Test Only? What's the Point?Last weekend, I took my car to be smog tested. I don't know if this is the law in other states (or countries), but in California, you have to get the emissions on your vehicle checked every couple of years before the state will let you re-register. It's a good law, and pollution here has improved enormously over the past 10-15 years. I went to my usual service station where my car typically gets smogged (walking distance, only a few blocks away) only to be turned away and sent to a "test only" center inconveniently located several miles from home.
Come to find out, when a car in California reaches a certain age (looks like it must be 10 years, based on the age of my car), they are sent to these special test only smog check centers, the purpose of which I have yet to determine. It was a royal pain in the ass, and I don't understand why these "test only" centers are a benefit to the consumer when they are much fewer and farther between than normal smog check businesses. If memory serves, the price was the same ($50, including certificate and electronic transfer to the DMV), and the process appeared to be identical. Anyone know anything about this before I'm forced to write to the Governator?