In an effort to aid human health and stop air pollution, a number of states have instituted mandatory smog and emissions testing for vehicles. Vehicles must pass the smog inspection in order to be deemed road worthy. If the vehicle does not pass the test, the vehicle owner must clear up any issues causing the test fail before they receive a clear inspection and are able to legally hit the road. However, you need to be able to differentiate between scams and true smog results to make sure you are safe and certified.
When buying a car, get a new test at the same place.
If you are purchasing a car, you should ask for the recent smog test performed by the owner of the vehicle. After you receive the test results, take the results and the vehicle back to the shop where the test is performed. At the shop, verify that the paperwork is indeed a true smog test performed by the shop and ask for a new test. If the smog results turn out different than the prior test, you know that something has gone wrong in the meantime or that the test may have been tampered with. This can save you from purchasing a vehicle that will lead to legal road issues.
Go to certified testing areas.
Most state departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) can provide you with information on smog and emissions test shops that are certified. Some testing places are not certified to provide smog tests results that are accepted by the DMV. You want to spend your money on a test that will be accepted, so make sure to first inquire with the DMV about inspection stores. Inspection stores that are not certified or not accepted may have been reported for prior scams or issues that can cause you problems.
Beware of automatic passes.
Some smog testing stores may offer an automatic pass of the vehicle after the fee. Others will not perform the proper machine testing that will give you true results. If this happens at the smog inspection shop that you go to, take your car elsewhere. If it is found that you were complicit in a scam to receive fake results, this could lead to legal issues between you and your state or city government. Protect yourself and your right to drive by reporting any scams to the city and abiding by the rules.