Referee Program

The Smog Check Referee Program is a statewide network of stations that provide resources to consumers and Smog Check inspectors. Below are some of the specialized services provided by referee stations.

Smog Check Inspection Review

Consumers who have concerns about the results of their Smog Check inspections can get a third-party evaluation at a referee station.

Parts Locator Service

The referee offers a service to assist consumers in locating parts that are difficult to find. If the part is unavailable, the vehicle may be eligible for a Limited Parts Exemption and must be inspected at a referee center.

Law Enforcement Citations

The referee can inspect a consumer’s vehicle that has been cited by law enforcement authorities for modified emission controls or excessive exhaust noise.

Verification of Smog Check Exemption

If a consumer receives a registration renewal notice incorrectly requiring a Smog Check inspection, the referee can verify the vehicle is exempt and issue an exempt certificate so that the vehicle’s registration can be completed.

Inspections for Unusual Vehicles

Specially constructed vehicles and collector cars must be inspected at a referee center.

Vehicles imported into California are classified as grey market vehicles and require a referee inspection.

If a vehicle’s engine is changed and it is different than the one originally installed in the vehicle, an inspection at the referee may be required.

Vehicles that have been modified for use by individuals with disabilities may be inspected at a referee center.

Referee centers can certify vehicles labeled as gross polluters, which are those vehicles that fail a Smog Check inspection at two times the pass/fail standard.

Repair Cost Waivers

The referee may grant a repair cost waiver to allow a consumer to renew the registration and provide additional time to complete the repairs.

Need a Referee?

Referee centers are centrally located within certain community colleges throughout California. To find a referee center near you or to schedule an appointment, visit or call (800) 622-7733.