Diesel Smog Check - Effective 01/01/2010: All Diesel vehicles, cars and trucks 1998 and newer, and weighing under 14,500 GVW will need a diesel smog check. The diesel smog test will not include the emissions test portion of the regular inspection. There will be no tailpipe emissions test. Dynamometer testing will not be part of the diesel smog check inspection. Your vehicle will not be driven on the dynamometer during the diesel smog check. Instead the Diesel smog check will focus on a visual inspection of your vehicle's emissions/smog components, a system check of the On Board Diagnostics (OBD II) system, a visual smoke check for excessive black smoke, and an EVAP functional test. Diesel cars and trucks which fail the diesel smog test will have their vehicles repaired at a diesel repair shop.
Hybrid Vehicles (HEVs) Exempt From Smog Test: A hybrid electric vehicle is defined as any passenger vehicle that uses an electric motor as a part of its propulsion system, as well as an internal combustion engine.
Currently Hybrid-Electric vehicles are exempt from only the initial biennial and change-of-ownership smog test inspections. The emissions performance of HEVs cannot be accurately determined by the current emissions test process. California is developing new testing procedures.
Once these procedures are developed, Hybrid Electric cars and trucks may be required to get tested. Some HEV models are also built as non-hybrids. For example the Tahoe, Camry, Civic, and Escape. Only the hybrid model of these vehicles are exempt from the smog check process.
The following HEV's are exempt from initial "biennial" and "change of ownership" smog inspections until further notice.
- Chevy Hybrid Tahoe – all years
- Honda Insight – all years
- Honda Civic Hybrid – all years
- Lexus Hybrid RX, GS, LS – all years
- Toyota Prius – all years
- Toyota Hybrid Camry – all years
- Toyota Hybrid Highlander – all years
Some currently manufactured HEV's are not designed to allow the
internal combustion engine to operate in modes which would allow the loaded
or idle type of Smog Check testing. These vehicles currently receive an exemption certificate at the Referee. The Referee will not perform a Smog Check
inspection on these vehicles, but only verify them as hybrids.
BAR and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) have recently automated the
exemption process for all HEVs identified to BAR by the manufacturers. More HEVs
will be added to the exemption list as information to identify these vehicles is
received by Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR).
Some owners of newer model HEVs may receive registration renewal notices from the DMV before information to identify them as hybrids are received by the Bureau of Automotive Repair. They should contact a DMV office at (800)777-0133 to complete their registration without a Smog Check certificate.