehicles registration fees and get your "half way papers" (Not valid registration, but an attempt to show responsibility, plus not be charged late fees). You may then explain to the DMV agent your vehicle's repair/smog situation and ask for at least a 30 day Temporary Registration Tag. You can post this Document on your vehicle's rear window, and drive your vehicle legally for 30 days or more; depending on the Temporary Tags you are given. In the mean time you need to attempt to resolve your vehicle smog situation.