The State Police requires annual vehicle inspections in Maine for all motor vehicles registered in the state. However, emissions testing is also required for vehicles registered in Cumberland County. Unlike a smog test, safety inspections inspect the vehicle’s tires, steering and brakes. A smog test inspects vehicles to ensure that they are safe in the environment.

As part of the emission test requirements, drivers must complete the Enhanced Auto Inspection Program (or Class E testing) once per year before obtaining a safety inspection sticker. To learn more about vehicle testing in ME, review the sections below. 

Maine Emissions and Smog Check Requirements

Vehicle owners must perform an emissions test in Maine (or a Class E inspection) on all gasoline-powered vehicles registered in Cumberland County. Drivers must visit an emissions testing location once per year before the vehicle’s current inspection sticker expires. Additionally, all vehicles must undergo a car inspection, including a Class A, B, C or D inspection.

Class A inspections pertain to all motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 lbs., while a Class B inspection pertains to school buses. A Class C inspection concerns motorcycles and Class D inspections refer to trailers, semi-trailers, or motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of between 10,001 and 26,001 lbs.

As part of a car emission test, the state requires vehicles to undergo the following inspections:

  • A general safety inspection – for all vehicles, including cars registered outside of Cumberland County. The safety portion of the car inspection examines the vehicle’s seat belts, mirrors, reflectors, horn and catalytic converter for potential issues.
  • A gas cap pressure test – for vehicles manufactured after 1974. The state conducts the gas cap pressure test to ensure that the gas cap properly seals the vehicle’s tank.
  • An onboard diagnostics inspection (OBD) – for vehicles manufactured after 1996. The OBD test detects potential problems early on which could lead to an increase in harmful air emissions.

Note: Vehicles must undergo all three auto emissions testing methods if manufactured after 1996. To perform an inspection, vehicle owners must visit a testing station to submit payment and complete the inspection before obtaining a new safety inspection sticker.

Smog Check Exemptions in Maine

Certain vehicles are exempt from safety and emissions testing (or Class E inspections), including vehicles registered outside of Cumberland County. Additionally, the following vehicles are exempt from smog testing in Maine:

  • Vehicles manufactured before 1974
  • Motorcycles and mopeds
  • School buses
  • Island vehicles
  • Farm or fish trucks
  • Antique vehicles
  • Woods tractors
  • Experimental and low-speed vehicles.

Furthermore, the following vehicles are exempt from the monitor readiness status portion of the OBD inspection:

  • New vehicles with less than 1,000 miles.
  • All 1996 Subaru models.
  • All Mitsubishi models from 1996 to 1998.
  • 1996 Volvo 850 Turbo.
  • 1996 through 2003 model year Ford trucks with a vehicle weight rating of more than 8,600 lbs.
  • The following 1996 Chrysler models: Avenger, Sebring, Talan, Cirrus, Stratus, Breeze, Intrepid, Concorde, New Yorker, LGS, Vision and Neon.

Out-of-State Emissions Testing in Maine

If Cumberland County residents need to complete a Maine smog check but are temporarily out-of-state, then they may complete the inspection at an out-of-state testing facility. However, drivers may only visit an out-of-state emissions check station if they are eligible to do so. To find out if drivers may complete a car inspection from outside of the state, motorists must contact the Maine State Police by telephone at 207-624-8935.

Emissions Waivers in Maine

If a vehicle fails a smog check, motorists must perform all necessary car repairs before having the vehicle retested. Maine emissions testing waivers are not available at this time. Drivers must retest the vehicle and obtain a valid inspection sticker before renewing the registration for their vehicle.

Testing Fees in Maine

The smog check price in ME varies depending on the vehicle’s model year. The fee for testing is $12.50 for vehicles registered in 1974 or earlier, while the emission test cost is $15.50 for vehicle model years between 1974 and 1995. For model years newer than 1996, the cost of completing a test is $18.50.

Note: The cost of completing a car inspection in Maine differs for general safety inspections. The cost of completing a Class A, C or D safety inspection is $12.50, while the cost of completing a Class B inspection is $8.

Where to Perform an Emissions Check in Maine

Since vehicle owners in Cumberland County must complete an ME emissions inspection in addition to their annual safety inspection, drivers may complete the inspection at local service stations, garages, automobile dealerships and official inspection stations in Cumberland County.

Failing a Maine Smog and Emissions Test

If a vehicle fails its emissions check in Maine, the car owner must bring the vehicle to a trained service technician to perform all necessary repairs before bringing the vehicle back to the service station for a retest. A driver cannot obtain a smog certification until the vehicle passes the inspection.

To ensure that the technician is able to perform safety and smog-related repairs, the car owner must verify that the service facility has experience in emissions testing.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.