Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 26. AIR RESOURCES [39000 - 44474]

  ( Division 26 repealed and added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 957. )

PART 5. VEHICULAR AIR POLLUTION CONTROL [43000 - 44299.91]

  ( Part 5 added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 957. )

CHAPTER 5. Motor Vehicle Inspection Program [44000 - 44126]

  ( Chapter 5 added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 892, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 2. Program Requirements [44010 - 44025]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 892, Sec. 2. )

44010.
  

The motor vehicle inspection program shall provide for privately operated stations which shall be referred to as smog check stations and are authorized pursuant to Section 44015 to issue certificates of compliance or noncompliance to vehicles which meet the requirements of this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 27, Sec. 12. Effective March 30, 1994.)

44010.5.
  

(a) The department shall implement a program with the capacity to commence, by January 1, 1995, the testing at test-only facilities, in accordance with this chapter, of 15 percent of that portion of the total state vehicle fleet consisting of vehicles subject to inspection each year in the biennial program and that are registered in the enhanced program area, as established pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 44003.

(b) (1) The department shall increase the capacity of the program so that the capacity exists to commence, by January 1, 1996, the testing at test-only facilities of that portion of the state vehicle fleet that is subject to inspection and is registered in the enhanced program area, which is sufficient to meet the emission reduction performance standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in regulations adopted pursuant to the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, taking into account the results of the pilot demonstration program established pursuant to Section 44081.6.

(2) Upon increasing the capacity of the program pursuant to paragraph (1), the department shall afford smog check stations that are licensed and certified pursuant to Sections 44014 and 44014.2 the initial opportunity to perform the required inspections. The department shall adopt, by regulation, the requirements to provide that initial opportunity.

(3) If the department determines that there is an insufficient number of licensed test-only smog check stations operating in an enhanced area to meet the increased demand for test-only inspections, the department may increase the capacity of the program by utilizing existing contracts.

(c) The program shall utilize the testing procedures described in Section 44012. Vehicles selected for testing pursuant to this section shall include vehicles equipped without second generation onboard diagnostic systems (OBD II) and vehicles with emission problems that may not be adequately detected by the vehicle’s OBD II, as determined by the department in consultation with the state board. The department, in consultation with the state board, may also select for testing pursuant to this section any other vehicles necessary in order to meet the requirement described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b).

(d) Vehicles that are not diesel-powered in the enhanced program area which are not subjected to the program established by this section may be tested at smog check stations licensed pursuant to Section 44014 that use loaded mode dynamometers. Diesel-powered vehicles in the enhanced program area that are not subjected to the program established by this section may be tested at smog check stations licensed pursuant to Section 44014 using appropriate testing procedures as determined by the department.

(e) (1) The department may implement the program established pursuant to subdivision (a) through a network of privately operated test-only facilities established pursuant to contracts to be awarded pursuant to this section.

(2) The initial contracts awarded pursuant to this section shall terminate not later than seven years from the date that the contracts were executed.

(f) No person shall be a contractor of the department for test-only facilities in all air basins, exclusively, where the enhanced program is in effect unless the department determines, after a public hearing, that there is not more than one qualified contractor. The South Coast Air Basin shall have at least two contractors, and the combined enhanced program area that includes Bakersfield, Fresno, and Sacramento shall have at least two contractors. The department may operate test-only facilities on an interim basis while contractors are being sought.

(g) (1) In awarding contracts under this section, the department shall request bids through the issuance of a request for proposal.

(2) The department shall first determine which bidders are qualified, and then award the contract to the qualified bidder, giving priority to the test cost and convenience to motorists.

(3) The department shall provide a contractual preference, as determined by the department, not to exceed 10 percent of the total proposal evaluation score, based on the following factors:

(A) Up to 5 percent to bidders providing firm commitments to employ businesses that are licensed or otherwise substantially participating in the smog check program after January 1, 1994.

(B) Up to 5 percent to bidders based on the extent to which bidders maximize the potential economic benefit of the smog check program on this state over the term of the contract. That potential economic benefit shall include the percentage of work performed by California-based firms, the potential of the total project workforce who will be California residents, and the percentage of subcontracts that will be awarded to California-based firms.

(4) Any contract executed by the department for the operation of a test-only facility shall expressly require compliance with this chapter and any regulations adopted by the department pursuant to this chapter.

(h) The department shall ensure that there is a sufficient number of test-only facilities, and that they are properly located, to ensure reasonable accessibility and convenience to all persons within an enhanced program area, and that the waiting time for consumers is minimized. The department may operate test-only facilities on an interim basis to ensure convenience to consumers. The department shall specify in the request for proposal the minimum number of test-only facilities that are required for the program. Any contracts initially awarded pursuant to this section shall ensure that the contractors are capable of fulfilling the requirements of subdivision (a).

(i) Any data generated at a test-only facility shall be the property of the state, and shall be fully accessible to the department at any time. The department may set contract specifications for the storage of that data in a central data storage system or facility designated by the department.

(j) The department shall ensure an effective transition to the new program by implementing an effective public education program and may specify in the request for proposal a dollar amount that bidders are required to include in their bids for public education activities, to be implemented pursuant to Section 44070.5.

(k) The department shall ensure the effective management of the test-only facilities and shall specify in the request for proposal that a manager be present during all hours of station operation.

(l) The department shall ensure and facilitate the effective transition of employees of businesses that are licensed or otherwise substantially participating in the smog check program and may specify in the request for proposal that test-only facility management be Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified, or be certified by a comparable program as determined by the department.

(m) As part of the contracts to be awarded pursuant to subdivision (e), the department may require contractors to perform functions previously undertaken by referee stations throughout the state, as determined by the department, at some or all of the affected stations in enhanced areas, and at additional stations outside enhanced areas only to the extent necessary to provide appropriate access to referee functions.

(n) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, to avoid delays to the program implementation timeline required by this chapter or the Clean Air Act, the Department of General Services, at the request of the department, may exempt contracts awarded pursuant to this section from existing laws, rules, resolutions, or procedures that are otherwise applicable, including, but not limited to, restrictions on awarding contracts for more than three years. The department shall identify any exemptions requested and granted pursuant to this subdivision and report thereon to the Legislature.

(o) The department shall implement the program established in this section only in urbanized areas classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a serious, severe, or extreme nonattainment area for ozone or a moderate or serious nonattainment area for carbon monoxide with a design value greater than 12.7 ppm, and shall not implement the program in any other area.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 258, Sec. 2. (AB 2289) Effective January 1, 2011.)

44011.
  

(a) All motor vehicles powered by internal combustion engines that are registered within an area designated for program coverage shall be required biennially to obtain a certificate of compliance or noncompliance, except for the following:

(1) All motorcycles until the department, pursuant to Section 44012, implements test procedures applicable to motorcycles.

(2) All motor vehicles that have been issued a certificate of compliance or noncompliance or a repair cost waiver upon a change of ownership or initial registration in this state during the preceding six months.

(3) All motor vehicles manufactured prior to the 1976 model-year.

(4) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), all motor vehicles four or less model-years old.

(B) (i) Beginning January 1, 2005, all motor vehicles six or less model-years old, unless the state board finds that providing an exception for these vehicles will prohibit the state from meeting the requirements of Section 176(c) of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.) or the state’s commitments with respect to the state implementation plan required by the federal Clean Air Act.

