California Smog Check Exemption

You may be eligible to register your vehicle without a smog certificate. Eligible low income vehicle owners may receive a one time two year extension to complete necessary emissions related repairs.

The State of California will allow Income Eligible applicants the opportunity to register their vehicles through the DMV and receive registration tags/stickers for two consecutive years, without passing the smog inspection, and without a smog check certificate. This program is designed to allow Income Eligible applicants ample time to repair their smog failing vehicles.

To qualify for a Repair Cost Waiver:

  • Your vehicle must have been registered in California for at least the last two years.
  • You must have failed a "biennial" smog check inspection.
  • Your must not have a tampered emissions control system.
  • You must not be in the process of selling the vehicle or registering it in the State of California for the first time.
  • Your vehicle has had emission related repairs in the amount of $650.00 or greater performed by a licensed Smog Check repair technician at a licensed Smog Check repair station and you cannot afford the additional repairs needed for your vehicle to pass the smog test.

Requirement: Prior to applying for a smog certificate waiver, consumers must apply for the CAP Program. Click Here to download a CAP application which will provide up to $1200.00 in free smog check repair assistance from the state.

Out of State? If your vehicle is temporarily located out-of-state, this is a MUST READ article: Out-of-State Smog Check Exemption Filing Online with next-day shipping to any address in the U.S.

Once approved and your vehicle repaired with unsuccessful results, you will be eligible for a smog certificate waiver through the smog referee's office.

To Make a Referee Appointment
Call (800) 622-7733 to schedule an appointment with a Smog Referee Center. The smog referee will need to conduct an inspection to ensure the $1200.00 in CAP money was used properly and your vehicle requires more smog related repairs to pass the smog test.

Once the inspection is complete, and you are in fact Income Eligible you will recieve a one time smog check waiver.


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