Currently, California law states that your car must pass a smog test to be street legal if it is 1976 or newer. Unfortunately, that leaves a lot of classics un-registerable or sold for scrap during the Cash for Clunkers program. A new bill, AB-550, seeks to give these cars a second chance.
The proposal would allow any car 30 years or older to pay a $200 fee in lieu of passing smog check, after it has failed smog twice and an attempt at repairs has been made. This would only affect cars of model year 1976 or newer, since those built before 1976 are smog-exempt. To quote the bill:
A.B. 550 allows the owner of a motor vehicle that is required to take a smog test to pay a smog abatement fee of $200 if the motor vehicle meets all of the following criteria: Is 30 or more model-years old; was manufactured during or after the 1976 model-year; fails a smog test; and fails a subsequent smog test after necessary repairs were made.
The SEMA Action Network has previously introduced a bill that would move the cut-off date for smog checks to 1981, but that failed to pass. AB-550 would at least generate some revenue for the state from cars that wouldn’t pass normally, and the $200 fee may serve as a deterrent for all but those who truly value their older vehicles.
For more on how you can help make this a reality, visit the SEMA Action Network.