Look for notification in the mail.
In California, for example, your registration renewal notification will state "Smog Certification Required."
Know what to take for your smog check.
• If you are doing your smog check to renew your registration, then take your vehicle, your registration renewal paperwork and your payment.
• If you are transferring a vehicle to a state that has a smog check requirement or your vehicle is being registered for the first time in a state with smog check requirements, you will need to not only bring your vehicle and your payment, but all necessary registration information as well.
Understand what takes place at your smog test.
• A certified technician will apply the necessary measurement tools to your vehicle, at which point, he or she will perform the test.
• In some states, these testing facilities have direct access to your state's department of motor vehicles and will immediately transmit the results to them. If not, get a copy of your emissions report signed by your mechanic and send it to the DMV.
• The staff will let you know the results of your test as well as give you the appropriate documentation of the tests.