In CA, Old car registration/smog check due at end of September, can I sell/trade-in end of August without paying? Do I have to tell the dealer/private party about this.

  • Its a 2001 Toyota Corola. – user3108698 Aug 25 '17 at 22:59
  • Why wouldn't you? – Michael Aug 26 '17 at 0:19

In California, you must get a smog check when selling a car privately. You usually do not need a smog check if you are selling to a dealer. Just tell the dealer it hasn't been smogged and they'll take care of it and/or adjust the sale price accordingly.

This web site has all the details:


  • 1
    Note that the site you linked to is not the California DMV (as stated with a big warning at the top of the page). The info on that site generally seems to be accurate but it's not vetted by the state government of California. A relevant real DMV page is here. It does not mention any exemption for selling to a dealer (nor does the page you linked to), although of course the dealer may offer to pay for the smog check themselves. – BrenBarn Aug 26 '17 at 7:44
  • I've sold to dealers in CA and they've never required a smog certification. Private party you certainly need it. – Rocky Aug 26 '17 at 14:26

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