How Long Does It Take to Complete a Smog Check in Los Angeles, CA?

May 29, 2019

In an effort to improve air quality, California has made their emissions standards much stricter than most states. In fact, in order to receive your registration, your car will at some point need to pass a certified smog check in Los Angeles, CA. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about smog tests and when you will be required to complete one for your vehicle.

How long does a smog check take?

A smog test is made up of three main components. First, your car will be visually inspected to ensure that there is no black or white smoke coming out of the tailpipe. The functional inspection is next, and your vehicle’s computer and diagnostic system are tested for any error codes or failures. The last step will be the completion of the emissions test to check the levels of harmful pollutants your car may be releasing. The entire process only takes about 20 to 30 minutes, and your results are sent over to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) electronically.

Who is required to complete smog inspections?

Cars registered in the smog certification program area will be notified by the DMV by mail when an inspection needs to be completed, on a biennial basis. If your vehicle is less than eight model years old, you will be responsible for paying a smog abatement fee for the first eight years of registration in lieu of the inspection. It is important to note that this rule does not apply to diesel powered vehicles, as all diesel vehicles made in 1998 or later with a rating lower than 14,000 pounds require certification.
What about used cars that are sold or transferred?

When a car that is less than four model years old is transferred to another owner, smog certification is not needed, and the new owner will only be responsible for payment of the smog transfer fee. A smog certification is also not required if the car transfer is taking place between immediate family members, like between a parent and a child, between siblings or spouses or between a grandparent and grandchild. In all other instances, the person transferring the car to the new owner must provide evidence of up-to-date smog inspection certification.

When a car is being sold, the seller is responsible for showing proof of current smog inspection certification at the time of purchase, or having the inspection completed before the sale is final. If an inspection was performed within the 90 days prior to the sale, a new inspection does not need to be completed until the current one expires.
For your smog inspection results to be accepted by the DMV, the inspection must be completed at a certified STAR Station. To receive this title, these testing stations are held to a high standard that is laid out by the Bureau of Automotive Repairs .

If you are looking for the right certified STAR station to bring your vehicle to, contact Andy’s Smog Test Only Center, where we have specialized in smog checks in Los Angeles, CA for more than 20 years. To make sure that you are on the road safely and legally, pay us a visit today! 323-778-8577

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