Smog and Emissions Testing in Connecticut
Through the Connecticut emissions testing program, drivers must complete a smog check at a participating testing center facility to reduce excessive air pollution and ensure that vehicles are safe on the environment. As part of the state safety and emissions testing program, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) works with Applus Technologies to identify high-emitting vehicles in need of repairs. After failing a vehicle inspection, car owners must perform all necessary repairs before they may retest the vehicle. Unless exempt from DMV emissions testing, motorists must bring their vehicles in for an emissions inspection once every two years. To learn more about CT smog tests and to find nearby emissions testing locations, review the sections below.
Connecticut Emissions and Smog Check Requirements
When visiting an emissions testing station in Connecticut, vehicles will receive one or more of the following tests, depending on the vehicle's make, year, driveline configuration and fuel type:
- On-Board Diagnostic (OBD).
- Pre-Condition Two-Speed Idle (PC TSI).
- Gas Cap Pressure Leak Test.
- Accelerated Simulation Mode 25/25 (ASM).
- Load Mode Diesel (LMD) or Modified Snap Acceleration (MSA).
As a reminder, the state mails drivers an emissions testing notification at least 45 days before the test due date. To avoid smog check late fees, vehicle owners must keep their address current with the DMV. Additionally, drivers may perform the car emission test up to 90 days in advance.
Note: Each CT vehicle inspection takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete. To complete the smog test, vehicle owners must bring the vehicle that needs to be tested and submit payment for the test along with the testing notice.
Smog Check Exemptions in Connecticut
All vehicles must undergo emissions testing in CT every two years, unless the vehicle model year is between 2014 and 2017, or older than model year 1992. Additionally, the following vehicles are exempt from auto emissions testing: vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,001 lbs.; vehicles titled as composites; full electric-powered vehicles; motorized bicycles and motorcycles; farm vehicles; diesel vehicles and vehicles with transporter, dealer or repairer plates.
Out-of-State Emissions Testing in Connecticut
To avoid late fees for car emission tests, out-of-state college students or military personnel may request a time extension if they cannot complete a car inspection before the test due date or 30 days thereafter. To obtain a DMV emissions testing extension while out-of-state, motorists must submit the following information: An Out-Of-State VIN Verification Form (AE-81), documentation of school enrollment or a copy of military orders, the vehicle's current registration document (for military personnel) and a written request including the vehicle owner's name, telephone number and address.
Alternately, motorists who need to complete a Connecticut smog check may apply for a one-time extension if the vehicle is out-of-state during the test due date. To request a one-time smog test extension, vehicle owners must submit an Out-Of-State VIN Verification Form and a written request containing the name, address and phone number of the vehicle owner. However, only military members or college students may request multiple extensions.
Note: A driver may complete a vehicle emission test from out-of-state if the state establishes reciprocity with Connecticut and meets state emissions standards. To perform DMV smog testing from out-of-state, a motorist must submit an official Vehicle Inspection Report to the DMV, along with evidence of state compliance. However, the reciprocal test is an extension and a driver may only use the extension one time, unless the vehicle owner is a college student or holds military status. Drivers must send all smog inspection correspondence to the following address:
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06161
Emissions Waivers in Connecticut
Three different smog testing waivers are available for qualifying vehicle owners to obtain. These smog test waivers include a cost waiver, economic hardship waiver and a functional diagnostic waiver. Vehicle owners may obtain a cost waiver for auto emissions testing if they meet the minimum emissions-related repair expense of $874.06 and if a Certified Emissions Repair Technician (CERT) performs the repairs. Additionally, drivers may obtain a car emission test waiver due to economic hardship. To qualify for a smog check hardship waiver, vehicle owners must submit documentation showing that their annual income is below federal and state poverty levels. Furthermore, drivers may obtain a functional diagnostic waiver if the vehicle's manufacturer can provide a known reason for the car's failing inspection using company letterhead. To request a Connecticut vehicle inspection waiver, car owners must contact the state Emissions Division at 860-263-5611.
Testing Fees in Connecticut
The emission test cost in Connecticut is a flat-rate fee of $20. Drivers must pay for their car inspection in person at a testing center. Motorists may pay by cash; however, some testing centers accept credit cards or checks as payment. Additionally, smog test prices increase by $20 if a test is overdue by at least 30 days, or if drivers do not bring their vehicle in for a retest within 60 days of failing the initial test. To pay a DMV smog check late fee, motorists must submit payment to the DMV by phone or by mail. To pay the DMV by phone, drivers must call 860-263-5333 or mail payment to the Emissions Division.
Where to Perform an Emissions Check in Connecticut
To complete a Connecticut smog test, car owners must visit a Full-Service Test Center or an OBD Plus Test Center. Full-Service smog testing facilities can test all vehicles, regardless of the vehicle's model year or fuel type. However, an OBD Plus emissions testing center cannot test the following vehicles:
- Vehicles with a model year newer than 1997 and with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 8,501 lbs.
- Diesel-powered vehicles older than model year 1996.
Drivers may visit emissions testing locations between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Vehicle owners may schedule the car smoke test in advance or they may visit a facility without scheduling an appointment.
Note: Before you visit a safety and emissions testing center, you must contact the facility in advance if you drive an oversized vehicle. Not all emissions testing facilities can accommodate larger vehicles.
Failing a Connecticut Smog and Emissions Test
If a vehicle fails its smog check, car owners must perform all necessary repairs before retesting the vehicle within 60 calendar days. Car owners may visit any emissions testing center in CT to retest their vehicles at no additional charge. Drivers receive one free smog retest per test cycle. If a vehicle fails its smog inspection for a second time, the automobile may qualify for a cost waiver.
Note: If you fail your car emission test, you may make all necessary repairs at any repair facility or you may perform the repairs your own. However, a Certified Emissions Repair Facility (CERF) employs CERTs who receive extensive training in performing emissions-related repairs.