(ii) Notwithstanding clause (i), beginning January 1, 2019, all motor vehicles eight or less model-years old, unless the state board finds that providing an exception for these vehicles will prohibit the state from meeting the requirements of Section 176(c) of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.) or the state’s commitments with respect to the state implementation plan required by the federal Clean Air Act.

(iii) Clause (ii) does not apply to a motor vehicle that is seven model-years old in year 2018 for which a certificate of compliance has been obtained.

(C) All motor vehicles excepted by this paragraph shall be subject to testing and to certification requirements as determined by the department, if any of the following apply:

(i) The department determines through remote sensing activities or other means that there is a substantial probability that the vehicle has a tampered emission control system or would fail for other cause a smog check test as specified in Section 44012.

(ii) The vehicle was previously registered outside this state and is undergoing initial registration in this state.

(iii) The vehicle is being registered as a specially constructed vehicle.

(iv) The vehicle has been selected for testing pursuant to Section 44014.7 or any other provision of this chapter authorizing out-of-cycle testing.

(D) This paragraph does not apply to diesel-powered vehicles.

(5) In addition to the vehicles exempted pursuant to paragraph (4), any motor vehicle or class of motor vehicles exempted pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 44024.5. It is the intent of the Legislature that the department, pursuant to the authority granted by this paragraph, exempt at least 15 percent of the lowest emitting motor vehicles from the biennial smog check inspection.

(6) All motor vehicles that the department determines would present prohibitive inspection or repair problems.

(7) Any vehicle registered to the owner of a fleet licensed pursuant to Section 44020 if the vehicle is garaged exclusively outside the area included in program coverage, and is not primarily operated inside the area included in program coverage.

(8) (A) All diesel-powered vehicles manufactured prior to the 1998 model-year.

(B) All diesel-powered vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,501 to 10,000 pounds, inclusive, until the department, in consultation with the state board, pursuant to Section 44012, implements test procedures applicable to these vehicles.

(C) All diesel-powered vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating from 10,001 pounds to 14,000 pounds, inclusive, until the state board and the Department of Motor Vehicles determine the best method for identifying these vehicles, and until the department, in consultation with the state board, pursuant to Section 44012, implements test procedures applicable to these vehicles.

(D) All diesel-powered vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,001 pounds or greater.

(b) Vehicles designated for program coverage in enhanced areas shall be required to obtain inspections from appropriate smog check stations operating in enhanced areas.

(c) For purposes of subdivision (a), a collector motor vehicle, as defined in Section 259 of the Vehicle Code, is exempt from those portions of the test required by subdivision (f) of Section 44012 if the collector motor vehicle meets all of the following criteria:

(1) Submission of proof that the motor vehicle is insured as a collector motor vehicle, as shall be required by regulation of the bureau.

(2) The motor vehicle is at least 35 model-years old.

(3) The motor vehicle complies with the exhaust emissions standards for that motor vehicle’s class and model-year as prescribed by the department, and the motor vehicle passes a functional inspection of the fuel cap and a visual inspection for liquid fuel leaks.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 633, Sec. 1. (AB 1274) Effective October 10, 2017.)

44011.1.
  

For purposes of Section 44011, the term “registered within an area designated for program coverage” includes any vehicle registered pursuant to the Vehicle Code in this state when the registered owner’s mailing or residence address is not located within this state, or when the address at which the vehicle is garaged is not located within this state.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 633, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1994.)

44011.3.
  

Every motor vehicle that is subject to testing pursuant to this chapter may be pretested. As used in this section, a pretest is a smog inspection in which the motor vehicle is submitted to some or all of the required elements of the emissions inspection as specified in Section 44012, the results of which will not be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles and for which a certificate will not be issued. A person choosing to have his or her vehicle pretested has the right to have a complete pretest of the vehicle unless the person requests a partial pretest. If the person requests a partial pretest, the licensed technician or an authorized representative of the licensed smog check station shall inform the vehicle owner that the partial pretest may not indicate the likelihood of the vehicle passing a subsequent official inspection.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 938, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1999.)

44011.5.
  

Documentation that a motor vehicle is exempt from the requirements of Section 44011 may not be based solely on the owner’s statement that the vehicle is in an exempt category. Physical inspection of the vehicle by the department is required unless alternative documentation satisfactory to the department is available.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1544, Sec. 25.)

44011.6.
  

(a) The use of a heavy-duty motor vehicle that emits excessive smoke is prohibited.

(b) (1) As expeditiously as possible, the state board shall develop a test procedure for the detection of excessive smoke emissions from heavy-duty diesel motor vehicles that is feasible for use in an intermittent roadside inspection program. During the development of the test procedure, the state board shall cooperate with the Department of the California Highway Patrol in conducting roadside inspections.

(2) The state board may also specify visual or functional inspection procedures to determine the presence of tampering or defective emissions control systems in heavy-duty diesel or heavy-duty gasoline motor vehicles. However, visual or functional inspection procedures for heavy-duty gasoline motor vehicles shall not be more stringent than those prescribed for heavy-duty gasoline motor vehicles subject to biennial inspection pursuant to Section 44013.

(3) The chairperson of the state board shall appoint an ad hoc advisory committee that shall include, but not be limited to, representatives of heavy-duty engine manufacturers, carriers of property for compensation using heavy-duty gasoline or heavy-duty diesel motor vehicles, and the Department of the California Highway Patrol. The advisory committee shall cooperate with the state board to develop a test procedure pursuant to this subdivision and shall advise the state board in developing regulations to implement test procedures and inspection of heavy-duty commercial motor vehicles.

(c) Any smoke testing procedures or smoke measuring equipment, including any meter that measures smoke opacity or density and any recorder that stores or records smoke opacity or density measurements, used to test for compliance with this section and regulations adopted pursuant to this section, shall produce consistent and repeatable results. The requirements of this subdivision shall be satisfied by the adoption of Society of Automotive Engineers recommended practice J 1667, “Snap-Acceleration Smoke Test Procedures for Heavy-Duty Diesel Powered Vehicles.”

(d) (1) The smoke test standards and procedures adopted and implemented pursuant to this section shall be designed to ensure that no engine will fail the smoke test standards and procedures when the engine is in good operating condition and is adjusted to the manufacturer’s specifications.

(2) In implementing this section, the state board shall adopt regulations that ensure that there will be no false failures or that ensure that the state board will remedy any false failures without any penalty to the vehicle owner.

(e) The state board shall enforce the prohibition against the use of heavy-duty motor vehicles that are determined to have excessive smoke emissions and shall enforce any regulation prohibiting the use of a heavy-duty motor vehicle determined to have other emissions-related defects, using the test procedure established pursuant to this section.

(f) The state board may issue a citation to the owner or operator for any vehicle in violation of this section. The regulations may require the operator of a vehicle to submit to a test procedure adopted pursuant to subdivision (b) and this subdivision, and may specify that refusal to so submit is an admission constituting proof of a violation, and shall require that, when a citation has been issued, the owner of a vehicle in violation of the regulations shall, within 45 days, correct every deficiency specified in the citation.

