Smog inspections are required for all vehicles except motorcycles or those vehicles manufactured prior to the 1976 model year and diesel powered vehicles manufactured prior to the 1996 model year that have a gross vehicle weight over 8,500 lbs. Vehicles registered in areas subject to the biennial smog certification program are required to submit evidence of a smog certification every other renewal period.
Vehicles that are 6 model years old or less are exempt from the biennial smog requirements for registration renewal. Evidence of a current smog certification must be provided by the seller except when transfer occurs between a spouse, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, or grandchild.
Smog certifications are good for 90 days from the date of inspection. The inspection is not required on a transfer if a biennial smog certification was submitted to DMV within 90 days prior to the vehicle transfer date.
Smog inspections are required in the following counties: Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Ventura, Yolo, and Yuba.
The counties of El Dorado, Placer, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Sonoma require smog certifications within certain zip codes only.
Visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles for more information on California’s Smog Inspection Program.