Section 5 of 20

Air Pollution Control Requirements

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Smog Certificates

Dealers are required to provide a smog Certificate for all vehicles prior to a vehicle being offered for sale including:

  • smog-certificateGas-powered 1976 and newer model-year vehicles
  • Diesel-powered 1998 and newer model-year vehicles, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 14,000 pounds or less

Smog Certificates are not required for vehicles:

  • Four (4) years old or newer*
  • Sold to other licensed Dealers
  • Sold at auctions

*The DMV regulations say “When you transfer a vehicle that is four or less model years old a Smog Certificate is not required. Determine the oldest-qualifying year model by subtracting three from the current year”

This could be confusing because 2020 minus 4, would make a 2016 exempt (it is not). By “model years”, a 2016 in 2020 is 5 model years old (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016) and would require a smog certificate.

Dealers are allowed to charge $50 for the smog test plus the actual fees charged for Certificates. Smog Certificates obtained by dealers remain valid for the sale of a vehicle, up to two years.

Dealers that sell a vehicle prior to satisfying the smog inspection requirements are subject to the following administrative actions.

  • A suspension or revocation of their Dealer License and substantial fines ranging from $15 to $750 per violation
  • Additional fines for each day the dealer is noncompliant to the Air Resources Board (ARB) requirements

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