California Cash for Clunkers Program in 2022

cash for clunkers 2023

If you’re a car owner in California, you may have heard of the California Cash for Clunkers Program. This program provides an opportunity for car owners to sell their old vehicles to the state and receive compensation. In this article, we will discuss the eligibility requirements, registration requirements, and process for participating in the program.

Vehicle Operation

To sell your car to the State of California through the Cash for Clunkers Program, your vehicle must be running and drivable without the need for a jump start. You should be able to drive it to a local dismantler. If your car is not in this condition, it is not eligible for the program. However, you can explore selling it to a local car buyer instead.

Registration Requirements

It is important that your vehicle is registered with the DMV and has a valid, unexpired registration sticker. If your registration has expired, you will need to pay all the fees to the DMV, and the registration must not be more than 120 days past expiration.

An exception to this requirement is if your vehicle has been primarily driven in California for the last two years and has not been registered in any other state or country during that time. In such cases, you will need to provide evidence in the form of auto repair invoices or insurance payments. If you do not meet the BAR car registration requirements mentioned above, you will not be able to sell your vehicle to the state.

READ  2023 Honda CR-V Review: Cargo Space and Versatility

SMOG Testing

In order to be eligible for the Cash for Clunkers Program, your vehicle must have failed its most recent smog check inspection. If your vehicle did fail the smog test, there are specific rules regarding its condition that can be found on the program’s website.

There are exceptions to the smog testing requirement for vehicles that qualify for low-income benefits or if the vehicle is from 1997 or older. To determine if you meet the low-income criteria in California, you can refer to the income table on their official website.

If your car passed its recent smog test, it is eligible for the program. However, if your car has failed the smog test, there are additional basic requirements that need to be met. These include the vehicle being drivable, the applicant for reimbursement being the registered owner or joint registered owner, and the vehicle being currently registered in California, among others.

Payment Timing

If you are eligible for the Cash for Clunkers Program, the application process usually takes 30-60 days for processing and approval. Once approved, you can expect to receive payment within 6-8 weeks. The program offers both a paper and online application, giving you flexibility in the submission process.

However, if you are looking for a quicker payment or your vehicle does not qualify for the program, you may want to consider selling it to a local buyer who will offer cash and free towing services. Additionally, it’s worth noting that your car may be worth more than what the program is offering, so checking the market value with a local buyer is a good idea.

READ  Car and Driver Reveals the Highly Anticipated C7 ZR1 in "25 Cars Worth Waiting For" Cover Story!


  • Q: Can I sell my car if it is not currently registered with the DMV?

    • A: No, your car must be registered with the DMV and have a valid, unexpired registration sticker to be eligible for the program.
  • Q: How long does it take to receive payment after the application is approved?

    • A: Once the application is approved, payment usually arrives within 6-8 weeks.


The California Cash for Clunkers Program offers car owners the opportunity to sell their old vehicles to the state and receive compensation. By meeting the eligibility requirements, ensuring proper registration, and complying with SMOG testing regulations, you can take advantage of this program. Whether you choose to participate in the state program or explore other options, such as selling to a local buyer, it’s important to assess the value of your car and make an informed decision.

For more car news and information, visit Car news.