(g) The department may develop criteria for one or more classes of smog check stations capable of determining compliance with regulations adopted pursuant to this section and may authorize those stations to issue certificates of compliance to vehicles in compliance with the regulations. The department may contract for the operation of smog check stations for heavy-duty motor vehicles pursuant to this subdivision, and only heavy-duty motor vehicles may be inspected at those stations.

(h) In addition to the corrective action required by this section, the owner of a motor vehicle in violation of this section is subject to a civil penalty of not more than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) per day for each day that the vehicle is in violation. The state board may adopt a schedule of reduced civil penalties to be applied in cases where violations are corrected in an expeditious manner. However, the schedule of reduced civil penalties shall not apply where there have been repeated incidents of emissions control system tampering. All civil penalties imposed pursuant to this subdivision shall be collected by the state board and deposited in the Vehicle Inspection and Repair Fund. Funds in the Vehicle Inspection and Repair Fund, when appropriated by the Legislature, shall be available to the state board and the Department of the California Highway Patrol for the conduct of intermittent roadside inspections of heavy-duty motor vehicles pursuant to this section.

(i) Following the adoption of regulations pursuant to this section, the state board may commence inspecting heavy-duty motor vehicles. With the concurrence of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, these inspections may be conducted in conjunction with the safety and weight enforcement activities of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, or at other locations selected by the state board or the Department of the California Highway Patrol. Inspection locations may include private facilities where fleet vehicles are serviced or maintained. The state board and the Department of the California Highway Patrol may conduct these inspections either cooperatively or independently, and the state board may contract for assistance in the conduct of these inspections.

(j) The state board shall inform the Department of the California Highway Patrol whenever a vehicle owner cited pursuant to this section fails to take a required corrective action or to pay a civil penalty levied pursuant to subdivisions (h) and (k) in a timely manner. Following notice and opportunity for an administrative hearing pursuant to subdivision (n), the state board may request the Department of the California Highway Patrol to remove the vehicle from service and order the vehicle to be stored. Upon notification from the state board of payment of any civil penalties imposed under subdivision (h) and storage and related charges, the vehicle shall be released to the owner or designee. Upon release of the vehicle, the owner or designee shall correct every deficiency specified in any citation to that owner with respect to the vehicle.

(k) In addition to the corrective action required by subdivision (f), and in addition to the civil penalty imposed by subdivision (h), the owner of a motor vehicle cited by the state board pursuant to this section shall pay a civil penalty of three hundred dollars ($300) per citation; except that this penalty shall not apply to the first citation for any schoolbus. All civil penalties imposed pursuant to this subdivision shall be collected by the state board and deposited in the Diesel Emission Reduction Fund, which fund is hereby created. Funds in the Diesel Emission Reduction Fund, when appropriated by the Legislature, shall be available to the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission for research, development, and demonstration programs undertaken pursuant to Section 25617 of the Public Resources Code.

(l) The state board shall adopt regulations that afford an owner cited under this section an opportunity for an administrative hearing consistent with, but not limited to, all of the following: (1) any owner cited under this section may request an administrative hearing within 45 days following either personal receipt or certified mail receipt of the citation; (2) if the owner fails to request an administrative hearing within 45 days, the citation shall be deemed a final order and not subject to review by any court or agency; (3) if the owner requests an administrative hearing and fails to seek review by administrative mandamus pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure within 60 days after the mailing of the administrative hearing decision, the decision shall be deemed a final order and not subject to review by any other court or agency; and (4) the 45-day period may be extended by the administrative hearing officer for good cause.

(m) Following exhaustion of the review procedures provided for in subdivision (l), the state board may apply to the Superior Court of Sacramento County for a judgment in the amount of the civil penalty. The application, which shall include a certified copy of the final order of the administrative hearing officer, shall constitute a sufficient showing to warrant the issuance of the judgment.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 644, Sec. 21. Effective January 1, 2005.)

44012.
  

The test at the smog check stations shall be performed in accordance with procedures prescribed by the department and may require loaded mode dynamometer testing in enhanced areas, two-speed idle testing, testing utilizing a vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system, or other appropriate test procedures as determined by the department in consultation with the state board. The department shall implement testing using onboard diagnostic systems, in lieu of loaded mode dynamometer or two-speed idle testing, on model year 2000 and newer vehicles only, beginning no earlier than January 1, 2013. However, the department, in consultation with the state board, may prescribe alternative test procedures that include loaded mode dynamometer or two-speed idle testing for vehicles with onboard diagnostic systems that the department and the state board determine exhibit operational problems. The department shall ensure, as appropriate to the test method, the following:

(a) Emission control systems required by state and federal law are reducing excess emissions in accordance with the standards adopted pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (c) of Section 44013.

(b) Motor vehicles are preconditioned to ensure representative and stabilized operation of the vehicle’s emission control system.

(c) For other than diesel-powered vehicles, the vehicle’s exhaust emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and oxides of nitrogen in an idle mode or loaded mode are tested in accordance with procedures prescribed by the department. In determining how loaded mode and evaporative emissions testing shall be conducted, the department shall ensure that the emission reduction targets for the enhanced program are met.

(d) For other than diesel-powered vehicles, the vehicle’s fuel evaporative system and crankcase ventilation system are tested to reduce any nonexhaust sources of volatile organic compound emissions, in accordance with procedures prescribed by the department.

(e) For diesel-powered vehicles, a visual inspection is made of emission control devices and the vehicle’s exhaust emissions are tested in accordance with procedures prescribed by the department, that may include, but are not limited to, onboard diagnostic testing. The test may include testing of emissions of any or all of the pollutants specified in subdivision (c) and, upon the adoption of applicable standards, measurement of emissions of smoke or particulates, or both.

(f) A visual or functional check is made of emission control devices specified by the department, including the catalytic converter in those instances in which the department determines it to be necessary to meet the findings of Section 44001. The visual or functional check shall be performed in accordance with procedures prescribed by the department.

(g) A determination as to whether the motor vehicle complies with the emission standards for that vehicle’s class and model-year as prescribed by the department.

(h) An analysis of pass and fail rates of vehicles subject to an onboard diagnostic test and a tailpipe test to assess whether any vehicles passing their onboard diagnostic test have, or would have, failed a tailpipe test, and whether any vehicles failing their onboard diagnostic test have or would have passed a tailpipe test.

(i) The test procedures may authorize smog check stations to refuse the testing of a vehicle that would be unsafe to test, or that cannot physically be inspected, as specified by the department by regulation. The refusal to test a vehicle for those reasons shall not excuse or exempt the vehicle from compliance with all applicable requirements of this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 258, Sec. 3. (AB 2289) Effective January 1, 2011.)

44012.1.
  

(a) The department shall incorporate a visible smoke test into the motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program by January 1, 2008. Any visible smoke from the tailpipe or crankcase of a motor vehicle during an inspection constitutes a failure. Steam from condensation by itself shall not lead to an inspection failure.

(b) If an owner of a motor vehicle disputes the failure of a visible smoke test, the owner may seek resolution of the dispute from the state-designated referee.

(c) The department, in consultation with the state board and interested parties, shall adopt regulations to implement this section. No new equipment shall be required to implement the visible smoke test.

(d) If the implementation of the visible smoke test required by subdivision (a) requires modification of the Emission Inspection System software or Vehicle Information Database, that modification shall be performed as part of the ordinary, periodic upgrade to these systems.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 761, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2007.)

