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Hybrid Vehicles in the Smog Check Program

Since the introduction of hybrid vehicles to the California market in 2000, these vehicles could not be properly tested on the BAR-97 equipment that was introduced in 1997. This equipment could not test the emissions of hybrid vehicles as the vehicles would switch into electric mode during an inspection. The new Bureau of Automotive Repair On-Board Diagnostic Inspection System (BAR-OIS), which is based on a visual inspection of emission control components and a scan of the vehicle's On-Board Diagnostic OBD system, has resolved this testing issue. As such, hybrids are subject to a Smog Check following the implementation schedule provided below.

Technicians: All hybrid Smog Checks must be performed on the BAR-OIS.

Implementation Schedule

  • April 2015: The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will begin mailing registration renewal notices requiring a Smog Check to hybrid owners for registrations due in July 2015.
  • April 16, 2015: DMV will begin requiring a Smog Check for hybrids when changing ownership and for out-of-state hybrids being registered in California for the first time.

Additional Information