FAQs - San Mateo Express Smog - San Mateo, CA
Smog – Frequently Asked Questions
Who needs a smog check?
There are three reasons to get a smog check.
Gasoline vehicles newer than 4 years old, hybrids, motorcycles, gasoline vehicles 1975 or older, and diesel vehicles 1997 and older are exempt from this requirement.
Gasoline vehicles newer than 4 years old, hybrids, motorcycles, gasoline vehicles 1975 or older, and diesel vehicles 1997 and older are exempt from this requirement. Also, transfer of title between certain family members does not require a smog check.
Hybrids, motorcycles, gasoline vehicles 1975 or older, and diesel vehicles 1997 and older are exempt from this requirement.
- Registration Renewal: Every two years on most vehicles you are required to get a smog check to renew your registration with D.M.V.
- 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 smogged 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 smogged.
Do I need to smog my diesel vehicle?
Maybe. 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 smogged 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 center.
Will my car pass with the check engine light on?
No. However, you may still want to have your car smogged anyway so you can take advantage of the Consumer Assistance Program to help pay for repairs.
Vehicle Smog Check History
If you know your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) number or license plate number, you can check your car’s smog check history at the state website.
Financial assistance for repairs
California has the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) to help cover the expenses of emissions related repairs. You can get an application from California Department of Consumer Affairs.
You can also call them at (800) 952-5210.
California’s Aftermarket Parts Lookup Web Site
You can search California’s Aftermarket Parts Database here.
California’s Official Smog Check Web Site
Visit www.smogcheck.ca.gov for more Smog Check information.