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Emissions testing

Where can I get an emission test?

Find a test station at Applus+ Technologies, Inc. — they’re contracted by the State of Washington to provide vehicle emission testing. There are also some individual businesses that are authorized to perform testing.

Fleets may be able to do their own emissions testing. Learn more about fleet emissions testing (Department of Ecology).

Who needs to have their vehicle tested?

If you live in these counties, your vehicle may need testing every 2 years:

  • Clark County
  • King County
  • Pierce County
  • Snohomish County
  • Spokane County
A full list of zip codes requiring emissions testing by county and more can be found through the Washington Vehicle Emissions Check Program.

What vehicles are exempt?

These vehicle types don’t need emission testing:

  • Hybrid vehicles: Honda Insight and Toyota Prius.
  • 2009 or newer model year vehicles.
  • Vehicles more than 25 years old.
  • Dealer sales - vehicles sold or offered for sale by a Washington dealer.
  • Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity, propane, compressed natural gas, or liquid petroleum gas
  • Motorcycles, see RCW 46.04.330 and motor-driven cycles, see RCW 46.04.332
  • Farm vehicles, see RCW 46.04.181
  • Street rod vehicles, see RCW 46.04.572 and custom vehicles, see RCW 46.04.161
  • Diesel vehicles that are:
    • Older than 2007, and weigh 6,000 lbs. or less.
      or
    • 2007 and newer, with no weight limit.
  • Collectible vehicles. To claim the exemption:
    1. Submit a Collectible Vehicle Certification for Emission Test Exemption form.
    2. Your vehicle must meet these requirements:
      • Is of a unique or rare design, of limited production, and an object of curiosity.
      • Is maintained primarily for use in car club activities, exhibitions, parades, or other functions of public interest or for a private collection, and is used only infrequently for other purposes.
      • Has collectible vehicle or classic automobile insurance coverage that restricts the collectible vehicle mileage or use, or both.
    3. You must have another vehicle for personal use.

How can I tell if my vehicle needs to be tested?

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

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

You can apply for a temporary exemption with this Out-of-Area Emission Test Application (Dept of Ecology).

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

What if I'm going out of state for an extended period of time?

If your residence is still in Washington, but you’re going to school or living out of state for a few months, make sure you get your emissions test early. If you know your emissions test will be due while you’re gone, you can have it done within 365 days of the tab renewal date.

What are the 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 soon can I renew my vehicle tabs after it’s tested?

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.

See also:

Washington Healthcare Finder
Access Washington – official state government website