Updated March 15th, 2017

Sterling, Virginia - For most residents driving vehicles in Virginia, there is a mandatory Vehicle Emission Inspection that your vehicle must undergo. In the following article we look at some of the frequent questions that users have regarding the Virginia State Emission’s Inspection.

Which vehicles require inspection?

According to the new 2006 laws of the Virginia Vehicle Emissions Inspection, all cars that are powered by gasoline or diesel engines are required to be inspected and must pass the emission inspection before they can be registered in Northern Virginia.

Emissions Test Exemptions for Eco-Friendly (Hybrid) Vehicles

The State of Virginia exempts the following fuel-efficient vehicles from emissions testing:

Vehicles powered by clean fuels, including compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, electricity, and solar energy. Qualified hybrids, motorcycles and diesel-powered vehicles. 

How Can One Find Out If their Vehicle Needs an Emission Inspection?

If you do not receive a notification in the mail regarding the vehicle emission inspection, you can log on to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle’s online renewal process at www..dmvnow.com and check to see the status of your vehicle. For ease of use, you can simply log in the details including your title number and and your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). If the processing system prompts you for the date of the last emission test and the Transaction Identification Number then another inspection will be required.

What is the Type of Inspection Performed?

Different types of vehicles undergo different types testing. This is because the parameters for inspection are measured depending on the composition of the fuel used. There are three types of tests: two-speed idle test, acceleration simulation mode test and an on-board diagnostic system test.

For Gasoline Powered Vehicles: Tests performed fall into two categories – the Acceleration Stimulation Mode Test (ASM) and/or the on-board diagnostic system test. For Diesel Fueled Vehicles: For those vehicles that are fueled by diesel, the mode of testing is the on-board diagnostic system test. These vehicles are exempt from the visible smoke inspection, the visible component test and the tailpipe test. In addition to the fuel specific tests, most vehicles receive a state safety inspection test every once a year. This is different from the emissions test and requires one to contact the Virginia State Police.

What is the Cost of Inspection?

The maximum inspection fee is $28. In case the vehicle has failed the inspection test, you are eligible for one free retest at the original emission inspecting station within 14 days from the initial inspection date.

What Happens if One Receives a “Rejection From Testing” Form?

If your vehicle fails the initial inspection test you are eligible for one free re-test. You must visit the original testing station within 14 days of the initial inspection.

What Should One Carry To the Vehicle Emission’s Inspection Center?

Bring with you the Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice to the emissions inspection station. The inspector will scan the bar code found on the Renewal Notice. Your car must be warmed up to operating temperature prior to the inspection being performed.

What Happens After the Test?

Once the inspection is complete, the registration is valid to 2 years. Once the inspection is over, the emission inspector uploads the results into the Vehicle Inspection Database. This ensures that you vehicle is safeguarded from any legal hassles henceforth.

When Can I Have the Emissions Test Performed on my Car?

The emissions test can be performed up to 90 days before your registration expiration date and if your vehicle passes, you will be provided a 2 year vehicle registration. You may have your emissions test performed earlier than 90 days prior to your registration expiring, but you will only be provided a one year vehicle registration.

Getting your vehicle tested at Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto Virginia State Emission Inspection Stations is not only an important responsibility in helping to ensure your contributing to a cleaner and safer environment with a clean oxygen sensor, but it’s also Virginia State law.