General emissions inspection requirements and information

Back to automobile emissions inspection

 

  • Check the registration renewal postcard that your county clerk mails to you about a month before your vehicle’s registration renewal is due.

  • New vehicles are exempt from inspection for the first seven model years.
    • A 2011 vehicle, for example, doesn't need an inspection until 2018.
       
  • Vehicles 8 through 11 years old will be inspected using onboard diagnostics (OBD).
    • If the “Check Engine” light is turned on, these vehicles will fail the inspection and need repairs.
    • Making repairs improves vehicle performance, extends vehicle life and saves money.
    • Learn more at EPA or National OBD Clearinghouse.
       
  • Vehicles manufactured beginning in 1982 that are at least 12 years old will be inspected using the  “I/M 240” dynamometer (treadmill) test.
    • In 2016, this requirement applies to model year 1982 through 2005 vehicles and so on.
    • A check engine light on a vehicle at least 12 years old may still pass if the I/M 240 test can be run and the car can pass the test. An advisory may be issued. 



 

  • Vehicles manufactured in 1981 and older will be inspected using a two-speed idle test.
     
  • Hybrid vehicles 8 years and older will be inspected using onboard diagnostics (OBD).
    • As with all vehicles inspected, hybrids will also have their gas caps checked, and no visible smoke is allowed.
       
  • ​Most inspection stations now have at least two lanes dedicated to inspecting all-wheel-drive vehicles to accommodate the large number of these vehicles.
     
  • RapidScreen roadside tests remain an important part of the program, allowing exceptionally clean vehicles to skip a trip to an inspection station. 
    • Owners of eligible vehicles will see “PASSED ROADSIDE EMISSIONS” on their registration renewal cards, and they won't need to go to an inspection station.
    • Current RapidScreen locations are posted on the Air Care Colorado website.

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  • Air Care Colorado inspection stations accept cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.
     
  • Diesel-powered vehicles are inspected through a different program.
For more information, contact Air Care Colorado:
 
303-456-7090