44013.
  

(a)  (1)  The department, in cooperation with the state board, shall prescribe maximum emission standards to be applied in inspecting motor vehicles under this chapter.

(2)  In prescribing the standards, the department shall undertake studies and experiments which are necessary and feasible, evaluate available data, and confer with automotive engineers.

(3)  The standards shall be set at a level reasonably achievable for each class and model of motor vehicle when operating in a reasonably sound mechanical condition, allowing for the effects of installed motor vehicle pollution control devices and the motor vehicle’s age and total mileage.

(4)  The standards shall be designed so that motor vehicles failing the test specified in Section 44012 will be operated, as soon as possible, with a substantial reduction in emissions, and shall be revised from time to time as experience justifies.

(b)  The department, in cooperation with the state board, shall research and prescribe test procedures to be applied in inspecting motor vehicles under this chapter, which procedures shall be simple, cost-effective, and consistent with Section 44012. The department may revise the test procedures from time to time as experience justifies. To the extent that any test procedure revision requires new equipment, or a change in equipment, at licensed smog check stations, the department shall provide a reasonable period of time for the acquisition and installation of that new or changed equipment.

(c)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the maximum emission standards and test procedures prescribed in subdivisions (a) and (b) for a motor vehicle class and model-year shall not be more stringent than the emission standards and test procedures under which that motor vehicle’s class and model-year was certified. Emission standards and test procedures prescribed by the department shall ensure that not more than 5 percent of the vehicles or engines, which would otherwise meet the requirements of this part, will fail the inspection and maintenance test for that class of vehicle or engine.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 27, Sec. 15. Effective March 30, 1994. Superseded on operative date of amendment by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1192.)

44013.
  

(a) (1) The department, in cooperation with the state board, shall prescribe maximum emission standards to be applied in inspecting motor vehicles under this chapter.

(2) In prescribing the standards, the department shall undertake studies and experiments which are necessary and feasible, evaluate available data, and confer with automotive engineers.

(3) The standards shall be set at a level reasonably achievable for each class and model of motor vehicle when operating in a reasonably sound mechanical condition, allowing for the effects of installed motor vehicle pollution control devices and the motor vehicle’s age and total mileage.

(4) The standards shall be designed so that motor vehicles failing the test specified in Section 44012 will be operated, as soon as possible, with a substantial reduction in emissions, and shall be revised from time to time as experience justifies.

(b) The department, in cooperation with the state board, shall research and prescribe test procedures to be applied in inspecting motor vehicles under this chapter, which procedures shall be simple, cost-effective, and consistent with Section 44012. The department may revise the test procedures from time to time as experience justifies. To the extent that any test procedure revision requires new equipment, or a change in equipment, at licensed smog check stations, the department shall provide a reasonable period of time for the acquisition and installation of that new or changed equipment.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the maximum emission standards and test procedures prescribed in subdivisions (a) and (b) for a motor vehicle class and model-year shall not be more stringent than the emission standards and test procedures under which that motor vehicle’s class and model-year was certified. Emission standards and test procedures prescribed by the department shall ensure that not more than 5 percent of the vehicles or engines, which would otherwise meet the requirements of this part, will fail the inspection and maintenance test for that class of vehicle or engine.

(d) Maximum emission standards established under this section shall not be adjusted downward based on the installation of an exhaust device.

(e) This section shall become inoperative five years from the date determined pursuant to Section 32 of the act adding this subdivision, and on the January 1 following that date is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1192, Sec. 22. Effective January 1, 1995. Operative on date prescribed by Sec. 32 of Ch. 1192. Inoperative five years from operative date. Repealed on January 1 after inoperative date, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Sec. 22.5 of Ch. 1192.)

44013.
  

(a) (1) The department, in cooperation with the state board, shall prescribe maximum emission standards to be applied in inspecting motor vehicles under this chapter.

(2) In prescribing the standards, the department shall undertake studies and experiments which are necessary and feasible, evaluate available data, and confer with automotive engineers.

(3) The standards shall be set at a level reasonably achievable for each class and model of motor vehicle when operating in a reasonably sound mechanical condition, allowing for the effects of installed motor vehicle pollution control devices and the motor vehicle’s age and total mileage.

(4) The standards shall be designed so that motor vehicles failing the test specified in Section 44012 will be operated, as soon as possible, with a substantial reduction in emissions, and shall be revised from time to time as experience justifies.

(b) The department, in cooperation with the state board, shall research and prescribe test procedures to be applied in inspecting motor vehicles under this chapter, which procedures shall be simple, cost-effective, and consistent with Section 44012. The department may revise the test procedures from time to time as experience justifies. To the extent that any test procedure revision requires new equipment, or a change in equipment, at licensed smog check stations, the department shall provide a reasonable period of time for the acquisition and installation of that new or changed equipment.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the maximum emission standards and test procedures prescribed in subdivisions (a) and (b) for a motor vehicle class and model-year shall not be more stringent than the emission standards and test procedures under which that motor vehicle’s class and model-year was certified. Emission standards and test procedures prescribed by the department shall ensure that not more than 5 percent of the vehicles or engines, which would otherwise meet the requirements of this part, will fail the inspection and maintenance test for that class of vehicle or engine.

(d) This section shall become operative five years from the date determined pursuant to Section 32 of the act adding this section.

(Repealed (in Sec. 22) and added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1192, Sec. 22.5. Effective January 1, 1995. Section operative on date prescribed by its own provisions.)

44013.5.
  

(a) If the department, in consultation with the state board, determines that substantial demand for emission retrofit devices exists, the department shall develop a program for the certification of emissions retrofit device installations by licensed installers. The department may require installers of emissions retrofit devices to be qualified pursuant to this chapter. The department may assess biennial license fees upon those installers in an amount not to exceed the reasonable cost of administering the emissions retrofit device certification program.

(b) The certification shall be performed at a referee or test-only station and shall be based on a visual inspection of the emissions retrofit device and its installation, and verification of the proper operation of any new or modified components that are a part of the emissions retrofit device, and not on the results of an emissions test.

(c) The department shall develop a program for the identification of retrofitted vehicles at smog check stations and for providing information required for the inspection of those systems to smog check stations.

(d) This section shall become inoperative pursuant to Section 33 of the act adding this section or, in any case, five years from the date determined pursuant to Section 32 of the act adding this section, and on the January 1 following the date upon which this section becomes inoperative, is repealed.

(Amended (as added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1192) by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1154, Sec. 21. Effective September 30, 1996. Section operative on date prescribed by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1192, Sec. 32. Inoperative, as provided in subd. (d), under conditions in Sec. 33 of Ch. 1192, or five years from prescribed operative date. Repealed on January 1 after inoperative date, by its own provisions.)

44014.
  

(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the testing and repair portion of the program shall be conducted by smog check stations licensed by the department, and by smog check technicians who have qualified pursuant to this chapter.

(b) A smog check station may be licensed by the department as a smog check test-only station and, when so licensed, need not comply with the requirement for onsite availability of current service and adjustment procedures specified in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 44030. A smog check technician employed by a smog check test-only station shall be qualified in accordance with this section.

