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Vehicle Emissions Testing in Illinois

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In Illinois, a vehicle emissions test is required every two years 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 vehicle requires an emissions test when:

  1. It is a 1996 model or newer and is four years or older.
  2. It runs on gasoIine and is passenger vehicle.
  3. It is a light or heavy duty truck or bus.


Emission tests are valid for 2 years. 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 motorcycle, motor-driven cycle or motorized pedal-cycle
  2. It is an antique vehicle, custom vehicle, street rod, or a vehicle made in 1967 or before.
  3. It is a diesel-powered vehicle.
  4. It is a vehicle used for parades or ceremonies
  5. It is a vehicle used on a farm or farm equipment.
  6. It is a vehicle registered in another state and has undergone an emission check and is compliant.
  7. It is a vehicle used for professional or amateur sports.
  8. It is a vehicle for which a Junking Certificate has been issued.


Any Authorized Emissions Inspection Station licensed by the State can test your vehicle. Look for the official sign issued by the Vehicle Services Department (VSD) 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.


You will need to pay $20 for a voluntary emissions test.


If your vehicle fails the emissions test, you must have the vehicle repaired, after which it must pass the after repairs emissions test. A Recognized Repair Technician should repair the vehicle.
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 VSD prior to registration.
You may apply for a waiver if the following apply:

  1. Your vehicle has failed the initial test and a subsequent retest.
  2. Your vehicle has received all repairs for which it is eligible under emission performance warranty.
  3. All emissions control equipment is intact and operational visually.
  4. You have spent at least $450 in emission related repairs. This amount is exclusive of repairs related to tampering.
  5. A recognized repair technician performed the repairs.
  6. All evidence of repair slips is presented at the facility.

Contact the VSD's Test Stations to request a waiver or call 847-758-3400 or 217-785-7449 for more information.


  • If you have an Illinois registered vehicle but are out of state, your vehicle must be in compliance with the emissions regulations of the place you are in. Alternatively, you can have your vehicle tested out of state. If your vehicle is located in a place that does not require emissions testing, you are eligible to be exempted from the current test cycle. You can contact the Illinois EPA at (847) 758-3400 or check the compliance forms.
  • If your vehicle is temporarily in Illinois but has out-of-state registration, you are not required to pass an Illinois emission inspection.
  • Vehicles present in the areas of Illinois that require emission testing are all of Cook, DuPage, Lake and parts of Kane, Kendall, McHenry, Will, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair.
  • See also Vehicle History Reports.

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