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California Bill to Exempt Pre-1983 Vehicles from Emissions Inspections Introduced

2021 Arizona International Harvester Rendezvous

Gunfighter97

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Which why you never give up. In any event this was amended two days ago.

AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 13, 2021​
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION​
ASSEMBLY BILL
NO. 220


Introduced by Assembly Member Voepel​

January 11, 2021​

An act to amend Section 44011 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to vehicular air pollution.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST​

AB 220, as amended, Voepel. Smog check: exemption.
Existing law establishes a motor vehicle inspection and maintenance (smog check) program that is administered by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The smog check program requires inspection of motor vehicles upon initial registration, biennially upon renewal of registration, upon transfer of ownership, and in certain other circumstances. Existing law exempts specified vehicles from being inspected biennially upon renewal of registration, including, among others, all motor vehicles manufactured prior to the 1976 model-year. model year.
This bill instead would also exempt from the biennial smog check program inspections all motor vehicles manufactured prior to the 1983 model-year. after the 1976 model year but prior to the 1983 model year if the owner submits proof that the motor vehicle is insured as a collector motor vehicle.

DIGEST KEY​

Vote: majority Appropriation: no Fiscal Committee: yes Local Program: no


BILL TEXT​


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:​

SECTION 1.​

Section 44011 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

44011.​

(a) All motor vehicles powered by internal combustion engines that are registered within an area designated for program coverage shall be required biennially to obtain a certificate of compliance or noncompliance, except for the following:
(1) All motorcycles until the department, pursuant to Section 44012, implements test procedures applicable to motorcycles.
(2) All motor vehicles that have been issued a certificate of compliance or noncompliance or a repair cost waiver upon a change of ownership or initial registration in this state during the preceding six months.
(3) (A) All motor vehicles manufactured prior to the 1983 model-year. 1976 model year.
(B) All motor vehicles manufactured after the 1976 model year but prior to the 1983 model year if the owner of the vehicle complies with the requirement specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).

(4) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), all motor vehicles four or less model-years old.
(B) (i) Beginning January 1, 2005, all motor vehicles six or less model-years old, unless the state board finds that providing an exception for these vehicles will prohibit the state from meeting the requirements of Section 176(c) of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.) or the state’s commitments with respect to the state implementation plan required by the federal Clean Air Act.
(ii) Notwithstanding clause (i), beginning January 1, 2019, all motor vehicles eight or less model-years old, unless the state board finds that providing an exception for these vehicles will prohibit the state from meeting the requirements of Section 176(c) of the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.) or the state’s commitments with respect to the state implementation plan required by the federal Clean Air Act.
(iii) Clause (ii) does not apply to a motor vehicle that is seven model-years old in year 2018 for which a certificate of compliance has been obtained.
(C) All motor vehicles excepted by this paragraph shall be subject to testing and to certification requirements as determined by the department, if any of the following apply:
(i) The department determines through remote sensing activities or other means that there is a substantial probability that the vehicle has a tampered emission control system or would fail for other cause a smog check test as specified in Section 44012.
(ii) The vehicle was previously registered outside this state and is undergoing initial registration in this state.
(iii) The vehicle is being registered as a specially constructed vehicle.
(iv) The vehicle has been selected for testing pursuant to Section 44014.7 or any other provision of this chapter authorizing out-of-cycle testing.
(D) This paragraph does not apply to diesel-powered vehicles.
(5) In addition to the vehicles exempted pursuant to paragraph (4), any motor vehicle or class of motor vehicles exempted pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 44024.5. It is the intent of the Legislature that the department, pursuant to the authority granted by this paragraph, exempt at least 15 percent of the lowest emitting motor vehicles from the biennial smog check inspection.
(6) All motor vehicles that the department determines would present prohibitive inspection or repair problems.
(7) Any vehicle registered to the owner of a fleet licensed pursuant to Section 44020 if the vehicle is garaged exclusively outside the area included in program coverage, and is not primarily operated inside the area included in program coverage.
(8) (A) All diesel-powered vehicles manufactured prior to the 1998 model-year. model year.
(B) All diesel-powered vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,501 to 10,000 pounds, inclusive, until the department, in consultation with the state board, pursuant to Section 44012, implements test procedures applicable to these vehicles.
(C) All diesel-powered vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating from 10,001 pounds to 14,000 pounds, inclusive, until the state board and the Department of Motor Vehicles determine the best method for identifying these vehicles, and until the department, in consultation with the state board, pursuant to Section 44012, implements test procedures applicable to these vehicles.
(D) All diesel-powered vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,001 pounds or greater.
(b) Vehicles designated for program coverage in enhanced areas shall be required to obtain inspections from appropriate smog check stations operating in enhanced areas.
(c) For purposes of subdivision (a), a collector motor vehicle, as defined in Section 259 of the Vehicle Code, is exempt from those portions of the test required by subdivision (f) of Section 44012 if the collector motor vehicle meets all of the following criteria:
(1) Submission of proof that the motor vehicle is insured as a collector motor vehicle, as shall be required by regulation of the bureau.
(2) The motor vehicle is at least 35 model-years old.
(3) The motor vehicle complies with the exhaust emissions standards for that motor vehicle’s class and model-year model year as prescribed by the department, and the motor vehicle passes a functional inspection of the fuel cap and a visual inspection for liquid fuel leaks.
Can anyone summarize the legal-ease? I cant make it more than half way through before going crosseyed from the high levels of califormunism. . .

