If you live in the following counties, your vehicle may need to get an emissions test every 2 years:
- Clark County
- King County
- Pierce County
- Snohomish County
- Spokane County
How to tell if your vehicle needs an emissions test
Check your tab renewal notice or email reminder. It’ll say if your vehicle needs an emission inspection before you can renew tabs.
Requirements for military personnel
If you drive on a military base, within an emission inspection area, 60 days or more a year, federal law requires your vehicle to be tested regardless of where it's registered. Any questions should be referred to your military base.
These vehicle types are exempt from emission testing requirements:
- Certain hybrid vehicles with an efficiency rating of at least 50 miles per gallon for city driving.
- 2009 and newer passenger cars, SUVs, vans, and pickups that are certified to California emission standards.
- Diesel vehicles that are:
- Older than 2007, and weigh 6,000 lbs. or less.
- 2007 and newer, with no weight limit.
How to get an emissions test
To learn how to get an emissions test, including hours and locations, see the Department of Ecology website. You don’t need your renewal notice to get a test.
How to renew your tabs after the test
The testing station sends us your results electronically. In most cases, our records should show your vehicle passed within 2 hours.
- If you renew your tabs online, you should be able to renew a few hours after the emission test.
- If you renew at an office, our records should be updated by the time you arrive. However, we recommend bringing a copy of your test results in case you arrive before your record’s updated.
To learn more about renewing your tabs, see How to renew your tabs.
Temporary permits for driving to an emissions test
If your tabs expire before you can get an emissions test, either of the permits below allow you to legally drive to a testing station:
- A 2-day transit permit. Allows you to drive the vehicle from your home to a test station and then to a vehicle licensing office. Some vehicle licensing offices charge a service fee.
- A 3-day trip permit. Purchase at any vehicle licensing office. Can’t be used for off-road vehicles.