Automotive Tips

What are the vehicle inspection requirements in CA?

clean airClean air is a priority in the state of California, and vehicle emissions testing is required for most vehicles at every other registration renewal period. Regular vehicle maintenance, prior to emissions testing, helps spot and repair potential problems to avoid delays in registration due to a failed smog test.  We at Southern California Jiffy Lube have summarized some of the information that you need about California vehicle registration & emissions testing below.

Vehicles less than 6 years old are exempt from emissions testing, but owners are required to pay a $20.00 smog abatement fee before registering vehicles. Other exempt vehicles include:

  • Vehicles made in 1975 or before
  • Diesel-powered vehicles manufactured before 1997 (or a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of more than 14,000 pounds)
  • Electric vehicles
  • Natural gas powered vehicles heavier than 14,000 pounds
  • Hybrids
  • Motorcycles
  • Trailers

If your vehicle is not in the above categories and you live in the counties listed on the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website, you should plan for your vehicle’s emissions test. Your vehicle registration renewal notice will state whether you may take it to any smog testing station, a test-only station, or a STAR station with higher testing standards.

If your vehicle passes the test, the information and test results are sent electronically to the DMV. The smog station should provide a receipt and copy of the test results or Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR), and it’s a good idea to take this along when renewing your vehicle registration. When a vehicle fails an emissions test, it must be repaired and retested before the registration is renewed.

Our vehicle service centers offers convenient locations for regular maintenance, which will maximize the performance so you can relax and breathe easy when it’s time for emissions testing.  To help with first time vehicle registrations, we also perform vehicle safety inspections at selected locations along with emissions tests. An emission testing is a great service to keep air California clean for everyone to enjoy.

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