While some states require mandatory emissions testing, others don't require them at all.
In California, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), new residents must bring their vehicles to a smog inspection station for a smog check before registering their vehicles, which must be completed within 20 days of establishing residency.
Once completed, vehicle will then be subject to the standard schedule of re-certification every 2 years.
California requires all vehicles to undergo a smog inspection EXCEPT:
- Gasoline-powered vehicles model year 1975 and older.
- Natural gas-powered vehicles weighing over 14,000 lbs. .
- Diesel-powered vehicles that: Are model year 1997 and older or have a gross weight rating of over 14,000 lbs.
- Electric vehicles.
- Hybrid vehicles.
If your vehicle is 6 years old or less, you do not have to have your vehicle smog checked every 2 years. Instead, you'll pay an annual $20 smog abatement fee for your first 6 years of registration. After these first 6 years, you will be subject to the regular smog check program.
The smog abatement fee does not apply to:
- Nonresident vehicles.
- Diesel-powered vehicles model year 1998 and newer weighing under 14,000 lbs.
- Specially constructed vehicles model year 1976 and newer.
These vehicles are still part of the biennial smog certification program and must be inspected every 2 years.
Tip! Check out EPA's ways to reduce air pollution that will help clean our air.