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Out of State Vehicle

Buying a 2013 to 2016 Ford Explorer From Out of State

I'm looking at buying a vehicle from out of state because the market is better out there, but I’m afriad that I’ll take it back to California only to find out that it will not pass the smog test. My question is, will a used 2013 through 2016 vehicle with 70k+ miles on it, pass a STAR certified smog check in California?


There is a difference with 49-state emissions legal systems and 50-state (California) emissions however a USED 49-state emissions equipped vehicle, such as in the case of an out-of-state 2013 to 2016, and even up to 2018 (as long as the vehicle has less then 7500 miles), can pass the California smog test and receive registration.

Also note, even though the vehicle is being purchased out of state, it may be California emissions complaint. Ask the seller to check the Underhood Emissions Label. It will identify the vehicle's emissions configuration.

Furthermore, the smog inspection for 2000 and newer vehicles consist of a visual and functional inspection of the vehicle's engine emissions system. So long as the engine's emission system has not been tampered with, the check engine light is not on, and the emission monitors are ready, the vehicle can pass the smog test without any emissions modification; no smog parts need to be added. Note, a new vehicle, on the other hand, can not be registered (or pass smog) in California if it is not California emissions certified.

Since the vehicle you plan on buying is 2013 or newer, it will not need to undergo the tailpipe portion of the California smog inspection. This actually applies to any 2000 and newer gasoline powered vehicle. The vehicle will only have its emission system electronically checked.

posted by SmogTips Support

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