(c) (1) The department shall supply a network of referees. A referee shall have no ownership interest in, or business or economic interest with, a smog check station. Referees may issue repair cost waivers, certificates of compliance or noncompliance, and hardship extensions, in accordance with regulations adopted by the department, and promote automotive training through community colleges and other training institutions certified by the department pursuant to Section 44030.5. Referees shall provide inspection services for specially constructed vehicles pursuant to Section 44017.4 and Section 9565 of the Vehicle Code and issue exhaust system certificates of compliance in accordance with Section 27150.2 of the Vehicle Code.

(2) The department may adopt regulations to establish qualification standards and any special administrative, operational, and licensure standards that the department determines to be necessary for the provision of referee services.

(3) The department may adopt, by regulation, a process by which vehicles that present prohibitive or unusual inspection circumstances are inspected by referees, including, but not limited to, the inspection of vehicles in which the manufacturer’s physical or operational design presents inspection incompatibilities, vehicles equipped with emission control configurations that do not match United States Environmental Protection Agency or state board certified configurations, including direct import vehicles and vehicles with engine changes, and vehicles equipped with retrofit alternative fuel conversion kits.

(4) (A) A referee may charge a fee sufficient to cover the costs of providing referee services for inspections of specially constructed vehicles pursuant to Section 44017.4 and Section 9565 of the Vehicle Code, inspections pursuant to Section 27150.2 of the Vehicle Code, and other appropriate categories of referee services as determined by the department. Requirements applicable to the fee, including its amount, shall be established by the department by regulation and the amount may be adjusted to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index, as published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fee may be collected by either a contracted referee or by the department, if the department is providing the referee service.

(B) If the fee is imposed and collected by a contracted referee, the contracted referee shall deposit the fees collected from the vehicle owner into a separate trust account that the referee shall account for and manage in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices.

(C) If the fee is imposed and collected by the department, the fees shall be deposited into the Vehicle Inspection and Repair Fund.

(d) A smog check station may also be licensed as a repair-only station, and if so licensed, may perform repairs to reduce excessive emissions on vehicles which have failed the smog check test. Repair procedures and equipment requirements shall be established by the department. Technicians employed by a smog check repair-only station shall be qualified in accordance with this section.

(e) Smog check technicians are qualified to test and repair only those classes and categories of vehicles for which they have passed a qualification test administered by the department. The department shall provide for smog check technicians to be qualified for different categories of motor vehicle inspection based on vehicle classification and model-year.

(f) The consumer protection-oriented quality assurance portion of the program, including the provision of referee services, may be conducted by one or more private entities pursuant to contracts with the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 258, Sec. 4. (AB 2289) Effective January 1, 2011.)

44014.2.
  

(a) The department shall develop a program for the voluntary certification of licensed smog check stations, or the department may accept a smog check station certification program proposed by accredited industry representatives. The certification program, which may be called a “gold shield” program, shall be for the purpose of providing consumers, whose vehicles fail an emissions test at a test-only facility, an option of services at a single location to prevent the necessity for additional trips back to the test-only facility for vehicle certification. The department shall establish inspection-based performance standards consistent with Section 44014.6 for stations certified under this program that the stations would be required to meet to be eligible to issue certificates of compliance or noncompliance for vehicles selected pursuant to Sections 44010.5 and 44014.7, or vehicles identified by the department as gross polluters.

(b) The department shall adopt regulations that apply to all enhanced areas of the state, including those areas subject to the enhanced program pursuant to Section 44003.5, that permit both of the following:

(1) Any vehicle that fails a required smog test at a test-only facility may be repaired, retested, and certified at a facility licensed pursuant to Section 44014, and certified pursuant to subdivision (a).

(2) Any vehicle that is identified as a gross polluter may be repaired, retested, and certified at a facility licensed pursuant to Section 44014, and certified pursuant to subdivision (a).

(c) Smog check stations that seek voluntary certification under this section shall enter into an agreement with the department to provide repair services pursuant to Section 44062.1.

(d) An agreement made pursuant to this section shall not be deemed to be a contract subject to the requirements of Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 258, Sec. 5. (AB 2289) Effective January 1, 2011.)

44014.4.
  

(a)  A licensed smog check station that has been certified pursuant to Section 44014.2 may advertise that fact, and the advertisement may include the scope of work established by the program.

(b)  It is an unfair business practice and a violation of Section 17500 of the Business and Professions Code for any licensed smog check station that is not so certified to advertise as having obtained certification or as complying with the scope of work, code of ethics, or certification standards established by the certification program.

(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1088, Sec. 4. Effective September 30, 1996.)

44014.5.
  

(a) The enhanced program shall provide for the testing and retesting of vehicles in accordance with Sections 44010.5 and 44014.2 and this section.

(b) The repair of vehicles at test-only facilities is prohibited, except that the minor repair of components damaged by station personnel during inspection at the station, any minor repair that is necessary for the safe operation of a vehicle while at a station, or other minor repairs, such as the reconnection of hoses or vacuum lines, may be undertaken at no charge to the vehicle owner or operator if authorized in advance in writing by the department.

(c) The department shall make available to consumers of test-only facilities a list, compiled by region, of smog check stations licensed to make repairs of vehicular emission control systems. A test-only facility shall not refer a vehicle owner to any particular provider of vehicle repair services in which the test-only facility has a financial interest.

(d) (1) The department shall establish standards for training, equipment, performance, or data collection for test-only facilities.

(2) (A) The department shall establish inspection-based performance standards consistent with Section 44014.6 that test-only stations would be required to meet to be eligible to issue certificates of compliance or noncompliance for vehicles selected pursuant to Section 44010.5 or 44014.7, or vehicles identified by the department as gross polluters. Failure at any time to meet these standards shall result in suspension of the certification to test these vehicles granted by the department. A test-only station not meeting the performance standards may continue to issue certificates of compliance and noncompliance for other vehicles. The department shall adopt measures to ensure the requirements of this subparagraph are met, including through the use of the computer database and computer network authorized by Section 44037.1.

(B) The department shall provide the test-only station with written or electronic notice, prior to the suspension pursuant to subparagraph (A). The notice shall specify the grounds for the suspension and provide that the station within five days of receipt of the notice may request a hearing before the chief of the bureau or his or her designee to contest the suspension. The request for hearing shall be in writing or shall be made electronically. Receipt of this hearing request shall stay the suspension pending the outcome of the hearing. If a request for hearing is not made, the chief of the bureau shall issue a final written decision of suspension within 10 days of the last date that a hearing could have been requested.

(C) The hearing conducted by the chief of the bureau or his or her designee shall be held not later than 10 days from the date that the request for a hearing is received by the chief of the bureau. The hearing requirements of Section 44072 shall not apply. The chief of the bureau shall render a written decision within 10 days of the hearing. The decision may rescind the suspension, affirm the suspension, or order any other appropriate action. Administrative review, before an administrative law judge, of the decision of the chief of the bureau may be sought within 30 days of the date of the decision.

(D) The department may adopt regulations to implement this paragraph.

(e) The department shall prohibit test-only facilities from engaging in other business activities that represent a conflict of interest, as determined by the department. Upon implementation of the performance standards described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), ownership of a test-and-repair station by an owner of a test-only facility shall not be considered a conflict of interest.

