Best Ways to Sell a Car Without a Smog Check

January 27, 2012

If you want to sell a car without a smog check or emissions test, you might find that it's very hard to do in most states that require this type of testing. In fact, if you want to sell a car without a fog check, you may have to get explicit permission from your state's Department of Motor Vehicles to do so.

In other cases, you may need to create a completely separate agreement or contract specifying that both parties agreed that the vehicle may not be able to pass a smog test or inspection. While it may difficult, there are ways to sell a car without a log book (smog check).

Gentleman's Agreement in Writing

Some states that require smog or emissions testing allow you to sell a vehicle that may not be able to pass a smog check - provided that the buyer states that he or she is aware of the problem and does so in writing. This particular document should be separate from any bill of sale or other document associated with the sale.

If you are selling a vehicle that is unable to pass a smog test, and the buyer does agree in writing, you should get the document notarized. Some states also require that you submit this document to the DMV when reporting the sale. If you are unsure of the procedure required, check with the appropriate agency in your state.

Planned Non-Operation Method

Some states don't allow the sale of a vehicle without a smog test - even if there is a written agreement between the buyer and seller. In these states, you will need to notify the DMV that the vehicle will not be used on state roads and highways. This is usually referred to as Planned Non-Operation.

You can legally sell a vehicle that is in Planned Non-Operation status; however, the buyer will not be able to operate the vehicle legally on state roads and highways until he or he gets the vehicle inspected and it is able to get a clean bill of health in the form of a smog certificate. Then, the buyer can apply to the DMV to have the vehicle removed from Planned Non-Operation status. The DMV usually charges a fee for this.

Retire the Vehicle and Get Paid

In order to keep pollution causing vehicles off the highway, some states offer the ability for you to retire your vehicle with the Department Motor of Vehicles. States that allow this will generally give you a specified amount for your old vehicle and then dispose of it properly. While the amount you will receive for your vehicle from the state will depend upon where you love, most states offer between $250 and $500 for old vehicles.

If your state does not extend this offer to car owners, you may still be able to get rid of your old vehicle by selling it to a junk salvage yard. In most cases, the amount you receive from the salvage yard will be comparable to the amount offered by states that have vehicle retirement programs.

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