State of California The seller is required to provide the buyer with a valid smog inspection certification at the time of the sale or transfer. Smog certifications are good for 90 days from the date of issuance. The inspection is not required on a transfer if a biennial smog certification was submitted to DMV within 90 days prior to the vehicle transfer date (a vehicle inspection report may be required for proof of certification). Starting January 1, 2005, smog certifications will not be required for transfers that occur for any motor vehicle that is four or less model years old. A smog transfer fee will be collected from the new owner.
In California it is the responsibility of the seller to provide verification of a current smog inspection before conducting a sales transfer of a vehicle. Without a smog certification from the seller you don't have a right to return the vehicle, but the seller is still responsible to pay for certification and any necessary repairs to pass California emission requirements.
Sold as is means you are not responsible. You are selling it as it is. Unfortunately in California there is no AS-IS clause for vehicle sales. If it is registered as operational and you sold as operational then the seller is responsible for smogging it. The title of an operational registered vehicle can NOT be transfered without a smog certificate. If it does not pass smog, the purchaser can require the seller to pay for repairs to pass smog. The work around is to register the vehicle as Planed Non-operation (PNO) and sell the vehicle as non-operational. It may not be driven or parked on a public street and would need to be towed from it's residence by the purchaser. The purchaser would then not be able to drive or operate the vehicle on public roads until they registered it as operational. The purchaser would be responsible at that point for smogging the vehicle since they would be the title holder at that time.
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