The Bureau of Automotive Repairs (BAR) oversees California's smog check program, and provides vehicle smog check results electronically to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. A smog check is required in order to complete an initial (first time) vehicle registration in California, and biennially (every two years) for the purpose of CA DMV registration renewal. A smog check is also required when transferring a vehicle's title.
The following are requirements the DMV has put in place to register a car, truck, van, SUV, motorhome, or motorcycle in California and operate legally on California public roadways.
8 Years & Newer Exempt - Currently, smog inspections are required for all vehicles except diesel powered vehicles 1997 year model and older or with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR) of more than 14,000 lbs, electric, natural gas powered vehicles over 14,000 lbs, motorcycles, trailers, or gasoline powered vehicles 1975 and older.
4 Years & Newer Exempt (Vehicle Transfer) - Smog check exemption includes gasoline powered motor vehicles 4 or less model years old whenever a vehicle is being bought or sold, unless ARB (Air Resource Board) determines that including the 5th and 6th model-year vehicles in the exemption would prohibit the state from meeting the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act. This smog exemption does not apply to diesel powered vehicles.
Diesel Smog Check - All 1998 & newer diesel powered vehicles weighing under 14,500 GVW will need a diesel smog check. The diesel smog test will not include the emissions test portion of the regular inspection. There will be no tailpipe emissions test. Dynamometer testing will not be part of the diesel smog check inspection.
Different Smog Check Types - Does your vehicle need a STAR certified smog, smog test only center, or regular smog station... not sure? Learn about the different types of smog stations.