Do I move 1999 4Runner to Cali - Smog?

Hey @meanjoe75fan I didn’t mean all California regulations are reasonable, only that this regulation seems reasonable.

California is huge, and it has lots of very difficult environment conditions. The population is bigger than Canada, or Poland, or Iraq, or Venezuela, or all of Australia.

The California emissions business is a big gov’t bureaucracy, that’s certainly the case. And as such they aren’t very flexible. For example, if you are having a problem passing the emissions test, once the registration runs out (b/c you couldn’t complete the process for lack of an emissions certificate), then you aren’t allowed to drive your car. Even to the parts place to buy the parts you need to get it to pass, or to test site. Unless you go to the DMV, wait in line for hours, and get a temporary extension – provided they buy your explanation for why you are late. But even then, how you gonna get to the DMV without your car?

CA emissions doesn’t go to the end of time though. I believe most vehicles of model year circa 1975 and earlier are not required to pass emissions testing. My Ford truck is of that era and doesn’t have to take an emissions test.


" . . . if you are having a problem passing the emissions test, once the registration runs out . . ."

That is exactly the reason you don’t wait until the last week, or the last day, to go to the smog station

You are absoluetly right @dB4690. Once a person gets the notification, they should take the test asap, to give them some extra time if it fails. But emissions problems can be a tough thing for a driveway DIY’er to diagnose. If a diy’er needs an extra month, and provided they pay their registration fee on time and took the first test where they learned they failed on time, I think the rules should give the diyer an automatic extra month of legal driving to fix their car and take the test again. After all, they weren’t late at all. Not in paying their registration fee, and not in taking the test. They didn’t realize their car had developed a problem is all, and now, unexpectedly, they need some extra time to fix it.


I tend to agree with you . . .

However, if you wait until the last day and then fail the smog, I believe you should pay a modest fee to get that extra month

“After all, they weren’t late . . .”

That is debatable, in my opinion

CA emissions doesn't go to the end of time though. I believe most vehicles of model year circa 1975 and earlier are not required to pass emissions testing.
I should have been more clear: I didn't mean they go *backwards* to the beginning of motoring--they're not going to smog your Hupmobile--I meant, if you still own an '85 Camry, you'll still be smogging it in 2085, or at least your heirs will. In most other states, there's a cutoff (PA is 25 years out...I would have gotten a pass in 2011 onward). I think this an Ex Post Facto thing: they can't make cars retroactively meet smog standards they weren't designed for (though they DID pull this with commercial trucks, so maybe the handwriting's on the wall.)

This doesn’t accomplish all that much (aren’t many cars that old, and the ones that are still around tend to be driven very little) but does a number of bad things: it’s regressive legislation that impacts poor people more than the rich, and it criminalizes Hot Rodding…if your hot rod is newer than a cutoff year; older rides are (mostly) a free-for-all, which is awful arbitrary.

California has changed their model year requirement for emission testing, they now test 1976 and newer passenger vehicles, in the past they required testing of 1966 and newer vehicles. The state of Nevada has required vehicle emissions testing for 1968 and new since the program began in 1978.

In the state of Nevada an emission test certificate is valid for 90 days and renewal reminders are sent out 5 weeks before expiration. There should be no excuse for late renewal, yet some people wait until the last day to have their emissions test done. I guess they can’t let go of that $20 for the test. I can see someone with a 2 or 3 year old vehicle postponing the test until later as they will likely pass but for a 20+ year old vehicle that has failed in the past why wait until the last day?

What should be the penalty for driving a polluter for 30 days? $1000 ?, $5000 ?. Consider the cost of the program to the citizens of California, how much does this impact each persons life? Should an individual be allowed to operate a polluting vehicle for 30, 60 or 90 days as a matter of convenience until they have time to make the necessary repairs?

Thanks for the correction. They exempt as they see fit, but no “rolling” exemptions based on age of the vehicle?

I have lived in Nevada for 28 years and held an inspectors license for 20 years and have been waiting for a change in model year inspection requirements. Any change would be based on an improvement of air quality as reported by the EPA. The EPA monitors the air quality daily and because of the number of days the community has excited federal standards emission testing must continue.

I think the way PA does it makes more sense. Vehicles older than a certain number of years get an exemption. That’s the way they do it in Germany apparently, at 30 years a vehicle becomes exempt. There’s very few cars on the road which are 30 years old or older, so even if some of them pollute a bit more than is desirable, it doesn’t add up to much. And Calif officials must feel this same way, changing the date from 1966 to 1976 at some point. I seem to recall having to have my truck emissions tested, then the date changed and it became exempt. 30 years seems like a reasonable place to put the break. And owners could make decisions based on that. Another compromise might be that vehicles which are exempt still have to have all the original emissions equipment installed.

Now if a change like that would make Calif air measurably less unhealthy to breath, then I’m happy to continue with the present method. A trade-off between owner convenience and unhealthy air is a no-brainer.

@Nevada_545 writes

"yet some people wait until the last day to have their emissions test done. I guess they can't let go of that $20 for the test."

I’d guess the more likely reason is that folks are busy w/other stuff, work, taking the kids to soccer, music lessons, doctor and dentist appointments, and since it passed the last time, it’s hard to justify doing it early if doing so causes the kids to miss a music lesson.