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All Topics > Title Transfer > Is a Smog Check Necessary for Online Release of Liability?

Is a Smog Check Necessary for Online Release of Liability?

Post Date: 2020-01-20 13:45:21

Hi. If I sell my car to someone and submit the release of liability online via the DMV website, is a current smog certificate necessary to complete the process? Will the release of liability be completed if I have not smog checked my vehicle?

A smog check is not necessary to complete a Notice of Release of Liability (NRL), whether it be online or by mailing in the Notice of Release of Liability Form (REG 138). By submitting this document you are telling the DMV that you've sold, traded, gifted or otherwise disposed of a vehicle which is registered to you. The form will ask you the sale price, odometer reading and buyers/acquirers information. There is no request for smog inspection information. We must note that although you will be submitting a NRL, your name will not be removed from DMV records until the new owner completes the title transfer process. If a smog check is required, the DMV will not complete the transfer of ownership until a valid smog certificate is presented to them, either via a Vehicle Inspection Report hard-copy (provided by the smog station) or electronically transmitted by the smog station which conducts the inspection.

Submitting a NRL (when received and properly recorded by the DMV) will remove your liability from any civil or criminal action involving the vehicle after the date of sale, such as parking or traffic violations, and registration renewal fees and/or penalties. In case of a lawsuit or complaint against you after the vehicle's sale date, it will be up to the court to determine if you have any liability, whether it be civil and/or criminal.

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