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What's the Difference between Emissions Testing and a Smog Check?


What's the Difference between Emissions Testing and a Smog Check?

Generally state and local mandated emissions testing meets the EPA Tier 2 standard, while smog testing meets California's higher standard for EPA Tier 3.

How Do I Know If I Need a Smog Test?
Your DMV registration renewal notice will indicate "Smog Check Required" if your vehicle needs a smog check.

When Is a Smog Check Required?

  • If you are selling a car or truck that is more than four years old
  • When you register an out-of-state vehicle for the first time in California, you will need a smog check
  • Every other year for vehicles that are more than six years old

When Is a Smog Check Not Required?

  • 100% electric-powered vehicles do not need a smog check
  • Motorcycles do not need a smog check
  • Got a classic car? Vehicles that are model-year 1975 and older do not require a smog check
  • Vehicles six model years and newer do not require a biennial Smog check
  • Selling your car? Cars that are four model years and newer do not require a change-of-ownership Smog check
  • Diesel-powered trucks that are model year 1997 and older
  • Diesel-powered trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 14,000 pounds

Vehicle Failed Smog Test
Smog Check: Testing and Repairs

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Great communication. Great service. Told me exactly what needed to be done and what might need work later down the road. Fixed the throttle control system and got car running again. I’ve found my go to mechanic!

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