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Vehicle Emissions Testing in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, an emissions test is required for many original registrations, as well as for annual registration renewals. Renewal notices are sent annually to vehicle owners, and indicate whether and by what date an emissions test must be completed, usually no more than two months before the renewal.


A car, van, truck or light-duty truck (9000lbs or lighter) requires an emissions test when:

  • It is a 1975 model or newer.
  • It is registered in the counties of Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Cambria, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Washington, Westmoreland and York.


Emission tests are valid for a period of one year.


A vehicle is exempt from emissions testing when:
  • It is a motorcycle.
  • It is a vehicle owned for a year and more and has driven less than 5000 miles in the year before the inspection.
  • It is a new vehicle and has driven less than 5000 miles.
  • Registered antique, collectible or classic vehicles.
  • Registered street rods.
For additional information call (800) 265-0921.


Any PennDOT Authorized Emissions Inspection Station can test your vehicle. To save time it would be a good idea to combine both safety inspection and emission testing on the same day.


Fees for the test vary as per the inspection station and it would be advisable to call before visiting.


In case your vehicle fails the emission test, all expenses that will accrue from making the vehicle road-worthy will have to be borne by you. It must then be retested, which if undertaken within 30 days of the first test, will be free of charge. If the vehicle fails the test again, you could receive a one year waiver if proof of spending over $150 in repairs is submitted. This can only be done by a PennDOT Authorized Emissions Inspection Station.


  • If you happen to be out of state for over 30 days after the expiration of your vehicle's emission sticker, you will have to retest your vehicle within 10 days of return to the state. It would be advisable to carry proof of having been out of state for the period of time claimed by you.
  • See also Vehicle History Reports.

Reviews of Vehicle Emissions Testing in Pennsylvania

How much Pennsylvania emissions test in Delaware county that each station charges? The station around my house charges $51 plus $5 emission sticker. Is it a normal rate in Delaware County, Pennsylvania?

PA DOT: WAKE UP! The general public is being screwed by senseless inspection regulations.

Example: Some counties require a gas cap check - about a $15 fee. Although many new vehicles DO NOT EVEN HAVE GAS CAPS, the gas cap check fee is still being assessed on Pennsylvania motorists!

We are being forced to pay for the inspection of components that our vehicles do not even have!!!

PA emissions testing is unnecessarily costly to the general public. The OBDII systems used on 1996 and newer vehicles do THEIR OWN EMISSIONS TEST multiple times every time the vehicle is driven. All that is needed to determine if a vehicle's emissions system is working properly is a $50 OBDII scanner. Instead, the state has mandated an extremely costly system that networks emissions information with Harrisburg. Pennsylvania should follow the lead of many other states and finally get rid of all of this bureaucracy.

My 2010 Totoya Corolla was just in for inspection. I drove less than 5000 miles and the Sticker Issuance Report indicates that is the reason the sticker was issued. Why then did the service department conduct the test and charge me $39.95?

You all are exactly right! Just another way to screw us out of money. Aint enough that we pay all these taxes. Cant get your car to pass....get fined. Much like this Obamacare... so now we are "required" to have health insurance or face a fine! Doesn't exempt us from paying the medical bills. I'm so sick of all these regulations!!! Its PURE BS!

Really see no benefits for this emission testing, other than a way to fill the coffers of this state. Bought a Chevy Volt. Since I rarely use gas will they demand that the car needs a test also? Sheeesh. Robbery.

Get rid of this politically motivated useless PA emissions program. It is additional cost to both the consumer and state to administer. My car passed emissions in Erie County only to find that it won't in Berks County with a recent move. Now I need to spend an additional $150 to try to get it fixed and or apply for a 1 yr waiver. This after I already spent $400 for new brakes all around then I find I fail emissions. Surprise!!!!! DUMP THIS PROGRAM.

The real joke is that you can't pass if there is a code stored in the computer that is associated with the check engine light having been on or if the light is on. I went to my GM dealer 5 times with my pontiac Grand prix to get them to repair the issue that turned on the light. They hooked up their computer and then reapired five or six things, even a new gas cap, and my check engine light came back on every time. I'm out over $1000 on top of the cost of testing by the state. I now have to spend even more money to get that light off. Rip off is not the word to describe this crime against taxpayers. By the way have you seen those DOT dump trucks, city buses and semis running around the city billowing black smoke from exhaust to the tune of a thousand times more pollution that the average car....what a joke state testing for car emissions is!!!!!! Test for mechanical safety if you like but dump this tax grab called emissions testing.

What a huge ripoff this is,Emissions test all vehicles in Pa. or none.Or post guards along county lines to make sure your not driving a non emissions tested vehicle through our county which we have paid for the clean air. Its a hard pill to swallow when i'm paying $70.00 for my inspection and people i work with pay $20.00.

I vote for none....just another way for the money hungry government to take your hard earned dollar out of your is a big scam