Specially Constructed Vehicles- Emission ControlEmissions and Emissions testing
What is the Specially Constructed Vehicle Emission Control Program?
Existing law requires most 1976 and newer model year vehicles to pass an emissions control inspection (smog check) prior to original registration, transfer of ownership, and every second annual renewal. Since Specially Constructed Vehicles (SPCNS) are homemade and do not have a manufacturer-assigned model year, they must be taken to a Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Referee Station for the original inspection. Upon completion of the inspection, the referee will affix a tamper-resistant label to the vehicle and issue a certificate that establishes the model-year for future inspection purposes.
Per California Vehicle Code §4750.1, the first 500 program applicants in each calendar year may choose whether the inspection is based on the model-year of the engine used in the vehicle or the vehicle model-year. If the engine or the vehicle does not sufficiently resemble one previously manufactured, the referee will assign 1960 as the model-year.
After the first 500 vehicles have been registered in any calendar year, all others will be assigned the same model-year as the calendar year in which the application is submitted.
Previously registered vehicles may be included as one of the first 500 applicants in a calendar year and apply for a different model-year determination.
What is an SPCNS Certificate of Sequence?
An SPCNS Certificate of Sequence identifies a vehicle as one for which the owner may choose emission control inspection based on the model-year of the engine used in the vehicle or the vehicle model-year. The certificate is issued by DMV Headquarters and will be mailed 7-10 working days after the application is accepted by your local DMV. The certificate must be presented to the BAR Referee Station at the time of inspection.
Per statute, only 500 certificates can be issued in a calendar year. Once the yearly allotment has been issued, applicants must wait until the following year to apply for a certificate.
SPCNS Certificates of Sequence cannot be transferred to a different vehicle or reissued in someone else's name. The seller of a vehicle must provide the buyer with the SPCNS Certificate of Sequence along with the bill of sale and any additional registration documents. In addition, fees deposited in one year cannot be held over for the next year's allocation of certificates.
Note: Due to the limited number of SPCNS Certificates of Sequence available, you may wish to submit your application for registration in person at a local DMV office.
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