It’s almost November, which means my car registration fees are due. It costs $147 to register my car, a 2004 Toyota. That’s not bad, considering my husband pays more than $300 for his vehicle.
Atop my notice was a big STOP sign and “SMOG Certification Required.” Surely my car, which was tested when I moved to California in 2007, did not need such a test. It doesn’t smoke, sputter or make any loud noises when I drive it. But the governor won’t let me renew my registration without such a test.
The DMV letter directed me to “Please take this notice to a SMOG check station.” (I did, but of course forgot said notice.) I took the car in and had it tested for such things as Spark Controls, Fuel Cap Visual, Wiring to Sensors, Fuel Evaporative Controls and Oxygen Sensor, whatever all of that stuff means. They ran the car at 15 mph and 25 mph to check for CO2. Why no faster? Probably because I rarely have the opportunity to drive much faster in the SoCal traffic.
The car passed. My test results said, “Congratulations! Your vehicle passed the enhanced Smog Check inspection, which helps California reach its daily goal of removing an extra 100 tons (!) of smog-forming emissions from the air.”
Of course, the test adds to the cost of registering a vehicle in California. My test was $71.20, which included a Smog Certificate and a fee for transmitting the test results to the DMV. So really, it’s costing me $218.20 to keep my car on the road for the next year. I guess it could be worse.