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Old 02-19-2008, 09:53 AM   #1
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California smog/registration question

I went to smog my '89 CRX HF so I could sell it, but it failed with high NOx (clogged EGR ports). I've decided to fix it and keep it a little longer.

My registration renewal is coming up. My question is this:

1. Does the DMV know that I failed smog?
2. Will the DMV require me to pass smog before letting me renew my registration?

If I hadn't voluntarily brought the car in for smog, my smog wouldn't be due until next year.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:10 AM   #2
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"1. Does the DMV know that I failed smog?
If I hadn't voluntarily brought the car in for smog, my smog wouldn't be due until next year."
I can't say for sure, but they probably don't know, or if they do it doesn't matter since you're not due for another year.

"2. Will the DMV require me to pass smog before letting me renew my registration?"
Yes, but you can send in the renewal fees and form when they're due so you can still legally drive the car. They won't release the new registration to you until the car passes smog. If you get pulled over by the police they'll be able to call in your registration and see that it's paid but not in your posession yet.

California law says that whoever sells a used car is responsible for getting it to pass smog.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:50 AM   #3
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Yes, they know. All smog tests are directly linked to Sacramento and matched to Vin. numbers, same as with your insurance.

You can get an extension (red sticker) which allows you to drive the car for 30 to 90 days after paying the fees, depending upon what the DMV worker had for breakfast.

Some of them will scribble across your sticker "do not renew" or "second extension", so the next genius can prevent you from getting another. So get it smogged a.s.a.p.
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:19 AM   #4
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As has been noted, Big Brother, in Sacramento probably knows you had it smogged. Their are some preliminary things a test station can do to check your car, but if you run the full blown test on a legally recognized check station, the station reports it.

However, if your not due till next year, for a smog test, I'd clean the egr and run it. You won't have to get a smog test done, until next year, irrespective of your recent test. If you sell it, then legally your responsible for it passing the test, even if you have an agreement the buyer will be responsible. If the buyer is square with you, then you probably won't have a problem, but legally you are still responsible and they won't transfer the title until it passes.

When your smog becomes do, you can pay the fee's, but legally you can't drive it after the expiration date. You can however go to a DMV office and ask for a temporary sticker, if you have paid the fees, or pay the fees their, and you can typically get a 60 day temporary. After that, you sometimes can get a additional 30 day temporary, depending on the clerk, largely. After that , legally you can't drive it, but if you do and you can get it to pass smog, they will give you the sticker, if your nice and don't give them any hassle.

Whatever you do, keep your cool when dealing with DMV, they have a great deal of latitude, depending on if your being decent, or a pain in the rear, even if it's justified.
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:38 AM   #5
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Having lived most of my life in California, I would suggest the following:

1) replace the EGR valve. VERY cheap.
2) Fix any hoses - that's cheap.
3) You can always get "Guaranteed to Pass" or some similar to dump in the gas tank. $10-20 a bottle, drive it a hundred miles or so and your emissions DROP - and you can pass.

Yes, the DMV knows - all of the tests are reported. You shouldn't be penalized until you either sell it or the new smog cert is due.

The great part is you should have a "don't pass, don't pay" as I believe it's still state mandated. As in if you dump in "Guaranteed to Pass" or similar, and fix the EGR situation, you should be able to get a free test within 30 days. If they refuse to honor this, call up the state or DMV and ask what your smog place is required by law to do.

So - with fixing the smog issue - you should have what is it - 30 days? - to sell the vehicle with proper smog cert.
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:40 AM   #6
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BTW if you are interested in selling it, I'm looking for an HF. I'm out of state so could time the sale well so you don't have to re-smog, or for that matter smog it at all, since it would live the rest of its live in WV. PM me if you're interested.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:45 PM   #7
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I hate to live in CA because of their car regulations. And I don't want to convert my non CA vehicles either!
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:10 PM   #8
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As someone who remembers the '60s and remembers how much smog there was then...and has seen the air in LA actually improve since then even though there are many more cars, I think the regulations have been beneficial, even though I also chafe under them....

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Originally Posted by JESSE69 View Post
I hate to live in CA because of their car regulations. And I don't want to convert my non CA vehicles either!
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Old 02-23-2008, 03:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
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As someone who remembers the '60s and remembers how much smog there was then...and has seen the air in LA actually improve since then even though there are many more cars, I think the regulations have been beneficial, even though I also chafe under them....
I have to agree about emissions testing. But what I REALLY hate is the visual inspection. The way that you are automatically failed if, say, your header is non-CARB approved (regardless of how clean you run out the tailpipe) is just plain stupid 'big-brotherism'.
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