Proof of passing an emissions test is important. Some Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices require a smog test certificate (sometimes called a Vehicle Inspection Report) for vehicle matters like:
- Vehicle registration
- Registration renewal
- Lost registration replacement
- Title transfers
If you wait to register until you find the emissions test certificate, you risk waiting too long. In California, for example, a smog inspection certificate expires after 90 days. After this time you then must have the car retested, costing additional time and money.
Lost Emissions Inspection Certificate Options
If you cannot find your inspection certificate, contact the testing center where your vehicle was inspected. In most instances the testing center will provide a duplicate free of charge. Play it safe and call ahead before visiting. Make sure, however, you contact the original inspection location.
Or, depending on your area, the smog inspection center may have electronically transmitted your vehicle's emissions test results directly to the DMV. If this is the case, the DMV will have proof, freeing you from having to obtain a duplicate smog certificate.
If you're unsure, contact the DMV or the emissions station that inspected your vehicle. You then may or may not need to obtain a duplicate smog certificate.