California Car Inspection Requirements

Mechanic with Clipboard

People have a lot of questions about California car inspection requirements. That much is a fact. People who are new to the state — especially from states without inspection requirements such as Florida. Some of the questions we frequently field include “What is an emissions test?”, “How long does an emissions test take?”, “How much is an emissions test?”, “What is a vehicle safety inspection?”, and more. So below, we’ve attempted to compile an easy-to-follow guide, answering all of your common California car inspection FAQs! Read on for additional information or simply contact us anytime!

Do I Need an Emissions Test in California? 

Yes, in California, you do. Over 30 states require emissions testing to some degree for registered vehicles. Here are the states which currently require some form of emissions testing: 

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

Any state not mentioned in the list above doesn’t require emissions testing for registered vehicles within its jurisdiction. 

How Long Does an Emissions Test in California Take?

Generally speaking, emissions tests take between 15 to 30 minutes. That said, each state and municipality can set its own standards for emissions testing; testing times can vary. California is among the states with the most stringent emissions standards.

How Much is an Emissions Test? 

The price of emissions testing varies from state to state but typically costs between around $29 and around $70. It all depends on where you live and what kind of car you drive. Call 213-927-5032 for details.

Do I Need a Safety Inspection in California?

Yes. In addition to annual smog inspections, or emissions checks as they’re technically called, you’ll also need to bring your vehicle into a certified repair shop for a yearly safety inspection. CA state safety inspections are required “to make sure that all vehicles used on public roads are in good condition and safe to drive”.

How Long Does a Safety Inspection in California Take?

Time for an inspection can vary but most state inspections (for safety and/or emissions) take between an hour and several hours.

Schedule a CA State Inspection Now at INFINITI of Downtown LA 

Ready to get your vehicle inspected? Schedule your booking online now!


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