Emissions testing in Louisiana is overseen by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Office of State Police, Transportation and Environmental Safety, with assistance from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ). Not all vehicles are required to undergo emissions checks, but all vehicles must complete an annual safety inspection before registration renewal. Furthermore, vehicle owners must perform a safety and emissions test once per year if they live in the five-parish ozone non-attainment region of Baton Rouge.

After drivers complete an inspection on their vehicle and obtain a smog certification, they receive a windshield sticker which shows that the vehicle meets local emissions requirements. Failure to perform a vehicle check before or on the test due date often results in citations from local law enforcement officials. To learn more about emissions checks and to find a nearby emissions testing center, review the sections below.  

Louisiana Emissions and Smog Check Requirements

Approximately 470,000 vehicles must undergo a smog check in the Baton Rouge area each year. In most cases, vehicles must undergo emissions testing if they were manufactured after 1980 and have a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 lbs.

Additionally, vehicle owners must perform an emissions check on passenger cars and light or heavy-duty trucks if the vehicle uses gasoline as fuel. However, vehicle owners only need to complete the car emissions testing process if they plan to register a vehicle in the five-parish Baton Rouge area, which includes West Baton Rouge, Livingston, East Baton Rouge, Ascension and Iberville.

As part of the car inspection process, the LDEQ requires vehicles to undergo the following tests:

  • Safety – an inspection of the vehicle’s safety equipment.
  • Visual anti-tampering – a visual inspection of the vehicle’s catalytic converter system, positive crankcase ventilation system, exhaust gas recirculation system, air injection system and evaporative emission control system.
  • Gas cap integrity – a pressure test which helps to reduce harmful vapors by detecting leaks in the vehicle’s gas cap.
  • Onboard diagnostics (OBDII) – a vehicle emissions test which uses a control system to detect any potential issues that may cause a vehicle to release abnormal emission levels into the air.

Smog Check Exemptions in Louisiana

Safety and emissions testing is an annual requirement only for vehicles in the five-parish Baton Rouge area. Furthermore, certain vehicles are exempt from getting an OBDII inspection, including new vehicles manufactured within the past 2 years. However, new vehicles must undergo a portion of the car emission test, including the gas cap integrity test and anti-tampering check.

Out-of-State Emissions Testing in Louisiana

Vehicles must undergo a smog inspection in LA within the five-parish region if registered in the areas of Iberville, West Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge, Livingston or Ascension. However, in areas with emissions testing reciprocity provisions, drivers may complete the test while out-of-state. To learn more about completing a test in an out-of-state area, motorists must contact the Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) section of the LDEQ at 225-219-3574.

Emissions Waivers in Louisiana

Louisiana smog testing waivers are not available in the state. However, vehicles are exempt from OBDII smog checks if they were manufactured within the past 2 years or if vehicle owners live outside of the Baton Rouge area.

Testing Fees in Louisiana

The smog check price in Louisiana is $18, which includes the cost of the annual safety inspection. If necessary, drivers receive one free smog retest if they perform all car repairs and complete the retest within 30 days of performing the initial test.

Where to Perform an Emissions Check in Louisiana

Drivers in the Baton Rouge region must complete vehicle emissions testing as part of their vehicle’s annual safety inspection. To complete smog testing in Louisiana, vehicle owners must visit any Motor Vehicle Inspection (MVI) testing station within the five-parish Baton Rouge area. Drivers may visit any of the Baton Rouge emissions testing locations during normal business hours.

Failing a Louisiana Smog and Emissions Test

When a vehicle fails its smog inspection, the driver receives a temporary orange sticker to allow plenty of time to perform all necessary car repairs. After a test failure, the motorist also receives a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR), a list of failure procedures and a car Repair Form. If a vehicle only fails the gas cap portion of the inspection, the vehicle owner must purchase a new gas cap for the specific vehicle before completing a free retest.

After failing the other portions of the emissions test in LA, however, the vehicle owner must bring the car to a qualified technician to perform all necessary repairs within 30 days of testing. The repair technician must complete the car smog test Repair Form before the vehicle owner may return to the original emissions testing station within 30 days to perform one free retest. If a driver needs to complete additional retests, he or she may need to pay an additional fee to do so.

Note: Once a vehicle passes its emissions check, vehicle owners receive an inspection sticker which must be placed on the vehicle until the next annual test. However, a vehicle owner may challenge his or her smog check results at any time by visiting the Emissions Challenge Station in Port Allen to complete a retest at no charge. If a vehicle passes its car inspection during this time, the car owner must return to the original testing station to obtain a valid inspection sticker.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.