(f) The test-only facility may charge a fee, established by the department, sufficient to cover the facility’s cost to perform the tests or services, including, but not limited to, referee services and the issuance of waivers and hardship extensions required by this chapter. In addition, the station shall charge and collect the certificate fee established pursuant to Section 44060. This subdivision shall apply only to facilities contracted for pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 44010.5.

(g) The department shall ensure that there is a sufficient number of test-only facilities to provide convenient testing for the following vehicles:

(1) All vehicles identified and confirmed as gross polluters pursuant to Section 44081 and Section 27156 of the Vehicle Code.

(2) (A) Vehicles initially identified as gross polluters by a smog check station licensed as a test-and-repair station may be issued a certificate of compliance by a test-only facility or by a licensed smog check station certified pursuant to Section 44014.2.

(B) For purposes of this section, the department shall implement a program that allows vehicles initially identified as gross polluters to be repaired and issued a certificate of compliance by a facility licensed and certified pursuant to Section 44014.2.

(3) All vehicles designated by the department pursuant to Sections 44014.7 and 44020.

(4) Vehicles issued an economic hardship extension in the previous biennial inspection of the vehicle.

(h) The department shall provide a sufficient number of test-only facilities authorized to perform referee functions to provide convenient testing for those vehicles that are required to report to, and receive a certificate of compliance from, a test-only facility by this chapter, including all of the following:

(1) All vehicles seeking to utilize state-operated financial assistance or inclusion in authorized scrap programs.

(2) All vehicles unable to obtain a certificate of compliance from a licensed smog check station pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 44015.

(3) Any other vehicles that may be designated by the department.

(i) Gross polluters shall be referred to a test-only facility, or a test-and-repair station that is both licensed and certified pursuant to Sections 44014 and 44014.2, for a postrepair inspection and retest pursuant to subdivision (g). Passing the emissions test is not a sufficient condition for receiving a certificate of compliance. A certificate of compliance shall only be issued to a vehicle that does not have any defects with its emission control system or any defects that could lead to damage of its emission control system, as provided in regulations adopted by the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 258, Sec. 6. (AB 2289) Effective January 1, 2011.)

44014.6.
  

(a) The inspection-based performance standards created for the certification program established pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 44014.2 and subdivision (d) of Section 44014.5 shall be based on the same criteria.

(b) The performance standards described in subdivision (a) shall be applied to smog check technicians licensed pursuant to this chapter, if the department determines that is feasible.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 728, Sec. 92. (SB 71) Effective January 1, 2013.)

44014.7.
  

(a)  The department shall require 2 percent of the vehicles required to obtain a certificate of compliance each year in enhanced program areas to receive their certificate from a test-only facility.

(b)  The department may require a number not to exceed 2 percent of the vehicles required to obtain a certificate of compliance each year in basic program areas to receive their certificate from a test-only facility.

(c)  The vehicles specified in subdivisions (a) and (b) shall be selected at random. The vehicles may be included among the vehicles subject to subdivision (d) of Section 44010.5, to the extent that the vehicles are registered in enhanced program areas. The review committee may review the selection process to ensure that it is a statistically significant representation of the vehicles subject to the basic and enhanced programs. The department shall select the vehicles and the Department of Motor Vehicles shall notify the owners of their obligation under this section pursuant to Section 4000.3 of the Vehicle Code. Selection shall be made from vehicles in an area where a test-only facility is located.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 27, Sec. 18. Effective March 30, 1994.)

44015.
  

(a) A licensed smog check station shall not issue a certificate of compliance, except as authorized by this chapter, to any vehicle that meets the following criteria:

(1) A vehicle that has been tampered with.

(2) A vehicle identified pursuant to subparagraph (K) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 44036. A vehicle identified pursuant to subparagraph (K) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 44036 shall be directed to the department to determine whether an inadvertent error can explain the irregularity, or whether the vehicle otherwise meets smog check requirements, allowing the certificate for compliance to be issued, or the vehicle shall be reinspected by a referee or another smog check station.

(3) A vehicle that, prior to repairs, has been initially identified by the smog check station as a gross polluter. Certification of a gross polluting vehicle shall be conducted by a designated test-only facility, or a test-and-repair station that is both licensed and certified pursuant to Sections 44014 and 44014.2.

(4) A vehicle described in subdivision (c).

(b) If a vehicle meets the requirements of Section 44012, a smog check station licensed to issue certificates shall issue a certificate of compliance or a certificate of noncompliance.

(c) (1) A repair cost waiver shall be issued, upon request of the vehicle owner, by an entity authorized to perform referee functions for a vehicle that has been properly tested but does not meet the applicable emission standards when it is determined that no adjustment or repair can be made that will reduce emissions from the inspected motor vehicle without exceeding the applicable repair cost limit established under Section 44017 and that every defect specified by paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 43204, and by paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 43205, has been corrected. A repair cost waiver issued pursuant to this paragraph shall be accepted in lieu of a certificate of compliance for the purposes of compliance with Section 4000.3 of the Vehicle Code. No repair cost waiver shall exceed two years’ duration. No repair cost waiver shall be issued until the vehicle owner has expended an amount equal to the applicable repair cost limit specified in Section 44017.

(2) An economic hardship extension shall be issued, upon request of a qualified low-income motor vehicle owner, by an entity authorized to perform referee functions, for a motor vehicle that has been properly tested but does not meet the applicable emission standards when it is determined that no adjustment or repair can be made that will reduce emissions from the inspected motor vehicle without exceeding the applicable repair cost limit, as established pursuant to Section 44017.1, that every defect specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 43204, and in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 43205, has been corrected, that the low-income vehicle owner would suffer an economic hardship if the extension is not issued, and that all appropriate emissions-related repairs up to the amount of the applicable repair cost limit in Section 44017.1 have been performed.

(d) No repair cost waiver or economic hardship extension shall be issued under any of the following circumstances:

(1) If a motor vehicle was issued a repair cost waiver or economic hardship extension in the previous biennial inspection of that vehicle. A repair cost waiver or economic hardship extension may be issued to a motor vehicle owner only once for a particular motor vehicle belonging to that owner. However, a repair cost waiver or economic hardship extension may be issued for a motor vehicle that participated in a previous waiver or extension program prior to January 1, 1998, as determined by the department. For waivers or extensions issued in the program operative on or after January 1, 1998, a waiver or extension may be issued for a motor vehicle only once per owner.

(2) Upon initial registration of all of the following:

(A) A direct import motor vehicle.

(B) A motor vehicle previously registered outside this state.

(C) A dismantled motor vehicle pursuant to Section 11519 of the Vehicle Code.

(D) A motor vehicle that has had an engine change.

(E) An alternate fuel vehicle.

(F) A specially constructed vehicle.

(e) Except as provided in subdivision (f), a certificate of compliance or noncompliance shall be valid for 90 days.

(f) Excluding any vehicle whose transfer of ownership and registration is described in subdivision (d) of Section 4000.1 of the Vehicle Code, and except as otherwise provided in Sections 4000.1, 24007, 24007.5, and 24007.6 of the Vehicle Code, a licensed motor vehicle dealer shall be responsible for having a smog check inspection performed on, and a certificate of compliance or noncompliance issued for, every motor vehicle offered for retail sale. A certificate issued to a licensed motor vehicle dealer shall be valid for a two-year period, or until the vehicle is sold and registered to a retail buyer, whichever occurs first.

