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Vehicle Emissions Testing in Arizona

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In Arizona, a vehicle 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. A Car Care programme has been initiated by the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) in collaboration with Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to keep a check on the levels of vehicle emission.


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

  1. It is a 1968 model or newer.
  2. It is driven mainly in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.
  3. It runs on gasoline.
  4. It runs on diesel fuel and has a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating 8,501 pounds or greater.


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.


A vehicle is exempt from emissions testing when:

  1. It is a 1966 model or older.
  2. It is either a new vehicle, or on its first or second registration.
  3. It is a hybrid-electric vehicle less than five years old.
  4. It is a motorcycle which has been registered in Tucson city area.
  5. It is a vehicle which a dealer is transferring to another.
  6. It is a golf cart or similar small electrically operated carts.
  7. It is an alternative fuel vehicle.
  8. It is a vehicle which is registered out of state of Arizona.
  9. It is outside the areas which require a vehicle emission check. In such case you can apply for an exemption under Code 52 of the Car Care programme.


Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has certain locations where you can test your vehicle. The test standards and maximum fees will be displayed at the stations.


There is a maximum emissions testing fee set by the ADEQ. The fee varies by county, type of vehicle and type of fuel. See Emissions Fees for details.


If your vehicle fails the emissions test, you must have the vehicle repaired, after which it must pass the after repairs emissions test. No inspection charge is taken the second time you bring the vehicle for emission checks after repairs within 60 days.
If you are a resident of Maricopa and Pima counties you can seek financial assistance programs to get older vehicles, which are 12 years and older and fail the emissions test, duly repaired. The vehicle should also be operating on the road to be eligible for this.
Contact the ADEQ Emission Test Facility in Phoenix and Tucson to request a waiver.


  • If you are out of state, or if your vehicle is otherwise unavailable for inspection, you can register your vehicle or renew your vehicle's registration by filling in your renewal application and attach a money order or a check of $9.50 and mail it to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) with an envelope with a stamp and your address for correspondence..
  • See also Vehicle History Reports.
Submitted by maryasero on 3rd Feb 2016

what do I do if I can't

what do I do if I can't afford the repairs? this is the second time at emissions and its failed for a different reason. I'm disabled and don't have the money to keep repairing this old car...but can't afford anything else right there any solution for me?

Submitted by Tveik97 on 1st Feb 2016

I might be moving to Kingman

I might be moving to Kingman soon in Mohave county. What are the emission rules there? I have read a few different stories and haven't gotten any real answers.

Submitted by MattGinOK on 17th Nov 2015

code 52 link above is 404,

code 52 link above is 404, not found. How does code 52 read?

Submitted by Smoggy JJ on 17th Sep 2015

It is absurd to put the

It is absurd to put the responsibility of a smog test on the BUYER. What if it fails and requires extensive repair to pass? Still the Buyer's responsibility? Seller would just claim not to know anything about it, and the buyer is SOL. In CA, it is the other way around, which is much more fair.

Submitted by Vonn D. Jones on 18th Dec 2014

It says I can send a money &

It says I can send a money & contact information to ADEQ if my vehicle is out of state and still register it. I know ADEQ is a huge agency because I have dealt with them most of my professional life Do you a Specific person, Department, mailing code, etc where I send this to at ADEQ????

Submitted by Vonn D. Jones on 18th Dec 2014

I took a job in Northern

I took a job in Northern Nevada... But I want to keep my vehicle registered in Arizona, Because I will retire in 2 years and move back to Tucson. Do I need to have emissions done in Az. if so can I have it done in Nevada. will Az accept the Nevada Emissions ?

Submitted by delynnak on 31st Mar 2015

You can do an out of state

You can do an out of state emissions test, I did one in Missouri. I go between both states and had to send them all of the info. Call ADOT and they will give you the list of all of the paperwork they need.

Submitted by vnoc1410 on 2nd Mar 2015

Hi, Did you ever find an

Hi, Did you ever find an answer for this. we are in the same type of situation.

Submitted by Andrewrh on 30th Nov 2014

Do I need one for an Illinois

Do I need one for an Illinois truck? A 76 F350 with a 390 big block?? Just moved here

Submitted by DROD (not verified) on 19th May 2013

Is it true, seller can't

Is it true, seller can't transfer a title unless the vehicle is currently registered or has passed emissions? (Phoenix area)

Submitted by pfchiatt (not verified) on 11th Jan 2013

what are the emissions laws

what are the emissions laws on v8 engines swaps in s10s and is it plossibalbe to pass emissions

Submitted by Javier Jacobo (not verified) on 1st Sep 2012

would a 1979 el camino need

would a 1979 el camino need an emission test ? and if so what do they usually check for old cars like that?

Submitted by abruces (not verified) on 7th Dec 2011

Earnhardt Hyundai in Gilbert

Earnhardt Hyundai in Gilbert sold us a salvage title vehicle that doesn't pass emissions now that we are trying to register it.. we've already spent $180 to find out somebody had removed the check engine lights (pretty malicious), so it would never have passed emissions. Now they want $330 to 'fix' a problem they think is causing it to also fail emissions. Shouldn't they have to pay for or fix the vehicle they sold that can't pass state emissions? You'd think they wouldn't want the bad pub, but they're unscrupulous like most dealers, maybe more so because they know it is tough for 'little guys' to battle their legal dept. Any help would be appreciated!

Submitted by Dusty754 (not verified) on 3rd May 2013

Sometimes cars that have been

Sometimes cars that have been stripped, damaged in an accident, or waterlogged don't get a second chance―but sometimes they do! It depends on whether the insurance company considers it financially prudent to revive the car or just send it to the junkyard. If it goes with the latter, the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) will certify the automobile as "salvage," deeming it unfit for use on the road. It will be issued a new title branded with the term Salvage.

A vehicle sold under the salvage title is not fit for the road, so the dealer is not responsible for it failing emissions.

Submitted by bensemailis (not verified) on 15th Sep 2012

Sadly when you buy a used

Sadly when you buy a used vehicle, you buy it "as is" and you should really check everything out before purchasing the vehicle. You are now responsible for the repairs and whatever it will cost to fix the problem.