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Inspections Smog & Emissions

Inspections, Smog, & Emissions

All registered vehicles in New York are required to pass two different inspections each year. You will have to pass both safety and emissions inspections before the vehicle's registration is extended any further for legal operation on the roadways. Where do you get your vehicle inspected in New York? There are private-owned DMV licensed inspection stations found throughout New York, located in convenient locations for residents of all counties, which can be found online at Find DMV Regulated Facilities.

Only when you purchase a vehicle from a NY dealership are you exempt from the initial inspection, which is done by the dealership you purchase the vehicle from. If you are purchasing a used vehicle from a private seller, you will have to complete each step for inspection within 10 days of registering the vehicle.

  • The safety inspection has a small fee of $10, with a $27 fee for emissions inspection for residents living in the New York Metro area and $11 for those outside this area. NYC requires higher standards for emissions testing, which is why there is an increase in cost.
  • It is against New York law for an inspector to pass your vehicle without the full inspection being completed. If your vehicle fails the inspection, the station that performed inspection on your vehicle is prohibited from making the needed repairs without first obtaining your approval.
  • You have the choice to take your vehicle to another inspection station or to a mechanic of your choice in order to obtain the necessary repairs. You won't need to use the same inspection station to make these repairs or reinspect your vehicle. In order for registration or registration renewal to be possible for your vehicle, you must first pass both the New York emissions and safety inspection.
NY Emissions Inspection

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has identified motor vehicles as the largest source of polluting ground-level ozone, which is a main reason for smog. In fact, emissions from automobiles have been identified as accountable for over half of all pollution in New York cities.

For these reasons, New York imposes stricter emissions standards than other states, in an effort to meet compliance with the Federal Clean Air Act, reducing pollution and increasing air quality within the state. These annual vehicle inspections for all gas-powered vehicles in New York will identify those vehicles that don't meet the standards of the state, and require repair to decrease the pollution emitted from the vehicle.

There are certain vehicles exempt from New York emissions inspection:

  • Vehicles 1 Year Old or Less
  • Vehicles at Least 26 Years Old
  • Vehicles Holding Classic/Vintage Plates
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Motorcycles
  • Farm Tractors and Other Equipment Vehicles
  • Homemade/Custom Vehicles Upstate
  • Diesel-Powered Vehicles 8,500 lbs or under.
There is also a newly updated inspection program for New York vehicles, offering newer equipment that now monitors your vehicle's on-board diagnostics system if it was manufactured in 1996 or later, instantly transmitting these results to the New York DMV.

There are several elements of your vehicle emissions inspection in NY. The vehicle goes through a gas cap check, emission control device visual inspection, chemical component for vehicle exhaust test, as well as the last element which is more focused in the New York Metro area, also referred to as “High Enhanced” emissions testing. Any emission control devices originally built into your vehicle will also be examined before you complete inspection.

  • If your vehicle fails the emissions inspection, you are not going to be issued valid registration from the DMV unless you have received a waiver. For more information about obtaining and using a waver to obtain your registration if emissions inspection fails your vehicle, visit Vehicle Safety, Inspection, Repairs and Dealers
NY Safety Inspection

While pollution is top priority for your vehicle, safety is another top priority that will also require appropriate inspection to be completed before your vehicle can legally be operated within New York. You must complete annual vehicle safety inspection in New York to ensure your vehicle remains in an safe condition for operation. If you ever fail safety inspection, you will have to repair the issue and bring the vehicle back to an inspection station for another inspection. There are several different components of the vehicle examined during New York safety inspection:

  • Safety Restraints
  • Brakes
  • Steering, suspension, front end, frame, chassis, wheel fasteners
  • Tires
  • Rear and front lights
  • Windshield and other vehicle glass
  • Wipers and blades
  • Horn
  • Side and rear-view mirrors
You can find out more from the New York DMV by visiting  Vehicle Safety, Inspection, Repairs and Dealers   with an informational brochure all about your New York vehicle inspection requirements and options, “New York State Vehicle Inspection Program for Cars and Light Trucks”

New York Emission Inspection Waiver

There are certain circumstances that allow you to obtain an emission test waiver in New York:

  • Vehicle fails OBDII Inspection, however, passes all other testing.
  • Vehicle receives over $450 of required OBDII related repairs, however, does not receive a followup emission exam.
If you fail re-inspection, you must obtain the waiver report at the inspection station that tests your vehicle. The waiver should be signed by both you and the inspector. After all signatures are obtained, the vehicle inspector retains the waiver, however will issue the inspection sticker to you, which remains valid for a year.

Any OBDII related repairs your vehicle receives must be documented by a receipt, which you will want to store in a secure place. You will likely be asked to show proof of these repairs before you are issued your registration.

Out-of-State Vehicle Inspections

If you are just moving to the state of New York and have had your vehicle inspected within your previous home state, it will carry forward into New York as adequate proof of inspection for New York registration. It will remain valid until the date it expires, at which time you will need to obtain the appropriate New York vehicle inspection at a licensed inspection station.

Reporting High Polluting Vehicles

While there is no contact number for reporting high polluting vehicles, you should always take the time to report these vehicles to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. If you find a vehicle that seems to be letting out a high amount of pollution into the air, contact the department through email – r5dsptch@gw.dec.state.ny.us.