SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Beginning January 1, you’ll get an extra two years before you’ll need a smog test on your car.

The new law exempts motor vehicles that are 8 or less model-years old from needing to undergo smog checks. The current law requires cars that are 6 or more model-years to get tested upon registration renewal.

With the change, car owners with vehicles 7 and 8 model-years old will now pay an annual $25 smog abatement fee and that money will go into the Air Pollution Control Fund and be used to fund the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program. The Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program “provides grants to the state’s 35 local air quality management and air pollution control districts for deployment of engines, equipment, and emission reduction technologies that are cleaner than required by current laws or regulations. The Carl Moyer Program provides approximately $60 million for projects each year throughout the state,” according to Senate analysis of the bill. Any leftover money collected would go into the Vehicle Inspection and Repair Fund.

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Car owners with vehicles up to 6 years old will continue to pay a yearly $20 smog abatement fee.

All cars manufactured in 1976 or after are required to participate in the smog check program. The goal is to reduce air pollution by making sure cars with excessive emissions get repaired in order to comply with state and federal guidelines.

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The South Coast Air Quality Management District sponsored Assembly Bill 1274, which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown last October. The agency said the many newer light-duty vehicles are equipped with cleaner technologies that typically pass smog check after six years. According to the Bureau of Automotive Repair, only about 3-5% of cars fail the smog check at 6 years.

A group of automotive service industry representatives opposed AB 1274, saying it could lead to job losses for smog check technicians and fewer service centers staying in business. They also raised concerns for car owners whose warranties will end before the first smog check will happen, saying drivers won’t know to get emissions-related repairs within their warranty window.

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