What are the best times to avoid long lines at emissions test locations?

Each state or county that requires emissions inspections claims the best time to visit, when lines are shortest, is during the middle of the month. But there is no consensus regarding specific days. Arizona emissions inspection stations, for example, claim Saturday afternoons as the slowest time of the week. Whereas in Illinois Saturday is the busiest, a day to avoid for bringing your car in for a smog check. See grid below for the best or worst times in your respective state.

States with a limited number of emissions test locations are sensitive to motorist complaints about long lines. Many inspection stations now offer live online cameras, allowing you to view the actual length of the wait lines. Others offer estimated wait times on Web sites. And some states, like New Jersey, encourage online appointments.  

Lines aren't as much of an issue if you reside in a state that uses state-authorized, privately owned service stations. It's no different than taking your vehicle in for a repair. Call ahead and set an appointment. 

Testing Required No Testing Required
Alabama
x
Alaska
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting and make an appointment.
Arizona
x
Best times: Weekdays between 5 and 7 p.m. and on Saturday afternoons.
Arkansas
x
California
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting.
Colorado
x
Best times: Saturdays, early mornings and the middle two weeks of the month.
Connecticut
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead and make an appointment.
Delaware
x
Avoid visiting at the end of the month and during lunch hours.
Florida
x
Georgia
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting.
Hawaii
x
Idaho
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting.
Illinois
x
Avoid Saturdays and end of the month visits.
Indiana
x
Best times: Midweek and middle of the month.
Iowa
x
Kansas
x
Kentucky
x
Louisiana
x
Maine
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting.
Maryland
x
Best times: Midweek and mid-month.
Massachusetts
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting.
Michigan
x
Minnesota
x
Mississippi
x
Missouri
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting.
Montana
x
Nebraska
x
Nevada
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting.
New Hampshire
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting.
New Jersey
x
New Jersey uses both state-run inspection stations and privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Most state inspection centers require scheduling an appointment..
New Mexico
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting.
New York
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting.
North Carolina
x
States uses privately owned, state-approved auto repair shops. Call ahead before visiting.
North Dakota
x
Ohio
x
Best times: Before 10 a.m and after 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
Oklahoma
x
Oregon
x
Best times: Thursdays and Fridays, and mid-month.
Pennsylvania
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting.
Rhode Island
x
State uses privately owned car service stations for inspections. Call the shop in your area.
South Carolina
x
South Dakota
x
Tennessee
x
Best times: Middle two weeks of the month, and early and late in the day.
Texas
x
Uses authorized privately owned car repair shops. Call ahead.
Utah
x
State uses privately owned, state-approved vehicle repair shops for inspections. Call ahead before visiting.
Vermont
x
Virginia
x
Washington
x
Best times: Mondays, middle of the month, mid-mornings and afternoons.
West Virginia
x
Wisconsin
x
Avoid Mondays and the last week of the month.
Wyoming
x
Washington DC
x
Best time: Wednesday, Thursday or Friday following lunch hours. Avoid Tuesdays and Saturdays.

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