The Beginner's Guide To Smog Testing

If you recently moved to a city or county that requires smog testing, you probably have a lot of different questions. The guidelines for this test vary from state-to-state, but there are some general standards and practices that can keep you informed. Learn more about smog testing so that you are prepared.

Not all Testing Centers are the Same

States typically have two types of testing centers; test and repair centers and test only centers. Test and repair centers have the authority to administer the test, and they also can repair any issues that might have led to the failure. 

A test only center can only administer the test and provide you with documentation outlining the reason why the vehicle did not pass. Both options are safe and acceptable, but if you suspect your vehicle might not pass and might need repair, it is often more convenient to visit a testing and repair center since you can have everything performed in-house. 

Unexpected Failures Can Happen

One of the more important things to remember about this test is that it is not like a standard safety inspection. As a result, it is possible to fail unexpectedly. For example, with a safety inspection, if you have the test performed and you know that your brake light does not work, you already know you could fail the test.

However, smog testing often detects issues that are not visible. For this reason, it is recommended that you have the test performed well before the deadline so that in the event you fail unexpectedly, you have time to have repairs performed. 

Failed Tests Come with Requirements

If a vehicle does not pass the test, the owner is required to perform repairs and retest within a set window. When you receive a failing slip, it will include all this information. If you do not complete these steps, you could lose your ability to legally drive the vehicle and incur fines. 

In the event you perform repairs, retake the test, and fail again, the state might grant you a waiver. However, these waivers are often only granted when you can prove that you had the vehicle repaired by a professional, but the problem was not resolved. If you want to go this route, the state will not reach out to you, it is up to you to make this request. 

The above represent just some of the facts that surround smog testing. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it is best to contact a smog testing professional in your area. For more information, reach out to

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