Cost of Smog Check- Complete Price Details

What Is A Smog Check? What’s the cost of smog check?

It is essential to ensure that your vehicle is maintained throughout its lifespan. Technicians will perform regular maintenance and perform mandatory procedures during the course of their work. One of these inspections or procedures is a smog test. While it’s fairly easy and easy to do, the responsibility for failure lies entirely with the driver. This article will cover the cost for smog test in California and USA.

The requirement for smog test was initiated by the new emission laws being put into force. The testing method is different between states but generally follows the same procedures. Smog test is a thorough check that examines the exhaust system in the vehicle and pollution control systems. They may involve a physical examination of the system and its components, an operational inspection to check the performance, and an analysis of the car’s computer-generated diagnostics.

After your inspection, you are given an original copy of the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) that details the findings. If you’re able to be approved, you’ll receive an official certification of compliance. If you fail the car’s registration certificate, making you will be ineligible to drive the vehicle. In this scenario, you’ll need to conduct another inspection and any required repairs, and the testing facility will issue a report with possible reasons.

How Much Cost for Smog Test?

It’s hard to arrive at an accurate estimate of the cost of the inspection. The general consensus is that it could cost between $30 and $80. But, different states might have their own procedures and costs. In certain states, for instance, California, the Smog stations are approved by DMV as private companies, which means that the prices differ.

The rules can also be different. Certain states conduct extensive or extensive Smog test. These tests will examine the brakes of your vehicle along with your steering mechanism, tire, and safety equipment, which may be inspected. This inspection can add cost to the evaluation.

cost of smog check

Smog Check Prices

Most Vehicles – 2000 and Newer:

(cars, most minivans, trucks, diesel vehicles)

  Smog test: $61.50

  Certificate: $8.25

  Total: $69.75

Large Vans:

(Chevy Astro, GMC Safari, Dodge B-Series, Ford Econoline, Conversion Vans, Mid-Engine Cars)

 Smog test: $89.75

 Certificate: $8.25

 Total: $98.00

Most Vehicles – 1996 to 1999:

(cars, most minivans, trucks, diesel vehicles)

Smog test: $74.75

Certificate: $8.25

Total: $83.00

Motor Homes

Smog test: $139.75

 Certificate: $8.25

 Total: $148.00

Smog check in California

In California, mostly vehicles must be smog tested every two year to ensure they aren’t affecting air quality. To aid you, we’ve provided some details on smog inspections and requirements in California, which include forms and the fees you’ll need to submit.

For areas that require Smog inspections for smog certification, The CA Department of Motor Vehicles uses a biannual smog certification program. That means that your eligible vehicle will have to undergo a smog inspection at least every two years. Your renewal reminder for registrations should inform you when to schedule your annual smog check.

cost of smog check

The majority of passenger vehicles in California made from 1976 to six years prior (e.g., models from 2011 to 2017) must be able to pass a smog test every two years.

In the event that you are a registered owner of car  in the state, look for the words “Smog Certification Required” on your DMV Registration re-newal notice.

Certain zip codes within Riverside , San Bernardino, El Dorado, Placer , Sonoma Counties, San Diego and are not subject to Smog tests.

When you are new in California, generally, you should have a smog exam in a period of 20 days after your date of appearance and before you can register the car. 

If you plan to sale an auto mobile that is eligible within the state (other than to family members, including siblings or children), the vehicle must be able to pass a smog test within the last 90 days.

Discover a certified smog test station. Look up through the official state bureau of automotive repair web page to find smog test sites that are certified close to you. You can also contact the bureau of automotive repair by calling (800) 952-5210. Make contact with stations in the area that are eligible to inquire about cost and set a consultation.

If your re-newal notice for registration says “smog certification required at a star station,” you have to make a consultation at a service center with a star license. If you are not sure, you can contact the BAR to find the appropriate test for your car.

In general, cars with particularly over emissions (for example or a massive “gas-guzzler”) should under-go the star smog tests.

Vehicle Exceptions:

  • California requires that all vehicles be smog-tests other than:
  • Vehicles powered by gasoline that was manufactured before 1975 or earlier.
  • Natural gas powered auto mobiles that weight is more than fourteen hundred lbs.
  • Diesel powered cars that were built prior to the year 1997 or have the weight of more than fourteen thousand pounds
  • Electric auto mobiles
  • Motor-cycles

Zip Code Exceptions:

In addition to the exceptions for vehicles in addition to vehicle exceptions, there are zip code-specific exceptions to the rules of smog check. These counties are required to conduct smog tests within definite zip codes:


San Diego


cost of smog check

El Dorado


San Bernardino

If you reside within one of the counties listed above, however, you need to figure out whether your area is exempt from the law; input your zip code below to regulate if smog testation must be performed on your car and the nearest smog check station.

How to Complete a Smog Check

Based on the circumstances of your case (and the expiration date of your registration re-newal reminder says), You will need to take your car to one of these california bureau of automotive repair station location:

Star stations: Comply with BAR’s set up performance levels. Some only conduct test, while other carry out repairs and tests. In most cases, gross pollutants are required to go to star stations. However, star stations aren’t just limited to vehicles with high emission levels.

test only stations are only for testing auto mobiles. They don’t do repairs

Test-and-Repair stations also examine and fix vehicles (if needed)

Repair-only shops: You can have your car checked at this location, but they will do any repairs you require.

You have to show your

Driving license

Evidence of insurance

Title (if you are the owner of the mobile)


If your vehicle is inspected, you’ll be issued a smog certificate to show before the CA DMV when you renew or register your vehicle’s registration. In general, smog check stations will also submit inspections to the DMV electronically. This is helpful if you wish to renew your license via postal or online. The fees vary based on the location. Contact us for payments and schedule details.

New Citizens

The california department of motor vehicles require citizens who are new to take their auto mobiles to the smog testation facility for the smog inspection before entering their mobiles. This is required within 20 days after the date of demonstrating residency. Then, you should submit the smog testation report when you register yourauto mobile. Even if they are valid, the smog inspection stickers from out-of-state or certificates will not meet the requirements. Once you’ve passed the initial smog test and passed the test, you’ll become subject to the usual program of renewal every two years.

Failed Inspections

Did your vehicle fail to pass the test? Don’t worry; you’re not alone; it’s not a problem; the CA DMV suggest to contact the bar referee program at (800) 622-7733. There, you can get help in resolving disputes regarding smog check.

Certain vehicle owners can qualify to receive repair assistance for those with low incomes through the Consumer Assistance Program. Call (800) 952-5210 to learn more.

After you’ve cleared the smog and emissions test, If you’ve passed your emissions and smog check, it’s time to apply for registration! Be aware that the smog certificate lasts for 90 days after the examination. You have to register your car and renew the registration within the time frame.

Author: Laraib ChaudharyLaraib Chaudhary here, I am a passionate content writer and environmental expert. I have great experience of content writing. Through this, I have gained enough skills that will enable me to deliver high quality work to you.

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