Emissions testing

Getting your emissions test

Go to the Department of Ecology website to find test station locations and other information.

Who needs to have their vehicle tested?

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 can I tell if my vehicle needs to be tested?

Your tab renewal notice or email reminder will say if your vehicle needs an emission inspection before you can renew tabs. You can also log in to your License eXpress account, select the renew tabs icon, to see if an emission test is required.

What if my vehicle is required to be tested but it’s out of the emission test area?

To apply for a temporary exemption, fill out the Out-of-Area Emission Test Application (Department of Ecology).

When your vehicle returns to the emission testing area, you’ll have 15 days to get it tested.

Requirements for military personnel

Federal law requires your vehicle to be tested regardless of where it’s registered if:

  • You drive on a military base,
  • Within an emission inspection area,
  • 60 days or more a year.

Any questions should be referred to your military base.

How to renew your tabs after the test

The testing station sends us your results electronically. In most cases, our records will show your vehicle passed within 2 hours.

  • If you renew 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, a permit allows you to legally drive to a testing station:

  • A 2-day transit permit:
    • Can only be issued by a vehicle licensing office.
    • It allows you to drive from your home, to a test station, then to a vehicle licensing office.
    • Is only valid for the day shown on the permit. It can’t exceed 2 days. The 2 days don't need to be consecutive.
  • A 3-day trip permit:
    • Can only be purchased at a vehicle licensing office.
    • It allows you to drive from your home, to a test station, then to a vehicle licensing office.
    • Is only valid for 3 consecutive days.
    • Can’t be used for off-road vehicles.

Exempt vehicles

These vehicle types are exempt from emission testing:

  • 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, 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.

See also:

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