What Do I Do When I Don’t Pass My  State Emission Test?


Purcellville, Virginia - The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has implemented a Virginia State Emissions program whereby motorists in the state of Virginia are required to pass a Virginia State Emission test in order to renew their vehicle's registration in the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, or Stafford and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas or Manassas Park in order to register your vehicle.


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 a Virginia State Emission’s Inspection Station is not only an important responsibility in helping to ensure your contributing to a cleaner and safer environment, but it’s also Virginia State law.


These tests measure the emissions of your vehicle as compared to the EPA requirements for air pollutants released into the atmosphere.   Unlike a crack in your windshield or faulty brakes (link back to brake article), it is nearly impossible to self-diagnose an emission test failure.   


Before getting your car tested learn what are the possible negative outcomes of an emission test:


Complete Required Repairs

If you fail the state emissions test, the inspector will provide you with a list of required repairs.  Be sure to provide the exact list to the repair shop to avoid any miscommunication.  Be sure to use a Certified Emissions Repair Technician employed at a Certified Emissions Repair Facility so all your repairs will count towards an emissions inspection waiver if your vehicle fails for the second time.  

Also, if your vehicle fails the initial inspection test you are eligible for one free retest. You must visit the original testing station within 14 days of the initial inspection.


Emissions Inspection Waiver

You will receive an emission inspection waiver if the projected costs required repairs to your vehicle exceed the Virginia mandated cost threshold.  The current repair threshold, as of April 1, 2016, is $815.  Emission specific repairs previously done to the vehicle will only count towards the waiver balance if they were completed by a Certified Emissions Repair Technician employed at a Certified Emissions Repair Facility.  


Am I Exempt?

There are exemptions to Virginia's Emission Testing for diesel, older gasoline cars, and a car that run on clean fuel.  Some common exemptions are as follows, for a complete list visit a Certified Emissions Repair Facility.


  • Gasoline-powered passenger or property carrying vehicles with a model year that is more than 25 years old before January 1 of the current calendar year.

  • Diesel powered vehicles; unless they are a model year newer than 1996, or a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) less than 8,501 lbs., (if GVWR is not available, empty and gross weights will be used) and registration that expires in July 2007 or later.

  • Vehicles exclusively powered by clean fuel, including compressed or liquified natural gas, electricity, or solar energy.



To ensure that you don't get stranded at the DMV with an unregistered car or truck, have your vehicle tested at a qualified auto repair facility.  Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto has licensed inspectors for the Virginia State Emission Inspection as well as a full staff of mechanics if repairs are required.  Make Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto your one stop for emission testing and certified repairs.  


Contact Hogan and Sons Tire and Auto today to schedule your Virginia State Emission test.


Always check your owner’s manual for your vehicle model’s specific instructions before attempting any type of repair.
Copyright 2017 - Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto - Published January 16th, 2017