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mallen

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Yes. Currently any year prior to 1975 is exempt from smog inspections. The law created a new category of vehicles that are exempt. Vehicles made after 1976 but before 1983 would also be exempt IF the owner provides proof the vehicle is insured as a collector vehicle.

There is a quite obvious problem that needs to be fixed here. Currently, 1976 vehicles are not exempt, only vehicles BEFORE the 1976 MY. Vehicles AFTER the 1976 model year would be exempted by this legislation if you have them insured as collectables. However 1976 vehicles would not be covered. Clearly this is a mistake.

It's an interesting take that might get a few more votes than usual. It's not a blanket exemption, but only for vehicles that are insured as collectables which usually means at least in principle are not used as daily drivers. We should make sure to write the sponsor and point out the needed fix.
 

Ron A

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The last serious attempt, at exempting 76 to 83, was amended to require being insured as a collector vehicle. Because of the change, my guess is the author simply did not have the votes needed to proceed without amending the text.
 

Dana Strong

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It's an interesting take that might get a few more votes than usual. It's not a blanket exemption, but only for vehicles that are insured as collectables which usually means at least in principle are not used as daily drivers. We should make sure to write the sponsor and point out the needed fix.
The last serious attempt, at exempting 76 to 83, was amended to require being insured as a collector vehicle. Because of the change, my guess is the author simply did not have the votes needed to proceed without amending the text.
Might it be helpful for the next attempt (assuming this one fails) if a companion bill dirrected the DMV, together with the Department of Consumer Affairs, to do a "study" (i.e. examine the Smog Exam records for all cars in the 1976-1983 range) to determine applicable statistics (average, mean, min. & max, etc. miles driven/year plus similar data for emissions levels)?
 

Ron A

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Might it be helpful for the next attempt (assuming this one fails) if a companion bill dirrected the DMV, together with the Department of Consumer Affairs, to do a "study" (i.e. examine the Smog Exam records for all cars in the 1976-1983 range) to determine applicable statistics (average, mean, min. & max, etc. miles driven/year plus similar data for emissions levels)?
I would hope that the Author of the bill already has some of that information. If not yes. Then what most of us know, is longer anecdotal, but you would have a hard statistic to cite.
 

Patrick Morris

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I wonder why they replaced "model year" with "model year" everywhere. Seems a little unnecessary.

Regarding the "remote sensing", I wonder if they're equipment can tell the difference between a compliant IH Scout II and a Scout II that's a little out of compliance. I would think that even a compliant one would peg their needles. Hah. But I'm sure they get all scientific with it. I did find a white paper about remote sensing online. It's pretty dry, focused mainly on studies in Europe:


They do get down to the nitty-gritty over there.
 

Patrick Morris

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This site (CARB) hits a little closer to home:


And this page seemed interesting, at first:


However, many of the documents linked here have been "archived". Meaning, are no longer available.
 

Dodgers53

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That sounds like the beginning of a good Federal lawsuit. I'd contact a group like Pacific Legal Foundation and go after the state. California has no legal jurisdiction to tax the private vehicle of anyone who doesn't live in the state, or permanently keep it there. That's a clear U.S. Constitutional principle.
I got her money back without threatening a lawsuit, it just took a while. I am a lawyer by trade, and this isn't grounds for a federal lawsuit and it's not a Constitutional violation. The State has every right to go after and collect expired vehicle registration fees and penalties. The only reason this happened to her is because the Texas DMV registered her car under the wrong VIN so CA never knew the car was re-registered out of state. It was entirely TX fault, but that doesn't mean CA didn't have the right to collect their money. It got sorted out in the end, but it was a PIA.
 

Patrick Morris

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What we'd need to do with these legislators is plant the seeds in their minds that it's somehow racist and maybe even somehow trans-phobic not to exempt all of the older vehicles. LOL "Collector vehicles" sounds pretty elitist. That means ownership by the dreaded white males. LOL The bill needs to be more inclusive, to use the popular term nowadays.
 

Mark Pietz

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Just a warning, my mom did the same thing. Moved CA->TX and did not pay attention to the CA DMV letters anymore. I shit-you-not, they garnished the money from her checking account. They have the power to do it, and do not hesitate to use that power. I just spent the last 4 months trying to get it back for her. Just a heads-up you should get that sorted out.
I just read this post. While I tossed the Sequoia's registration, I received two more last week for two other vehicles. On the forms I wrote date vehicles left state, and that they were currently registered in Tx. I'm thinking of writing a formal letter with the dates all vehicles left the state and their current Texas registration plates. What a pain - but since I do receive my retirement checks from CalPERS, I should probably do some due-diligence to get this sorted out.
 

mallen

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Y
I just read this post. While I tossed the Sequoia's registration, I received two more last week for two other vehicles. On the forms I wrote date vehicles left state, and that they were currently registered in Tx. I'm thinking of writing a formal letter with the dates all vehicles left the state and their current Texas registration plates. What a pain - but since I do receive my retirement checks from CalPERS, I should probably do some due-diligence to get this sorted out.
Yea, they go after your bank account for back reg these days.
 

