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Vehicle Emissions Testing in Colorado

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In Colorado, 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. Vehicle ownership change also requires a new emission test certificate.


In Colorado, the Emissions Program is comprised of two kinds of tests depending on the county the vehicle is located in:

  1. Enhanced Area tests need to be conducted for vehicles in the counties of Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, and parts of counties of Adams and Arapahoe.
    • An Enhanced Emissions Test (I/M 240) is conducted for 1982 and newer vehicles that are gasoline-powered passenger vehicles and light trucks at an Air Care Colorado every two years.
    • Vehicles manufactured in 1981 and before and powered by gasoline require a two-speed idle test.
  2. Basic area tests are performed in the counties of Weld, Larimer, and El Paso.

If you are unsure of your county's requirements for emission testing, you can contact the local Title and Registration Office.


Emission tests are valid for one year for vehicles manufactured in 1981 and older. 1982 and newer vehicles have a validity for two years.


A vehicle is exempt from emissions testing if:

  1. It is a new gas-powered vehicle in which case it is exempt for four years.
  2. It is registered in any of the categories of horseless carriage, street rod, and farm
  3. It is an electric powered vehicle
  4. It is a motorcycle
  5. It is a two-stroke powered engine manufactured prior to 1980


There are several Air Care Colorado Testing Centers where tests are conducted. Basic tests are done at full-service gas facility centers, oil change facilities and dealerships. Diesel vehicles are not tested at Air Care Colorado Testing Centers and can be tested at Licensed Diesel Emission Testing Stations.


The fee is $25 for 1982 and newer vehicles, and $15 for 1981 and older vehicles. Cash or check may be used for payment. Credit cards are not accepted.


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 if you provide proof of expenses. Depending on the age of the vehicle, the DMV has set different rates of expenses.
You can call the DMV customer service staff at (303) 205-5603 to get further details. If you reside in the Colorado Springs area call (719) 594-8709, and if you are a resident of Larimer County and Weld County area, you can call (970) 494-9808.


  • If you are out of state, or military personnel, you can request emission extension by completing an Application for an Affidavit for Emissions Extension.
  • If you have any emission related questions or concerns, you can contact the Emissions section of the DMV at (303) 205 5603 or at their office:
    Department of Revenue
    Division of Motor Vehicles
    1881 Pierce Street, Room 128
    Lakewood, CO 80214    
  • See also Vehicle History Reports.

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