(g) A test may be made at any time within 90 days prior to the date otherwise required.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 258, Sec. 8. (AB 2289) Effective January 1, 2011.)

44015.5.
  

(a)  A certificate of compliance shall not be issued to any new motor vehicle or motor vehicle with a new motor vehicle engine which is not certified by the state board, and which is the subject of a transaction prohibited by Section 43152 or 43153.

(b)  With respect to a new motor vehicle or motor vehicle with a new motor vehicle engine not certified by the state board which is in violation of Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 43150) of Chapter 2, but which is not the subject of a transaction prohibited by Section 43152 or 43153, a certificate of noncompliance shall be issued. The certificate of noncompliance shall indicate the basis for nonconformity and the data shall be sent to the state board.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1433, Sec. 18.)

44016.
  

The department shall, with the cooperation of the state board and after consultation with the motor vehicle manufacturers and representatives of the service industry, research, establish, and update as necessary, specifications and procedures for motor vehicle maintenance and tuneup procedures and for repair of motor vehicle pollution control devices and systems. Licensed repair stations and qualified mechanics shall perform all repairs in accordance with specifications and procedures so established.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1544, Sec. 31.)

44017.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section or Section 44017.1, a motor vehicle owner shall qualify for a repair cost waiver only after expending at least four hundred fifty dollars ($450) for repairs, including parts and labor.

(b) The department shall periodically revise the repair cost limit specified in subdivision (a) in accordance with changes in the Consumer Price Index, as published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(c) A repair cost limit shall not be imposed in those cases where emissions control equipment is missing or is partially or totally inoperative as a result of being tampered with.

(d) (1) A repair cost waiver shall not be issued if a motor vehicle has failed the visible smoke test created by the department pursuant to Section 44012.1, unless paragraph (2) applies, or the vehicle is owned by a low-income person, as defined in Section 44062.1, in which case the repair cost limit applicable pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 44017.1 applies.

(2) By January 1, 2008, the department shall adopt regulations allowing a repair cost waiver, with the repair cost limit specified in subdivision (a), where a motor vehicle has failed the visible smoke test component of a smog check inspection, for individuals under economic hardship but who do not meet the definition of low-income person, as defined in Section 44062.1. The regulations shall make eligible for the waiver those individuals whose household means fall below the level necessary to achieve a modest standard of living without assistance from public programs. The department shall consult authoritative information sources including, but not limited to, the United States Census Bureau, the Department of Finance, and the California Budget Project.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 86, Sec. 190. (SB 1171) Effective January 1, 2017.)

44017.1.
  

(a)  For purposes of this section, “low-income motor vehicle owner” means a person whose income does not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

(b)  Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 44017, for low-income motor vehicle owners qualified under Section 44062.1, the repair cost limit, including parts and labor, shall be two hundred fifty dollars ($250) in all areas where the program operates. However, the department may decrease that amount, to not more than two hundred dollars ($200), if the department determines that participation rates are unsatisfactory.

(c)  Until such time as a repair assistance program becomes effective pursuant to Section 44062.1, an economic hardship extension shall be issued upon request to a qualified low-income motor vehicle owner whose motor vehicle has been tested but does not meet applicable emissions standards and the necessary repairs exceed the repair cost limit specified in subdivision (b).

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 67, Sec. 14. Effective July 6, 1999.)

44017.3.
  

(a)  The department shall provide a licensed smog check station with a sign informing customers about options when their vehicle fails a biennial smog check inspection, including, but not limited to, the option for qualified consumers to retire vehicles, receive repair assistance, or obtain repair cost waivers. The sign shall include the department’s means of contact, including, but not limited to, its telephone number and Internet Web site. This sign shall be posted conspicuously in an area frequented by customers. The sign shall be required in all licensed smog check stations.

(b) In stations where licensed smog check technician repairs are not performed, the station shall have posted conspicuously in an area frequented by customers a statement that repair technicians are not available and repairs are not performed.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 307, Sec. 101. (SB 821) Effective January 1, 2010.)

44017.4.
  

(a)  Upon registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles, a passenger vehicle or pickup truck that is a specially constructed vehicle, as defined in Section 580 of the Vehicle Code, shall be inspected by stations authorized to perform referee functions. This inspection shall be for the purposes of determining the engine model-year used in the vehicle or the vehicle model-year, and the emission control system application. The owner shall have the option to choose whether the inspection is based on the engine model-year used in the vehicle or the vehicle model-year.

(1)  In determining the engine model-year, the referee shall compare the engine to engines of the era that the engine most closely resembles. The referee shall assign the 1960 model-year to the engine in any specially constructed vehicle that does not sufficiently resemble a previously manufactured engine. The referee shall require only those emission control systems that are applicable to the established engine model-year and that the engine reasonably accommodates in its present form.

(2)  In determining the vehicle model-year, the referee shall compare the vehicle to vehicles of the era that the vehicle most closely resembles. The referee shall assign the 1960 model-year to any specially constructed vehicle that does not sufficiently resemble a previously manufactured vehicle. The referee shall require only those emission control systems that are applicable to the established model-year and that the vehicle reasonably accommodates in its present form.

(b)  Upon the completion of the inspection, the referee shall affix a tamper-resistant label to the vehicle and issue a certificate that establishes the engine model-year or the vehicle model-year, and the emission control system application.

(c)  The Department of Motor Vehicles shall annually provide a registration to no more than the first 500 vehicles that meet the criteria described in subdivision (a) that are presented to that department for registration pursuant to this section. The 500-vehicle annual limitation does not apply to the renewal of registration of a vehicle registered pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 693, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)

44017.5.
  

At the earliest possible date, as determined by the bureau, the bureau shall implement at the referee stations, where appropriate, an alternative workday schedule which substitutes Saturday working hours in lieu of another day during the Monday through Friday workweek, in order to provide for increased availability of referee station services.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 91, Sec. 91. Effective January 1, 1996.)

44018.
  

(a)  The motor vehicle inspection program may include advisory safety equipment maintenance checks, fuel efficiency checks, or both, on the motor vehicle if the department finds that cost-effective methods for conducting those checks exist and that the cost of the inspection to the vehicle owner due to the additional checks would not be increased by more than 10 percent. The department shall specify the equipment to be checked and the procedures for conducting those checks.

(b)  Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a motor vehicle sold at retail by a lessor-dealer licensed pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11600), or a dealer licensed pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11700), of Division 5 of the Vehicle Code shall not be subject to an advisory safety equipment maintenance check pursuant to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 230, Sec. 1.)

44019.
  

(a)  Every public agency, including, but not limited to, a publicly owned public utility, owning or operating any motor vehicle that is exempt from annual renewal of registration, and is otherwise subject to this chapter, shall obtain for the vehicle a certificate of compliance with the same frequency as is required for vehicles subject to renewal of registration. The cost limitations specified in Section 44017 do not apply to any vehicle owned or operated by a public agency.

(b)  Certificates of compliance required by subdivision (a) shall be issued if the vehicle meets the requirements of Section 44012 using a test analyzer system meeting the requirements of the department. Any certificate so issued shall be indexed by vehicle license plate number or vehicle identification number and retained by the public agency for not less than three years, and shall be available for inspection by the department.