Mark Pietz

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Yea, they go after your bank account for back reg these days.
It seems hard to free one's self from the tentacles of the Left Coast, but save for the retirement check, I'll eventually get that done. I wrote my last check to the Franchise Board for the 2020 taxes (the half-year I was there), and the wonderful thing is Texas has no state income tax. So next year it should be Federal only.
 

Patrick Morris

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and the wonderful thing is Texas has no state income tax. So next year it should be Federal only.
I was talking to my cousin, born and raised in San Antonio. He told me recently that while it's nice there's no state income tax, TX property tax is a real kick in the nuts. He and his wife sold their nice, some would say huge house + yard last year after their daughter graduated from college and moved out to experience independent life. Bought a condo in SA.

However, I researched it a little and what I see makes TX prop tax sound not too bad. It's higher than CA, but the price of a house can be a bit lower. What say you Mark, having lived in both places?
 

RinTX

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I live in Fort Worth and property taxes here are too high. The School Districts get waaaay too much money and aren’t afraid to spend spend spend. I am constantly registering my complaints to state representative/senator. Not that it does any good. Everyone here who understands the “system” hires an “attorney” who appeals the valuation of your property every year.
A couple of years back the legislature was really proud of themselves for passing “reform” that limited the increase in taxed valuation to a maximum of 10 percent a year. The local appraisal authorities were quite pleased with this “reform” and proceeded to make sure everyone’s taxed valuation went up 10 percent a year.
 

Mark Pietz

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^^^ Yikes. You sound like my cousin. I guess no place is a paradise.
I wasn't able to respond to your above post until now. I retired last June, and one always follows the kids, who had found jobs in the Houston area. We found a little Mayberry town SW of Houston, population 2,900, but very close to healthcare. Those are the drivers when you retire. But I digress. Truth be told, California has the best weather anywhere, hands down. We lived in the Sierra foothills outside of Sacramento. Had a view of the Tahoe peaks, etc. Tough to beat that. A few years back we had already made our plan to flee California due to the high cost of living and social/political deficiencies. It's a d*mn shame, too, because I am a native Californian, born and raised in Pomona. I can say there was a time when it was a nice place to live, but that was back in the '60s. The past 20 some years I worked for the state health department and supervised health physicists, and had to travel frequently to SoCal to do audits. I particularly dreaded the trips where I had to stay in LA. Awful. Anyway....about Texas. We love it, but we also knew about the taxes. I've lived in California, Arizona, Missouri, and now Texas. As they say, there is no free lunch, and, to mix metaphors, one must chose one's poison. In Arizona we used to say, "they pay us in sunshine", because wages were low. In Missouri, you'd get hit each year with a supplemental "property tax" levied on your cars, boats, planes, etc. So that made up for the relatively cheap vehicle registrations. Regarding Texas, RinTX is correct but we knew that coming in. Let me use my recent "lifestyles" to flesh out a perspective. We bought a house in Foresthill in 2001. Paid $228,000. California has a 1% property tax (thank you Prop 13!!!), so we started out with a tax bill of $2,280. When we sold the house in 2019, it had risen to somewhere around $3,300. To that you add your home owner's insurance, which was $1,800/year, until the fires came. When we sold that house, the fire insurance situation had become dire, and I don't know exactly where it settled out for our former house other than I saw a bill from the "FairPlan" for around $4,000 after we closed. I had neighbors who were hit with $8,000 bills. Yikes! How does one pay that? And of course, one pays state income tax on top of that.

So now a comparison with Texas. When you go house shopping, you must go with an eye toward the tax district. The little burg we live in has a property tax rate of 2.54%. (state has a base tax rate of 1.5%; county and cities tack on their little bits, which makes an overall tax rate dependent upon locale). So the tax bill I paid in CA for a 2,500 sq ft house in the foothills was $3,300, and here on a 1,250 sq ft house in a rural area (paid $204,000 for the house) was over $5,000. I now qualify for the homestead exemption and the geezer (over 65) exemptions, which bring it down to $4,000. My home owners insurance is around $1,900, but I pay no state income tax. So in a way, the property tax vs. no income tax is probably a wash, or close to it. When one gets into the suburbs of Houston, rates go to 3.5% and higher! And as RinTX notes, I use one of the "tax protest attorneys" to pound down the tax increases they go for. Major annoying? Yes. A deal killer for living here? No.

At the end of the day, one chooses the lifestyle one wishes to live. We are more than willing to give up a Sierra view and temperate weather for $2.39/gallon gas and utilities that are half what we were paying. The only thing that really bugs me about Texas is that there is no BLM land as in California, Arizona or Nevada. All land is private land, which reduces off-roading opportunities.
 
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