1199 San Pablo Avenue Berkeley, CA 94706

Smog – Frequently Asked Questions

What Vehicles Require a Smog Check?

Gasoline vehicles newer than 8 years old, hybrids vehicles newer than 8 years old, gasoline vehicles 1975 or older, and diesel vehicles 1997 and older are exempt from this requirement.

For example, a 2020 model-year vehicle will first be subject to a biennial Smog Check in the year 2028
(2020 + 8 = 2028). That same vehicle will require a change-of-ownership Smog Check if sold in or
after 2024 (2020 + 4 = 2024).

Transfer of title between certain family members does not require a smog check. Motorcycles and electric-powered vehicles do not require a Smog Check.

Registration Renewal: Every two years on most vehicles you are required to get a smog check to renew your registration with the department of motor vehicles.

Change of Ownership: Most vehicles need a smog check when they are bought or sold.

It is the seller’s responsibility to have the vehicle inspected within 90 days of the transaction. If the vehicle is not registered within 90 days of being test it will need

to be inspected again. Bringing in a car from out of state: Most cars coming from

out of state seeking registration in California need to be smog.

Do I need to smog my diesel vehicle?

YES 1998 model-year and newer diesel vehicles with GVWRs 14,000 pounds and less powered solely or in combination by diesel propane natural gas methanol ethanol smog check inspection required. Diesel vehicles 1997 and older are smog exempt. Diesel vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight over 14,500 lbs are also exempt from the smog inspection.

Can you smog my all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle?

Yes. All-wheel drive vehicles are smog doing a two-speed idle test rather than being tested on a dynamometer.

My renewal notice doesn’t specify that I need to go to a test-only center or a star-certified center. Can you still smog it?

Yes. We can perform a smog test on your car whether or not it has been directed to a test-only center or a star-certified smog check station.

  Smog Resources

What is a STAR Station?

Some vehicles require a Smog Check at a STAR station. STAR stations must meet specified performance standards established by BAR. Some STAR stations are licensed to perform only tests, while others are licensed to perform both tests and repairs. The station is required to post a sign on the services it performs. The STAR sign is bright red and can usually be found hanging directly under or near the station's Smog Check sign.

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