Vehicle Status and Requirements


Vehicle Status and Functional Requirements

The vehicle dismantler will only purchase your vehicle for the Vehicle Buy Back Program if it meets the following requirements:

  1. The vehicle must be a 1998 model year or older diesel, gasoline-powered passenger car, or light-duty truck up to 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVWR) or less.
  2. The vehicle must be currently registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as an operable vehicle and must have been registered for at least 24 consecutive months prior to the date of the sale to CONTRACTOR to an address or addresses located within the DISTRICT. The Air District includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and the southern portions of Solano and Sonoma counties.

    If the vehicle has been placed in planned non-operational status per vehicle section code 4604 et seq, it may still be eligible if the planned non-operational status does not exceed 60 days within the 24-month registration period. Registration must be reinstated for at least 90 days immediately prior to its sale to the VBB program.

    If the vehicle registration has lapsed for no more than 181 days during the past 24 months, it may still be eligible provided that all appropriate registration fees and late penalties have been paid to DMV and the vehicle is registered for at least 90 days prior to its sale date to the VBB Program. You can obtain a copy of your DMV registration history online. This registration history is only valid if it contains your name and address.

  3. The vehicle must be driven to the vehicle dismantler site under its own power.
  4. Vehicles whose emission control systems have been tampered with as defined in Cal Code Regs., tit. 16, § 3340.41.5., are not eligible until such tampering has been completely corrected.
  5. The vehicle cannot be operating under a Smog Check repair cost waiver or economic hardship extension.
  6. If the vehicle is within 60 days of its next required Smog Check inspection, the vehicle shall pass the inspection without receiving a repair cost waiver or economic hardship extension prior to acceptance by the dismantler.
  7. If a vehicle is within 61-90 days of its next required Smog Check inspection, the vehicle is not required to have a Smog Check inspection. But if the Smog Check Inspection is performed in this 61-90 day time frame, the vehicle must pass the inspection.
  8. Determination of an individual vehicle's registration history shall be based on registration data for that vehicle, obtained from DMV records. If DMV registration data provide inconclusive results for an individual vehicle, then copies of the applicable vehicle registration certificate may be used.
  9. The vehicle dismantler will inspect the vehicle to ensure it meets the following requirements and must reject the vehicle if the vehicle fails any one of these requirements:
    1. All doors must be present and in place.
    2. The hood shall be present and in place.
    3. The dashboard shall be present and in place.
    4. Windshield shall be present and in place.
    5. The driver's seat must be present and in place.
    6. Interior pedals shall be operational.
    7. The vehicle must have one bumper and all side and/or quarter panels shall be present and in place. Vehicle drivability must not be affected by any body, steering, or suspension damage. Exhaust system shall be present and in place.
    8. One headlight, one taillight, and one brake light shall be present and in place.
    9. One side window glass shall be present and in place.
  10. The vehicle must start by ordinary means using a keyed ignition system and without the use of starting fluids or external booster batteries

If your vehicle does not meet the Vehicle Buy Back program requirements, contact the Bureau of Automotive Repair Consumer Assistance Program (1-866-272-9642). The Consumer Assistance Program provides financial assistance for people who would like to retire their vehicle or repair their vehicle when it fails the Smog Check Inspection.

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Vehicle Buy Back Program Information Request Line, Strategic Incentives


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Last Updated: 1/3/2023