How Often Are Emissions Tests Needed?


Vehicles driven in California are required to have an emissions test every two years. Drivers who fail to have their car, truck, or SUV smog-checked will not be allowed to register their vehicle. Many people think driving unregistered is just a fix-it ticket but it's not. The Golden State frowns upon unregistered drivers, so don't take chances. Bring your vehicle into Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man San Jose for a diagnostic report and smog certificate.

Existing Residents

Those who already live in California dread opening their vehicle registration renewal notice from the DMV for two reasons: One, the cost, and two, the smog check notification. California is one of the most expensive states in which to register a vehicle, but it also has miles upon miles of highways that require constant maintenance. Californians practically live in their cars, as commuting long distances is quite normal in The Golden State.

A smog check and certification every two years might seem as if it is overkill, but California is also an environmentally-conscious state, so it does make sense. In the 1970s, the smog was so bad in California, especially in Southern California, that the state took action to enforce tough emissions standards. This is why a vehicle must be smog checked every two years. Emissions are a very bad thing to California's eco-system and infrastructure.

New Residents

Those who have just moved to California and brought their vehicles with them cannot get them registered in the state until they pass an emissions test. Heading to a certified emissions test facility should be top on the must-do move list. Once all vehicles pass the smog test, the new residents can make an appointment at their local DMV office to get the automobiles registered properly and California driver's licenses and/or IDs.

In some cases, certain vehicles might qualify for an exemption from emissions tests. If your car or truck's year is 1975 or older, you do not need to have an emissions test for vehicle registration. All diesel-powered vehicles that weigh more than 14,000 pounds and are 1997 year models or older are also exempt. Electric vehicles do not require smog checks, nor do vehicles weighing over 14,000 and running on natural gas. Finally, motorcycles are exempt.

Whether you got the dreaded emissions test notice with your vehicle registration renewal letter or you're new to California, Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man San Jose is your one-stop shop for emissions testing and repairs. We are located in San Jose, CA, and you can give us a call at 408-999-0699 to set up an appointment for your smog test.

Call Dhillon Motorsports, formerly known as Smog Man San Jose for an appointment today!


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