Enforcement Advisory #351: ENFORCEMENT OF CALIFORNIA’S PERIODIC SMOKE INSPECTION PROGRAM
ENFORCEMENT OF CALIFORNIA’S PERIODIC SMOKE INSPECTION PROGRAM (PSIP)
Since October 1, 1999, owners of California-based fleets have had to comply with all of the following:
• All heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles that are 6,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or greater in fleets of two or more (except those equipped with engines that are four years old or less and those vehicles used exclusively for personal use, such as motor homes), must be tested annually (on or before December 31 of each year) with a smoke opacity meter according to the SAE J1667 specifications and test procedures. *See smog check exception on page 2;
• All heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles must meet the applicable opacity standards of 55% for pre-1991 engines and 40% for 1991 and newer engines;
• All heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles determined to be in non-compliance must be promptly repaired and brought into compliance; and
• For each vehicle, records of the initial opacity test, repair information, post-repair opacity results, and meter calibration must be maintained for at least two years (specifically, the two most recent consecutive years).
ARB has the authority to audit the inspection records of all heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles at the owner/operator designated fleet location and to test vehicles for compliance.
To keep your fleet in compliance and avoid legal action and pay costly penalties, you must adhere to section 2194, title 13, California Code of Regulations (CCR), which states the following:
(a) The owner of a vehicle subject to the requirements of this chapter shall record the following information when performing the smoke opacity testing:
1. The brand name and model of the opacity meter.
2. The date of the last calibration of the opacity meter must be within manufacturer specifications (it is recommended that meters be calibrated at a minimum of once every 6 months).
3. The name of the smoke meter operator who conducted the test.
4. The name and address of the contracted smoke test facility or vehicle repair facility that conducted the test (if applicable).
5. The applicable smoke opacity standard for the tested vehicle.
6. Vehicle identification number (VIN), vehicle engine year, engine make/model, and test date. Fleet designated vehicle identification numbers are also acceptable.
7. The initial smoke test opacity levels (for three successive test readings).
8. An indication of whether the vehicle passed or failed the initial smoke test.
9. The post-repair test date.
10. The post-repair smoke test opacity levels (for three successive test readings).
11. An indication of whether the vehicle passed or failed the post-repair smoke test.
12. For vehicles that have failed the smoke test and have been repaired, the vehicle repair
information specified in section 2186(a), title 13, CCR.
A smoke emissions test printout that includes the above information provides more accurate documentation for ARB Audits. Documentation that does not include the required information may be considered invalid.
Beginning July 1, 1999, SAE J1243 smoke opacity meters became obsolete. Any smoke test
performed with a SAE J1243 smoke opacity meter on or after January 1, 1999 is invalid.
Emergency vehicles and vehicles with Special Equipment (SE) identification plates issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are subject to PSIP.
ARB recommends owners of non-California registered fleets that operate within the State of California to also comply with PSIP. Smoke opacity tests will alert a fleet owner of potential engine and/or diesel particulate filter issues that otherwise may go unnoticed.
Also, all heavy-duty diesel powered vehicles equipped with a diesel particulate filter shall not have any visible smoke. If any visible smoke is detected, the engine and diesel particulate filter shall be inspected and repaired to manufacturer’s specifications by authorized service facilities.
NEW CHANGES TO SMOG CHECK (INCLUSION OF DIESEL VEHICLES)
Beginning January 1st, 2010, Assembly Bill 1488 (Mendoza) requires diesel vehicles (passenger cars and trucks) manufactured after model year 1997 with a GVWR up to 14,000 pounds to be included in the California Smog Check Program. The Smog Check Program is administered by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) and requires vehicles to receive a biennial Smog Check. The Smog Check is required for the registration of the vehicle by the DMV. At the time of the Smog Check a “Vehicle Inspection Report” (VIR) will be issued to those vehicles which are examined. A passing VIR is required for the registration of the vehicle in the year the vehicle is required to be Smog checked.
As this pertains to PSIP, starting October 21, 2010 all heavy duty diesel powered vehicles registered in California with a GVWR of 6,000 pounds and above with engines that are over 4 years old are subject to annual PSIP inspections and record keeping requirements (13 CCR 2190 et seq.) UNLESS they meet one of the following exclusions:
1. If you own a 1998 and newer diesel powered vehicle registered in a biennial (enhanced) smog check area of the state with a GVWR between 6,000 and14,000 pounds, you are NOT subject to the requirements of PSIP any longer. You ARE subject to biennial smog check inspections.
2. If you own a 1998 and newer diesel powered vehicle registered in a change of ownership area of the state with a GVWR between 6,000 and14,000 pounds, you are NOT subject to biennial smog check inspections. You ARE subject to biennial PSIP inspections. Vehicles with a VIN ending in an odd number will be PSIP tested during years ending with an odd number and vehicles with VINs ending with an even number will be PSIP tested during years ending with an even number.
3. If DMV requires your vehicle to be smog checked, then you are NOT subject to PSIP.
If you own a 1997 model year or earlier diesel powered vehicle with a GVWR between 6,000 and 14,000 pounds you are still subject to the ANNUAL PSIP inspection and record keeping requirements.
To obtain more information about PSIP, please visit our website at:
To obtain more information about Smoke Meter Manufacturers, please visit our website at:
Penalties: Applicable civil penalties under the Health and Safety Code and CCR will be assessed for violations.
If you have any questions regarding enforcement, please contact Mr. Julian Ortiz at (626) 350-6504. If you have additional questions, please contact ARB’s Public Information Office at 1-800-END-SMOG.