Smog Check Education and Training / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

A smog check or vehicle emissions test helps ensure that vehicles on the road meet pollution control requirements. This is important ...

A smog check or vehicle emissions test helps ensure that vehicles on the road meet pollution control requirements. This is important because air pollution and smog are serious threats to your health and that of the environment. Many areas have mandatory vehicle emissions testing for registered vehicles. This translates into business and career opportunities for smog check technicians and station owners.

Did you know that only a small percentage of vehicles cause the majority of smog and pollution? Vehicles that fail emissions testing also use more fuel. An efficient vehicle saves you money at the gas pump. A smog check list or smog check directory can help you find smog check repair shops or independent testing stations to perform emissions testing. Here are a few suggestions to increase your level of smog check education and training:

1. Research smog check requirements for your local area.

2. Learn how to become a smog check technician.

3. Know what it takes to open a smog test station.

Learn about smog check requirements

Smog check requirements vary from state to state. Different counties within a state may have different requirements. California has the strictest smog check requirements. What tests you must perform and what constitutes a passing test varies depending on the year of the vehicle. When a vehicle does not pass, the owner must repair the problem and have a retest done.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Learn about the specifics of California's smog check program at

Become a smog check technician

State requirements for who can perform a smog check vary. Experience working on automotive computer systems and computer systems repair is necessary to be able to perform smog checks accurately. You may need additional training to become a smog check technician. In some states, there are college-level programs in emissions testing.

Make your station a smog check provider

Smog check stations test vehicle emissions according to applicable requirements using high-tech computer testing equipment. Some stations are test-only facilities. A test-only facility doesn't perform vehicle repairs, but other smog check stations can test and repair vehicles. Requirements for becoming a smog check station vary depending on your state and county.
California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Automotive Repair. Learn more about vehicle emissions testing station requirements at Missouri Department of Natural Resources Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program.

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