Call us (408)-423-0000 | 88 Keyes St.
San Jose, CA 95112

California Smog Check Program
How Important is a Smog Check in California

Are you new to the Golden State? Or have you recently realized that smog checks are not standard in other parts of the country? If so, you may wonder why smog testing is necessary for California drivers.

Let’s learn why smog testing is necessary for our great state. First, we will learn about the history behind smog testing. Then we will discuss why California seems to have a problem with smog.

Smog check history

California has always been a part of the first wave to develop environmental policies. In 1972, the state started the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). This department was in charge of licensing and regulating the car repair industry. Concurrently, the California Highway Patrol began ticketing drivers of cars that emitted excess pollution into the air.

Everyone else in the country began to talk more about clean air by 1977. During this time, the federal government passed the Clean Air Act. With federal and state regulations now demanding change, the state’s leadership became more determined to reduce the number of harmful emissions from cars. The state government started a new program to inspect vehicles. At first, only cars that were changing owners were targeted. But in 1984, California began a more encompassing smog check program.

Record-keeping became easier in 1996. It was at this time that the smog check records began to be recorded electronically, and the information was easily shared with the DMV and the BAR.

In 1997, smog check centers opened. These centers would test the vehicles and notify proper channels if the car did or did not pass inspection. Residents of California were required to have their vehicles tested every other year.

As technology changed, the guidelines to pass the smog test became more stringent.

In 2000, a program was developed to help individuals who owned cars that didn’t pass the smog test. Monetary assistance was given to those who needed help paying for car repairs.

In 2007, California vehicles were also required to pass the low-pressure fuel evaporative test.

A program was developed in 2013 that would inspect the smog check stations in San Jose and elsewhere throughout the state.

The newest standards say that electric cars do not need to undergo smog checks. In 2019, the state determined that cars 2019 and later were not required to undergo smog checks as well.

Why is there so much smog in California?

Cars in Kansas cause pollution too. Why is there a focus on smog in California?

First, California is full of highways. It’s a highly-populated area, and as a culture, Californians love cars.

Next, California enjoys many days of sunshine. While this sunshine gives everyone good vibrations, it can have a detrimental effect on the environment. When sunlight mixes with nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbon gases, smog is created.

To top it all off, California has just the perfect storm of topography and weather patterns that may cause air pollution to stick around the atmosphere for longer than it would in other regions.
This results in the air being full of toxins that causes cancer, respiratory illnesses, heart problems, and asthma.

Do your civic duty and have your car smog tested in San Jose today.

This article was originally posted at GreenStar Smog.