Calif DMV: Temporary Operating Permit for Emissions Testing?

I want to take my expired-plates Corolla in for emissions testing so I can get a current registration sticker. The poor car came due for emissions testing in April 2020, right at the worst possible time, in the middle of the Covid lockdown, so it was forced off the road due to Covid complications. It has just been sitting and occasionally idling since, on what the DMV calls “planned no-operation status”. No worries, been driving truck instead, and all that driving has been good for truck.

But now want to register Corolla, so I take a common sense approach to figuring out what my options are to get a temp operating permit. I surf to the Calif DMV website, type “temporary operating permit for emissions testing” into the search bar, and … lol … get 9 links to absolutely no pertinent information. You are welcome to try that search yourself if if you like. Maybe you’ll see something I’m not seeing.

Any Calif residents here have experience w/this problem?

Here in Arizona, you would get a 3-day temporary tag to be able to drive a non-registered vehicle for emissions-testing or repair purposes. If CA does not offer such a thing, then I’d likely just drive it on the expired plate, and hope to not be harassed by police on the way.

A one day temporary operating permit is available at the DMV. Choose the operating date you wish to be listed on the permit.

1 Like

Don’t forget to make sure your liability insurance is in effect, of course.

1 Like

Can’t you just hop in your truck and drive down to the DMV and get one?? While there ask for their phone number so you can add it to your rolodex… :man_shrugging:

1 Like

I’ll probably bicycle there. Good exercise. One day seems a little on the skimpy side given the emissions testing shop sells 2 tests for w/one testing fee, so if it fails the first time, after the owner fixing whatever caused the first failure, the second time is free. But if one day is all they offer, better than nothing I suppose. .

lol … phone the dmv? I don’t have 4-6 hours of free time in my daily schedule needed for them to answer. Likewise if I just showed up at the office. But it appears I can make an appointment online, using their website.

1 Like

Then you’ll only have to wait an hour! :wink:

The last time I renewed my driver’s license I made an appointment and only had to wait a few minutes. The DMV office was full and I’m sure I would have had to wait a couple of hours or more if I didn’t have the appointment.

I think that’s become the norm with the DMV in most states, as that is what I experienced in NJ a couple of years ago. Even Costco’s tire centers now take appointments made online, and–trust me–it really cuts-down on the waiting time.