Discusses Alaska emissions testing regulations and laws. Who, what, when and where to get smog checks

In Alaska, a vehicle emissions test or I/M inspection is required for many original registrations, as well as for annual registration renewals. Renewal of emission test or I/M inspection needs to be done every two years.

VEHICLES THAT REQUIRE AN EMISSIONS TEST

A car, truck, motor home or RV (recreational vehicle) requires an emissions test when:

  1. It is a 1968 model or newer vehicle registered in Fort Richardson, Elmendorf AFB, Indian, Chugiak, Eagle River, Girdwood and Eklutna or within the Municipality of Anchorage.
  2. It is a 1975 model or newer and driven mainly in the urban areas of Fairbanks North Star Borough, including Eielson AFB, Fort Wainwright, Salcha and North Pole.
  3. It runs on diesel fuel and duel-fuel.

VALIDITY

The certificates issued after the I/M inspection or emission tests are valid for 90 days. A valid test is required to reinstate a suspended registration and to complete an original vehicle registration or registration renewal. Used car dealers are required to issue a valid emissions test for any vehicle they sell. Getting an emissions test is the buyer’s responsibility when the vehicle is purchased from a private owner.

EXEMPTIONS

A vehicle is exempt from emissions testing when:

  1. It is a new vehicle less than 4 years old.
  2. It is a motorcycle or a motor scooter.
  3. It is a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 12,000 pounds or more.
  4. It is a trailer, snowmobile or an ATV.

EMISSIONS TESTING LOCATIONS

Any Authorized I/M Inspection or testing facility licensed by the State can test your vehicle. Look for the official sign issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles to authorized testing stations. The test standards and maximum fees will be displayed at the stations. Only select stations deal with light-duty diesel vehicles. Your vehicle can also be registered at some I/M inspection stations.

EMISSIONS TESTING FEES

There is a maximum emissions testing fee set by the Division of Motor Vehicles. The fee varies by county, type of vehicle and type of fuel. A $2 administrative fee is levied for the vehicle which needs to undergo I/M inspection. Incase of renewal of a commercial vehicle for a year, the fee levied is $1.

EMISSIONS TEST FAILURES

If your vehicle fails the emissions test, you must have the vehicle repaired, after which it must pass the after repairs emissions test.
If your vehicle is unable to meet the emissions standard following the necessary repair work, you may be able to obtain a waiver issued by DMV prior to registration. Some of the applicable waivers are:

  • Seasonal Waiver: If you plan to drive in Anchorage between April 1 and October 31.
  • Outside-use Waiver: If you have an anchorage address but do not reside there
  • Repair-cost Minimums Waiver: You can apply for a waiver if you can provide authorized receipts showing that you have purchased at least $450 in certain parts in an effort to pass the emissions test or have made your vehicle an environment non polluter, but it still fails the test.
  • Parts-on-order Waiver: If the parts needed for making repairs on your vehicle are not available and need to be ordered.

Contact the I/M Emission Test Facility to request a waiver.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Last updated on Wednesday, January 9 2019.

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