CA Seeks to Smog Check 15 Year Old Cars, Again

Last August California assemblyman Dave Jones put forth a bill that sought to apply the state’s strict emissions inspections to cars 15 years or older. The bill was defeated, but now Jones is at it again. This time funds from the inspections would be put into a fund that encourages the scrapping of older cars.

We already posted the reasons why these laws would do very little for the environment and yet do a lot to hurt classic car owners, and we’re sure that many readers (of JNC and other classic car magazines) already wrote in to voice their disagreement, but Jones seems to have a one track mind.

Here are the main points against Jones’ bill:

  1. Old cars make up only a tiny fraction of the total number of cars and trucks on the roads today.
  2. The majority of collectors do not use their vintage cars as daily drivers.
  3. And most of all, encouraging the disposal of an old car so that a new one can take its place does not account for the manufacturing costs of the new vehicle.

We urge you to write into Dave Jones and the other members of the California state legislature. You can copy and paste this terrific letter written by JNCer RayRay.

Thanks to all the readers who emailed us about the bill. You can read the full SEMA press release after the jump.

California Reintroduces Bill to Require ANNUAL Emissions Tests for Vehicles 15-Years Old and Older

Here we go again! Legislation (A.B. 859) has been reintroduced in the California Assembly by Assemblyman Dave Jones ( to  require annual Smog check inspections for vehicles 15-years old and older.  The bill would also require that funds generated through the additional inspection fees be deposited into an account which can be used to scrap older cars.  You may recall that in 2004 a new law was enacted in California to require the lifetime testing of all 1976 and newer model-year vehicles.  Pre-1976 motor vehicles would remain exempt under A.B. 859.  The bill has been referred to the Assembly Transportation Committee.

We Urge You to Contact Assemblyman Jones and Members of the Assembly Transportation Committee (List Below) Immediately to Oppose A.B. 859

  • A.B. 859 ignores the minimal impact vintage cars have on air quality.
  • A.B. 859 could entice vintage car owners into allowing these vehicles to be scrapped.
  • A.B. 859 ignores the fact that vehicles 15-years old and older still constitute a small portion of the overall vehicle population and are a poor source from which to look for emissions reduction.
  • A.B. 859 ignores the fact that classic vehicles are overwhelmingly well-maintained and infrequently driven.
  • A.B. 859 would increase costs by creating an annual inspection fee for owners of these vehicles.
  • A.B. 859 represents another attempt by California legislators and regulators to scapegoat older cars.

Please contact members of the California Assembly Transportation Committee immediately by phone, fax or e-mail to request their opposition to A.B. 859.

Please e-mail a copy of your letter to  Thank you for your assistance.

Assembly Transportation Committee

Click here to e-mail all Committee members.

Assemblymember Mike Eng – Chair
Phone: 916/319-2049

Assemblymember Kevin Jeffries
Phone: 916/319-2066

Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield
Phone: 916/319-2040

Assemblymember Joan Buchanan
Phone: 916/319-2015

Assemblymember Connie Conway
Phone: 916/319-2034

Assemblymember Warren Furutani
Phone: 916/319-2055

Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani
Phone: 916/319-2017

Assemblymember Martin Garrick
Phone: 916/319-2074

Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal
Phone: 916/319-2054

Assemblymember Jeff Miller
Phone: 916/319-2071

Assemblymember Roger Niello
Phone: 916/319-2005

Assemblymember John Perez
Phone: 916/319-2046

Assemblymember Jose Solorio
Phone: 916/319-2069

Assemblymember Tom Torlakson
Phone: 916/319-2011

This post is filed under: laws.

9 Responses to CA Seeks to Smog Check 15 Year Old Cars, Again

  1. J.Ramirez (zetozeto99) says:

    Phew… just got done e-mailing those bastards! 😉

  2. Koich says:

    What a joke. Maybe some ‘green’ lobbyists with large budgets are tickling his fancy.

  3. Wow – you in CA have to have emissions testing on cars from the ’70s (and ’80s)?
    I presume they must meet whatever standards were in force when they were manufactured and not current standards?
    Missouri’s laws were relaxed just last year to require only biannual safety inspections on all pre OBD-II (pre ’96?) cars. Thank goodness – now my ’86 T4WD has a Weber.
    By the bye, MO emission testing was for only the St. Louis and Kansas City Metro areas.

  4. Oyaji Gaijin says:

    California voters need to pull all of the perks and expense account allowances toward supplying their state reps with cars, new cars, gasoline allowances, etc. Then force them to drive cars that are 15 years or older for their daily transportation. Once they accomplish that, see how quickly that 15 year old cars are exempted from any and all forms of inspection, because your state rep is not going to waste time waiting in line to do anything.

    By the way, in Missouri, a catalytic converter is now considered a safety device. Older cars may be exempted from emissions inspection, but will not pass safety inspection without a catalytic converter in place.

  5. G-zilla says:

    I betcha this guy drives a Gas Quencher V8 or sumthing

  6. 87 AE86 says:

    yet ANOTHER reason why I don’t want to move back home to sunny SoCal…

    I can’t believe how much CA owns the citizens there! I move from CA to WA in 1996, and every year I wanted to come back home. but it gets more and more difficult to do so for many reasons, but the main ones is how CA seems to own its people. you can’t do this, can’t smoke here, can’t own this, can’t own that, car too old, blah blah blah.
    although I am out of state, it breaks my heart and pisses me off to see how my home state turned so communist in a way. I will write to the California Assembly Transportation Committee and let my voice be heard.
    it sucks to see how a state can gradually start to own its people…

  7. Mark says:

    Holy jeez 1st they bankrupt the state & now they come after the old school car / truck owners.

  8. ProTree says:

    one track mind INDEED!!! did this guy finish college?

  9. colink says:

    Seems the politicians are as bad in the USA as they are in the UK

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