I love California. I love the weather. I love the lifestyle. What I don't love are the smog and the traffic, but hey, at least the State is doing something to help alleviate that, right?
California arguably upholds the strictest emissions regulations in the United States. Car modifications affecting emissions need to be CARB-legal. From my experience, even with CARB-certified parts, law enforcement seem to like sending me to the smog referee just to double check. While I'm glad that the State works hard for clean air, the current and pending legislation certainly don't make it easy on car enthusiasts.
Currently, Assemblyman Dave Jones has introduced legislation (A.B. 616) which requires annual Smog check inspections for vehicles 15-years old and older. As an owner of a car that's creeping close to the big 1-5, this is a cause for concern. I don't see the purpose of having an annual smog check, other than to raise revenue. Aren't biennial smog checks enough?
It's also interesting to note that the bill would use the money earned for these additional inspections to fund the scrapping of older cars. Sounds like car ageism to me.
As it stands, all vehicles from 1976 and on require lifetime smog testing. Owners of cars before 1976 can consider themselves fortunate, since A.B. 616 will not apply to them.
The official information below is taken from the California State Senate. Read it and take a stand:
AB 616, as introduced, Jones. Smog check: annual inspection.
(1) Existing law establishes a motor vehicle inspection and
maintenance (smog check) program, developed, implemented, and
administered by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The smog check
program provides for the inspection of a motor vehicle, among in
other circumstances, upon its registration, upon transfer of
ownership, and for vehicles registered in certain areas of the state,
biannually. The department is required to charge a fee to a smog
check station for each motor vehicle inspection, as provided.
Violations of the smog check constitute a criminal violation of law.
Existing law creates the High Polluter Repair or Removal Account,
and makes available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, all money
in the account to the State Air Resources Board and the department
to establish and implement a program for the repair or replacement of
high polluting motor vehicles.
This bill would require the department to incorporate annual
inspection of motor vehicles 15 or greater model years old into the
motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program by July 1, 2008, and
would require funds generated through additional inspection fees to
be deposited into the High Polluter Repair or Removal Account.
Because violations of the smog check program are a crime, the bill
would impose a state-mandated local program.
The bill would exempt all motor vehicles not subject to annual
inspection, and would require the department to develop a methodology
to exempt vehicles or classes of vehicles likely to pass annual
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse
local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Section 44012.5 is added to the Health and Safety Code,
44012.5. (a) The department shall incorporate annual inspection
of motor vehicles 15 or greater model years old into the motor
vehicle inspection and maintenance program by July 1, 2008.
(b) All funds generated through additional inspection fees shall
be deposited into the High Polluter Repair or Removal Account created
by Section 44091.
(c) (1) All motor vehicles not subject to biannual inspection
shall also be exempt from annual inspection.
(2) The department shall develop a methodology to exempt vehicles
or classes of vehicles likely to pass annual inspection.
SEC. 2. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California