Committee Approves Bill To Exempt Pre-1981 Vehicles From Smog Test

smogtest1Many moons ago, California had what we called the rolling 20 exemption for smog testing. Back then, any vehicle 20 years old or older would be exempt from the biennial Smog Test inspections. While there was still some confusion about the true meaning of this exemption, language on the Bureau Of Automotive Repair website stated that vehicles up to a particular year were exempt from current test, yet must retain factory emissions components. What that meant was that you didn’t have to smog test certain vehicles, but it didn’t state that you could modify them, or remove emissions components.

smogsltvThat rolling 20 sort of ended in the 1975 model year, and for the past couple of decades it has stayed with 1975 being the last year where emissions inspections were no longer required. For years, enthusiasts have been asking when that year was going to be rolled up and include other vehicles on the road. Part of the problem with smog testing many of these vehicles is that some emissions components are no longer available for many cars, and the alternative – the wrecking yards – was thinning out.

It was brought before the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee before, yet it was not approved, and we were stuck with 1975. Recently, new legislation (SB 1239) suggested that the model year be rolled up to 1980, and the Committee has approved SB 1239 by a narrow 6 – 5 voting margin. What this will mean is that all vehicles in California up to and including 1980 would be exempt from the emissions inspection requirements.

In order for this measure to be passed, the bill will next be considered by the Appropriations Committee. Of course, our good friends at SEMA Action Network (SAN) are on the case again like they were with the RPM Act of 2016, and SAN is encouraging us all to participate by contacting lawmakers and letting our voices be heard. We did it with the EPA issue, and we can do it again.

Visit the SAN website for more information on how you can request support for SB 1239. If passed, this will be yet another victory as many of us are aware that requirements get more strict every year.

About the author

Michael Harding

Michael is a Power Automedia contributor and automotive enthusiast who doesn’t discriminate. Although Mopar is in his blood, he loves any car that looks great and drives even faster.
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