CA DMV SMOG boondoggle

CA DMV logo

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.