How do I find vehicle emissions testing locations?

The easiest way is to simply contact your local DMV office or visit your state’s DMV Web site. Not every state requires an emissions test for vehicle registration, but many do, and those states generally provide a list of approved vehicle emissions testing locations or point you in the direction of your state’s environmental commission or a similar agency.

An emission test, also known as a smog test or smog check, is designed to make sure your vehicle is running as efficiently as possible to help keep the air clean. Oftentimes your DMV or testing facility will provide a check list of sorts that outline what you need to do to prepare your vehicle (this will help make sure your vehicle passes the test) as well as what you can expect during the check.

Despite what your state’s DMV or other environmental agency’s Web site states, before you locate a facility and head out for a smog check remember to call ahead and:

  • Ask about appointments. Vehicle emissions testing locations tend to stay busy and the facility you choose might require one.
  • Find out what, if any, paperwork you need to bring. These might be documents the inspector needs to see or they might be papers you need signed to present to the DMV when your ready to register your vehicle or renew your vehicle’s registration.
  • Ask about fees.

NOTE: Your state might have different emissions test requirements in place for certain situations – say, if you own or manage a commercial vehicle or a fleet of taxis. Be sure to inquire about these.

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