Will the DMV check for my vehicle's catalytic converter during inspection?

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Smog, Exhaust, Catalytic Converters, and Emissions Testing

Each state is different, of course, with emissions regulations and testings, but because the catalytic converter is considered the most effective emissions control system on a vehicle, you can be almost certain that it will be inspected during a smog check. Under this criterion, your vehicle will not pass an inspection if its catalytic converter is missing or is malfunctioning. And without passing an inspection, you cannot apply for vehicle registration or registration renewal.

And without registration you cannot operate the vehicle, which defeats the whole purpose of owning a car.  

If your catalytic converter is plugged, damaged, or rusted out, you will need to replace it. Often the problem is internal, making it hard to detect without the proper diagnostics.  

For more information, contact your state DMV. Most DMV websites have links to emission brochures or sites explaining the entire smog check process, including catalytic converters.

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