Smog and Emissions Testing in Idaho
Idaho emissions testing is a requirement of residents in Ada County, Canyon County and the City of Kuna. Smog tests help to reduce harmful air pollutants that contribute to poor health and improve air quality. However, Ada County smog checks are overseen by the Air Quality Board (AQB) while vehicle inspections in Canyon County and the City of Kuna are overseen by the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) along with Applus Technologies, Inc. In most cases, vehicles must undergo an emissions inspection every other year, regardless of which county the vehicle owner resides in. To learn more about vehicle emissions testing in ID, review the sections below.
Idaho Emissions and Smog Check Requirements
Drivers must complete vehicle smog testing once every two years to avoid receiving a registration revocation. As a reminder, motorists receive an Idaho emissions testing notice from the AQB or the DEQ before the test is due. Vehicle owners may visit a smog check station to complete their car inspection up to 90 days before the test due date if they live in Canyon County or the City of Kuna. However, the smog certification process is similar regardless of whether vehicle owners live in Canyon or Ada County. The AQB and DEQ tests gasoline-powered vehicles using the two-speed idle test (TSI) or an on-board diagnostic system (OBD). Auto emissions testing includes the TSI method when inspecting vehicles manufactured between 1981 and 1995, while the DEQ uses the OBD method on vehicles manufactured after 1996. To test diesel vehicles, the DEQ uses a snap acceleration test. Additionally, the state inspects gas caps for leaks.
Vehicle owners must complete smog testing in Idaho if their vehicles meet the following conditions:
- Reside in Canyon County and own a diesel or gasoline-powered vehicle manufactured after 1981. However, vehicle owners only need to perform an emissions check on vehicles older than five years of age with gross vehicle weight ratings of less than 14,001 lbs.
- Reside in Ada County and own a vehicle manufactured after 1981. Drivers of heavyweight vehicles including firetrucks and buses must also test their vehicles for harmful emissions.
Note: When you visit an emissions testing center, you must bring payment for completing the test. The state sends vehicle owners a notice before the testing due date, but drivers do not need to submit this notice when completing the inspection.
Smog Check Exemptions in Idaho
Safety and emissions test exemptions vary depending on whether motorist lives in Ada County or Canyon County. The following vehicles are exempt from a car emission test in Ada County: hybrid or electric vehicles, motorhomes and vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of less than 1,500 lbs. The following vehicles are exempt from an Idaho DMV smog check in Canyon County or the City of Kuna: electric or hybrid vehicles, motorized farm equipment, vehicles used solely for agriculture, motorhomes, vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,001 lbs or greater and motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of less than 1,500 lbs. Additional safety and smog test exemptions in Canyon County pertain to classic automobiles, vehicles under five years of age and vehicles manufactured before 1981.
Out-of-State Emissions Testing in Idaho
Military personnel or college students may complete the Idaho smog testing process from out-of-state if they visit a participating testing facility. To complete a vehicle inspection in compliance with Ada County testing requirements, vehicle owners may complete the test from out-of-state by visiting a nearby testing area and forwarding a copy of the test to the AQB by mail, fax or email. If the state does not perform emissions testing, drivers must contact the AQB to request an extension. To complete a smog inspection from out-of-state to meet Canyon County or City of Kuna requirements, motorists must obtain a Reciprocity Agreement Form and bring it to a local testing facility to complete the inspection. After passing the vehicle emission test, car owners must scan and email a copy of the inspection certificate to Applus Technologies.
Emissions Waivers in Idaho
In many cases, vehicle owners may obtain the following ID emissions testing waivers in Canyon County or the City of Kuna:
- An economic hardship waiver - drivers undergoing financial difficulties may obtain an economic hardship waiver after submitting documentation of income and expenses.
- A repair waiver - after failing an emissions inspection for a second time and spending at least $200 on emissions-related repairs, motorists may obtain a repair waiver.
Additionally, drivers may obtain a vehicle inspection repair waiver in Ada County if they spend at least $300 on necessary vehicle repairs, but still fail the test.
Testing Fees in Idaho
The emission test cost in Ada County ranges between $16.50 and $20, while the test is $11 in Canyon County or the City of Kuna. After a vehicle passes its Idaho smog check or receives a waiver in Ada County, vehicle owners must pay an additional $3.50 to obtain a Certificate of Compliance, which drivers must retain in the vehicle.
Where to Perform an Emissions Check in Idaho
"Where can I find emissions testing near me?", you may wonder. To perform an emissions check in Canyon County or the City of Kuna, you may visit any of the 20 emissions testing stations provided by small businesses throughout the county. To perform an emissions test in Ada County, you must visit one of the 50 smog testing stations available throughout the county. However, certain emissions testing locations in Idaho only perform repairs and retests, so it is important to contact the station ahead of time to confirm.
Failing an Idaho Smog and Emissions Test
If a vehicle fails its smog check in Idaho, motorists must make every effort to repair the vehicle before bringing it in for a retest. However, smog test stations do not perform car repairs or provide advice for making repairs. Instead, motorists must bring their vehicles into a qualified technician with experience in making emissions-related repairs. After making all necessary smog check repairs, drivers may return to the initial testing station to complete the retest. "How much is emissions testing if I need to retake my test?", drivers may ask. Motorists receive one free retest within 30 days of taking the initial test.