If Your Car Fails Safety Inspection or Emissions Testing

Car exhaust emitting grey smoke, close-up
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Many states require that your vehicle undergo either a safety inspection or an emission controls system inspection, or both. If your car or truck has failed inspection, you are probably frustrated. The first thing you need to do is to read up on your state's laws and criteria for failing the test. It varies from state to state, and some of the problems that get flagged may be relatively easy to fix. Other problems may require in-depth work by an automotive mechanic, but either way, you will need to understand the problems, fix them, and then get the vehicle reinspected and passed if you expect to license it for road use. 

Your car may fail an inspection for something as simple as a dangling muffler, for example. Whether your car's OBD (on board diagnostics) system is showing a fault code or if it's your check engine light causing you to fail, you need to know what things need to be remedied and what to expect when you bring the car back for reinspection.

Also, if you are buying a car it is a good idea to first find out whether your state requires safety inspections. Many states have no inspection requirement at all, while others are very strict regarding this. 

Following is a list of states and links to contact information pertaining to each state's vehicle emissions testing and safety inspection requirements:

Alabama - No Testing Required 

Alaska - Testing No Longer Required 

Arizona - for information visit http://www.myazcar.com/

Arkansas - for information visit https://www.adeq.state.ar.us/air/planning/ozone/cars.aspx

California - for information visit https://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/Consumer/index.html?3

Colorado - for information vist www.aircarecolorado.com/

Connecticut - for information visit www.ctemissions.com/

Delaware - for information visit www.dmv.de.gov/services/vehicle_services/reg/ve_reg_emissions.shtml

Florida - Testing No Longer Required 

Georgia - for information visit www.cleanairforce.com/

Hawaii - for information visit www.dmv.org/hi-hawaii/car-registration.php

Idaho - Testing Required Only in Ada County - for information visit www.emissiontest.org/

Illinois - for information visit www.epa.state.il.us/air/vim

Indiana - for information visit www.in.gov/bmv/2665.htm

Iowa - No Testing Required

Kansas - No Testing Required

Kentucky - No Testing Required

Louisisana - for information visit www.lsp.org/lse_form4.html

Maine - for information visit www.maine.gov/dep/air/mobile/enhancedautoinsp.html

Maryland - for information visit www.mva.maryland.gov/MVA-Programs/VEIP/veipinfo.htm

Massachusetts - for information visit for more info visit http://www.mass.gov/rmv/stations

Michigan - No Testing Required

Minnesota - No Testing Required

Mississippi - for information visit https://www.dmv.com/ms/mississippi/emissions-testing

Missouri - for more information visit www.dnr.mo.gov/gatewayvip 

Montana - No Testing Required

Nebraska - for more information visit www.dmv.ne.gov/dvr/mvtitles/inspect.html 

Nevada - Some Areas Require Testing - for more information visit www.dmvnv.com/emission_areas.htm

New Hampshire - for information visit www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/dmv/registration/inspections-emissions/index.htm

New Jersey - for information visit www.state.nj.us/mvc/Inspections/

New York - for information visit dmv.ny.gov/inspection/inspection-requirements

North Dakota - No Testing Required

Ohio - for information visit epa.ohio.gov/dapc/echeck/testing_info/tips_for_smooth_testing.aspx

Oklahoma - No Testing Required

Oregon - for information visit http://www.dmv.org/or-oregon/smog-check.php

Pennsylvania - for information visit www.drivecleanpa.state.pa.us/

Rhode Island - for information visit www.dmv.ri.gov/inspections

South Carolina - No Testing Required

South Dakota - No Testing Required

Tennessee - for more info visit http://www.state.tn.us/environment/apc/vehicle

Texas - for information visit www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/vi/consumerinfo/emissionTesting.htm

Utah - for more info visit http://dmv.utah.gov/safety-and-emissions-inspections#emission

Vermont - for information visit dmv.vermont.gov/safety/laws/emissions

Virginia - for information visit www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/citizen/vehicles/emissions.asp

Washington - for information visit www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/emissions.html

Washington DC - for information visit https://dmv.dc.gov/service/vehicle-inspections

West Virginia - No Testing Required

Wisconsin - Some Counties Require Testing - for information visit www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/vehicles/im.htm

Wyoming - No Testing Required

Remember, it's important to get your car ready for inspection, but attempts to cheat the inspection process or trick the inspection machines into passing your car seldom work— and they could land you in hot water.