(c)  Every public agency subject to subdivision (a) shall annually report to the department the number of certificates issued, the number of motor vehicles owned, and the schedule under which the motor vehicles were issued certificates of compliance.

(d)  The department may accept proof of compliance with this section other than by a certificate of compliance.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1154, Sec. 10.)

44020.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the department may license any registered owner of a fleet of 10 or more motor vehicles subject to this chapter, who so elects, to implement and conduct the tests and to perform necessary service and adjustment on the fleet’s vehicles under this chapter, subject to all of the following conditions:

(a)  The registered owner’s facilities or personnel, or both, or a designated contractor of the registered owner, shall be licensed by the department as a fleet smog check station, and the test and repair system shall conform, in the department’s determination, with all provisions of this chapter and all rules and regulations adopted by the department. The regulations shall provide for adequate onsite inspection by the department. Mobile testing equipment certified by the department may be used in accordance with procedures established by the department. The department may prohibit the use of mobile testing equipment if violations occur.

(b)  A license issued under this section is subject to Sections 44035, 44050, and 44072.10, and may be suspended or revoked by the department whenever the department determines, on the basis of random periodic spot checks of the owner’s inspection system and fleet vehicles, that the system fails to conform or that certificates of compliance have been issued by the owner in violation of regulations adopted by the department. Any person licensed to conduct tests and service and adjustments under this section is deemed to have consented to provide the department with whatever access, information, and other cooperation the department reasonably determines are necessary to facilitate the random periodic spot checks.

(c)  The department or its contractor, on a random periodic basis, shall inspect or observe the inspections performed by licensed fleet smog check stations on not less than 2 percent of the total business fleet vehicles subject to this chapter.

(d)  A fleet owner licensed to conduct tests or make repairs pursuant to this chapter shall issue certificates of compliance for motor vehicles. The cost limits in Section 44017 and the economic hardship extension provisions in this chapter shall not apply to any motor vehicle owned by a fleet owner licensed pursuant to this section.

(e)  Notwithstanding subdivision (d), certificates of compliance or noncompliance prepared solely for the disposal or sale of motor vehicles owned by a fleet owner licensed pursuant to this section shall be subject to the cost limits in Section 44017.

(f)  The department shall establish initial and renewal license fees, which shall not exceed the reasonable costs of administering this section.

(g)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, fleets consisting of vehicles for hire or vehicles which accumulate high mileage, as defined by the department, shall go to a test-only station when a smog check certificate of compliance is required. Initially, high mileage vehicles shall be defined as vehicles which accumulate 50,000 miles or more each year. In addition, fleets which do not operate high mileage vehicles may be required to obtain certificates of compliance from the test-only station if they fail to comply with this chapter.

(h)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the department shall have the authority, by regulation, to require testing of vehicle fleets consistent with regulations adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency, if necessary to meet the emission reduction performance standard established by the agency, as determined by the department.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 982, Sec. 8. Effective October 16, 1995.)

44024.
  

(a)  The department, in cooperation with the state board, shall investigate new technologies, including the role of onboard diagnostic systems in vehicles, as a means both for detecting excess emissions and defective emission control equipment, and for assisting in determining what repairs would be effective.

(b)  To incorporate new technologies into the program, the department may institute the following changes if the department determines that the changes will be cost-effective and convenient to vehicle owners:

(1)  The schedule for testing and certifying vehicles.

(2)  The location and method for complying with the test requirements otherwise applicable under this chapter.

(3)  The equipment requirements and repair procedures, including the imposition of new or revised diagnostic procedures, to be used at licensed smog check stations.

(4)  The training, skill, and licensing requirements for smog check technicians.

(5)  The applicable test procedures and emission standards, as applied at smog check stations, and during roadside inspection.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 728, Sec. 93. (SB 71) Effective January 1, 2013.)

44024.5.
  

(a)  The department shall compile and maintain statistical and emissions profiles and data from motor vehicles that are subject to the motor vehicle inspection program. The department may use data from any source, including remote sensing data, in use data, and other motor vehicle inspection program data, to develop and confirm the validity of the profiles, to evaluate the program, and to assess the performance of smog check stations. The department shall undertake these requirements directly or seek a qualified vendor for these services.

(b)  The department, in cooperation with the state board, shall perform analyses of data collected pursuant to subdivision (a) and report the results to the public annually, beginning no later than July 1, 2011. The report shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:

(1) An independent validation of the evaluation methods, findings, and conclusions presented in the report.

(2) The percentage of vehicles that initially passed a smog check inspection and then failed a subsequent inspection as indicated by the data collected pursuant to subdivision (a).

(3) The percentage of vehicles that initially failed a smog check inspection and then failed a subsequent inspection as indicated by the data collected pursuant to subdivision (a).

(4) An estimate of excessive emissions resulting from vehicles identified in paragraphs (2) and (3).

(5) A best-efforts explanation regarding the reasons vehicles identified in paragraphs (2) and (3) inappropriately failed or passed an inspection.

(6) Recommended changes to the smog check program to reduce to a minimum the excess emissions identified in paragraph (4). In developing the recommended changes, the department and the state board shall undertake a thorough evaluation of the best practices of other state smog check inspection programs, and shall include in the recommendations how these other state best practices can be incorporated into California’s program. Program recommendations pertaining to contracting with one or more entities to manage smog check stations shall not be implemented unless the Legislature, by statute, authorizes that contracting.

(7) A comparison to the findings of the report “Evaluation of the California Smog Check Program Using Random Roadside Data” dated March 12, 2009.

(c) The department and the state board, in consultation with the Inspection and Maintenance Review Committee, may determine that, in addition to the vehicles excepted pursuant to Section 44011, certain other motor vehicles may be excepted from the biennial certification requirements of this chapter without significantly compromising the emission reduction objectives set forth in the State Implementation Plan (SIP).

(d) The department may conduct a pilot program to except from the biennial certification requirement those vehicles that may be jointly determined by the department and the state board, after consultation with the Inspection and Maintenance Review Committee, to warrant exception. The department shall provide written notification to the Legislature specifying the number of vehicles to be exempted as well as the geographic location and duration of the pilot program not less than 30 days prior to the implementation of the pilot program. The department shall submit the results of the pilot program to the state board and the Inspection and Maintenance Review Committee for review. Subject to the approval of the United States Environmental Protection Agency as an amendment to the SIP, the department may establish the exception program as a permanent program.

(e) For vehicles four model years old or less, the department shall use test data generated pursuant to Section 44014.7 to develop statistical and emissions profiles. The department may use data from any source, including remote sensing data, warranty repair and recall data, and other motor vehicle inspection program data, to develop and confirm the validity of the data. If the department and state board jointly determine that the emissions from a class of motor vehicles would potentially compromise the emission reduction objectives set forth in the SIP, the state board shall consider appropriate corrective action, including, but not limited to, recall pursuant to Section 43105.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 258, Sec. 9. (AB 2289) Effective January 1, 2011.)

44025.
  

The department shall act as a clearinghouse to provide access to the vendors who possess service information generated by the vehicle manufacturers.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 27, Sec. 26. Effective March 30, 1994.)

HSCHealth and Safety Code - HSC2.