Vehicle owners must perform emissions testing in Indiana as part of the requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendment which aims to reduce carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides in Porter and Lake counties. A smog check helps to detect unsafe levels of pollutants in vehicles that may contribute to ground level ozone and poor air quality.

For this reason, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and the Clean Air Car Check oversee the vehicle inspection process. However, drivers only need to have testing performed if they plan to register a vehicle in the counties of Lake or Porter. To learn more about getting a car inspection in IN and to find out which vehicles are exempt from testing, review the sections below.

Indiana Emissions and Smog Check Requirements

Vehicles must undergo Indiana emissions testing and tampering inspections every 2 years if the vehicle is registered in Porter or Lake County. A driver must bring the vehicle in for a smog test before renewing their registration or before they may apply for an original vehicle registration. However, a vehicle only needs an emissions check if the car has a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 9,000 lbs. and was manufactured after 1976.

In addition, vehicles with an engine displacement of over 200 cubic centimeters must undergo an inspection. If a car needs to complete vehicle emissions testing, the BMV will make note of it on the vehicle registration renewal notice, which the state sends out 2 months before the vehicle’s registration is set to expire.

The state performs the following vehicle emissions tests during an inspection:

  • Gas Cap Pressure Check – for all vehicles
  • On-Board Diagnostics Test (OBD II) – for vehicles newer than model year 1996
  • Inspection and Maintenance (I/M 93) – for vehicles model years 1981 to 1995 or newer
  • Single Idle Speed (BAR 90) – for vehicles with model years between 1976 and 1980

Note: When getting a car inspection in IN, you must present your vehicle registration renewal application or your current vehicle registration document. Additionally, you must turn off all electrical accessories before entering a testing station. Once the emissions check begins, the process takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Smog Check Exemptions in Indiana

Drivers only need to complete an emissions inspection in IN if they register their vehicles in Porter or Lake County. Additionally, vehicles are exempt from testing if they were manufactured within the last 4 years or if the vehicle was manufactured before 1975. Furthermore, an emissions check is not a registration requirement for the following vehicles:

  • Electric or diesel-powered vehicles.
  • Vehicles meeting the state’s Show Car Exemption.
  • Vehicles meeting a Specialty Exemption, such as dune buggies or kit cars.
  • Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 9,000 lbs.
  • Motorcycles, recreational vehicles, farm vehicles, off-highway construction equipment and ceremonial vehicles.
  • Vehicles with an engine displacement of less than 200 cubic centimeters.

Note: To qualify for an emissions testing exemption such as the Show Car or Specialty Exemption, drivers must bring the vehicle into a testing station for a visual inspection.

Out-of-State Emissions Testing in Indiana

If drivers need to complete DMV emissions testing but are more than 300 miles from a testing facility, they may qualify for an out-of-state extension, which costs $40. Drivers may apply for a smog testing extension if they are attending college outside of the state, are in the military, or if they are away on business during the time in which the test is due.

To qualify for an IN smog check extension, vehicle owners must complete an Application for Out of State Extension in addition to the Out of Area Vehicle Verification form (if applicable). Drivers may apply for a vehicle smog test exemption by mail or online through the Clean Air Check Website. Alternately, drivers may complete the test in advance if they know they will be out-of-state during their testing date.

If applying for a safety and smog test exemption by mail, residents must submit the application, proof of out-of-state documentation (such as a college tuition bill or military orders) and a cashier’s check or money order made payable to Envirotest. Car owners must send their application to the following address:

Clean Air Car Check Emissions Testing Program
P.O. Box 839
Crown Point, IN 46308

Emissions Waivers in Indiana

Eligible vehicles may qualify for a one-time smog testing waiver a vehicle fail the emissions check two or more times, even after all necessary repairs were made. To qualify for an IN emissions inspection waiver, vehicle owners must perform all car repairs at an Indiana Certified Emission Repair Technician Facility (ICERT).

However, the waiver is only good for one test cycle during the lifetime of a vehicle, and the car must pass the inspection before the vehicle’s next registration renewal period. To obtain a DMV smog testing waiver, motorists must visit a Clean Air Car Check branch to present all repair receipts and Vehicle Inspection Reports.

Testing Fees in Indiana

The smog check price in Indiana is free unless a motorist chooses to renew his or her vehicle registration at the same time. When a driver completes vehicle testing and renews his or her car registration simultaneously, the motorist must pay a convenience fee.

Where to Perform an Emissions Check in Indiana

Currently, there are seven emissions testing locations in the northwestern region of the state. Drivers may visit any one of the testing centers in Crown Point, Gary, Hobart, Hammond, Valparaiso, Griffith or Portage.

Failing an Indiana Smog and Emissions Test

After a vehicle undergoes an emissions check, the testing facility provides vehicle owners with a Vehicle Inspection Report. If a vehicle fails its emissions inspection in Indiana, car owners must bring their vehicle to any auto repair facility or ICERT facility to perform all necessary repairs before retesting the vehicle.

The mechanic must complete and sign the Vehicle Inspection Report after performing all repairs. Additionally, the repair technician must include the company’s federal tax ID number on the report. Then, drivers must bring the vehicle into an emissions testing station for retesting.

Note: If your vehicle did not pass the smog certification and your vehicle’s registration is nearing its expiration date, you may purchase a temporary 30-day permit from the BMV to use until you pass your test.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.