Smog Check Exemption Bill Proposed in California For Classic Rides

Apr 27, 2015 04:03 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Classic-car owners yearning to take their rides out for a spin in California may get their chance again if a new legislation gets passed.

Legislation A.B. 550 was introduced last week in the sunshine state that could allow owners of older-cars to pay a fee instead of having to worry about passing the state's smog test.

The bill would be bad news for environmentalists but great news for classic-car owners in California, which has probably the strictest vehicle emissions laws in the U.S.

Smog inspections are required for all vehicles in the state expect for: diesel models made in 1997 or earlier with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR) of more than 14,000 lbs, natural gas powered vehicles models weighing over 14,000 lbs, gasoline powered vehicles made in or before 1975, hybrids, EVs, trailers and motorcycles, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

The state requires a smog check with each new registration and then every two years with registration renewal or when the registration is transferred to a new owner.

Classic rides would have to meet specific criteria to qualify for the exemption and car-owners have to cough up $200, according to SEMA.

To qualify as a classic car a vehicle has to be at least 30-years-old or after the 1976 model-year, fail a smog test and fail smog tests after any repairs are made to the vehicle.

All fees must be paid to the Department of Motor Vehicles and deposited in California's Air Quality Improvement Fund.

The measure will be considered by the Assembly Transportation Committee. Classic-car owners are urged to call or email members of the Assembly Transportation Committee to voice their opinion on the bill.

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