The Smog Stop
6414 University Ave, San Diego, Ca 92115
Mon-Sat: 07:00 - 17:00

State of California Laws on Emissions

Smog Check San Diego
San Diego Smog Check, The Smog Stop

California has always been the leader for the quest to obtain clean air. In the 1960’s the state recognized that vehicles were causing a significant amount of pollution. The legislature acted and adopted emissions standards that were a step ahead ahead of the United State Environmental Agency(EPA). This meant that vehicle manufactures had to meet California’s goals for reducing the amount of pollution a vehicle emits. The revolution to obtain clean air had begun. IN 1984 the Department of Consumer affairs enacted the smog check program to assist with reducing pollution. After all if the manufactures had to meet California emissions standards, the customers had to be held responsible for maintaining those standard for the life expectancy of the car. The Smog Stop is striving to be the authority on smog checks in San Diego, California. We want every motorist to pass the smog check the first time. This will help keep our environment clean and save the motorist money. How does passing a smog check save money? When the vehicles emissions systems are operating as designed the car get better fuel economy, which puts dollars back in the motorists pocket. Additionally, when the vehicles emissions systems are flawless, when it comes time to repair the car, the smog repair is cheaper. This is because one smog check problem can cause a domino effect and lead to very expensive car repair bills.

Does Every City In California Require a Smog Check

Every jurisdiction in California requires vehicles to undergo a emissions inspections at some point in the vehicles life. The Bureau of Auto Repair, which is a department that falls under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Affairs division develops policy that pertains to the California Smog Check Program. They have developed guidelines that set forth the type of inspection that each zip code within the state must follow. Currently, there are 3 program areas within the State. Depending on which zip code you live in depends on which of the following smog check inspections you vehicle is subject to.

  1. Enhanced Area – This program area is designed for the urban jurisdictions within the state and is the most stringent form of a smog check the vehicle may be subjected to.
  2. Basic Area – This program area, just like it sounds is a very basic smog check inspection and is designed for areas where pollution is a concern but is not detrimental to health
  3. Change of Ownership Area – As the name of this program area sounds, a smog check is only required when the vehicle is transferred to another person.

How Often do I Have to Smog My Car

If you are in a enhanced or basic program area you have to get a smog check inspection every other year. If you are in a change of ownership area, once your vehicle has undergone a smog check as part of the title transfer process that the California DMV requires, you will not have to get a smog check inspection as long as you own the vehicle. Even though these vehicles are not subject to a smog test, the vehicle owner should still be responsible to perform maintenance on the vehicles emissions systems if they need repair.

Does San Diego County Require Smog Check Inspections

San Diego County does require emissions inspections. The area of San Diego County is so diverse, the county has enhanced, basic, and change of ownership areas. The following cities in San Diego County fall under the corresponding program area.

  • San Diego(City) – Enahanced
  • Lemon Grove – Enhanced
  • Chula Vista – Enhanced
  • National City – Enhanced
  • San Ysidro – Enhanced
  • Santee – Enhanced
  • Lakeside – Enhanced
  • Alpine – Enhanced
  • North Park – Enhanced
  • Mission Valley – Enhanced
  • Vista – Enhanced
  • Coronado – Enhanced
  • Oceanside – Enhanced
  • Escondido – Enhanced
  • Fallbrook – Enhaned
  • El Cajon – Enhanced
  • Spring Valley – Enhanced
  • Bonita – Enhanced
  • Eastlake – Enhanced
  • La Jolla – Enhanced
  • Ocean Beach – Enhanced
  • Pacific Beach – Enhanced
  • Julian – Change of Ownership
  • Pine Valley – Change of Ownership
  • Jacumba – Change of Ownership
  • Guatay – Change of Ownership
  • Potrero – Basic
  • Ramona – Basic

As you can see, depending on where you live, depends on if your car requires a smog check in San Diego County. You can check to see what program area you live in by typing in the zip code to the Bureau Of Automotive smog check zip code locator by clicking here. The Smog Stop will continue to update all residents of San Diego County on any changes to the California Smog Check program. So check our site regularly if you want to stay updated on the smog check policy Some future news that is in the works is extending the exemption for new vehicles to 8 years, instead of the current California Smog Check policy of 8 years.