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For those of us living in the republic of California and owning older vehicles, we have to put up with an annual mandatory visit to a “certified” SMOG test station to see if our vehicle is still “legal” to drive on the road.  Unlike safety inspections found in other states, however, this test is nothing more than a way to extract additional money from your pocket if you wish to keep driving on the roads.  It works like this:

  • You first pay about $90-ish for the registration and license fees
  • Instructions tell you to go and SMOG test your vehicle for “a nominal fee”
  • The SMOG test station finds ways to have their costs add up to $65 or more
  • If your car doesn’t pass the “test” you have to pay the $65 again once you figure out what’s wrong

This setup seems like a way to fleece those folks who, like me, mindlessly follow the rules set forth by the state.  I’ve seen cars with current registration stickers which clearly spew forth a toxic stew while driving, so am I to believe that the DMV feels these furnaces of CO2 pollution are OK to drive on the road?  Meanwhile, if you haven’t replaced your car air filter in a couple of years you fail the test and another $65 is removed from your pocket.

All of this silliness is almost enough to make someone move out of state, or at least put their vehicle registration elsewhere.  Sheesh.