Nevada Emissions Testing
Nevada emissions testing is required for most vehicle registrations and for many annual registration renewals. Emissions testing locations in NV are privately owned or are run by regional and local authorities. However, testing must meet all standards outlined by the Nevada Emissions Control Program to verify that each vehicle operates without harming the environment. Continue reading to learn more about which vehicles are required to obtain a smog check in NV and the specific types of tests required for your vehicle.
Nevada Emissions and Smog Check Requirements
Nevada emissions testing is required for certain vehicles in the state. Cars manufactured in 1996 or after will receive Onboard Diagnostics (OBDII) Testing. During OBDII testing, the service operator connects an analyzing device to the car’s OBD computer. This generates data that indicates how well the emission systems are operating.
Note: If you have disconnected the battery on your vehicle for any reason, do not take it for emissions testing immediately. You must drive it under varying conditions for up to one week for the Onboard Diagnostics system to properly reset. It will fail a smog check if tested sooner.
Vehicles manufactured before 1996 receive a Two-Speed Idle test. The service technician tests the engine once at idle speed, then again at approximately 2,500 rpm. Older diesel engines are tested on a dynamometer.
Passenger vehicles need emissions testing if they are registered in the Las Vegas Valley and surrounding areas of Clark County. Smog testing is also required for vehicles based in the urban areas of Washoe County, including Reno, Sparks, and Washoe Valley. Vehicles requiring smog testing include:
- Gasoline-powered vehicles of any size.
- Diesel-powered vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating up to 14,000 pounds.
- Vehicles manufactured in 1968 or after.
New vehicles are exempt from Nevada emissions testing until their third registration cycle. Hybrid vehicles are exempt for 5 years after initial registration. Vehicles in need of a car emissions test will have a reminder printed on the registration renewal notice.
Smog Check Exemptions in Nevada
In addition to those for new vehicles, other emissions inspections exemptions exist. These include exemptions for:
- Vehicles with a manufacture date of 1967 or earlier.
- Vehicles in remote areas of Washoe and Clark Counties and all other areas of Nevada.
- Motorcycles, mopeds and alternative fuel vehicles.
- Diesel vehicles with a gross weight of 14,001 pounds or greater.
- Vehicles registered as a replica, classic rod, classic vehicle or Old Timer, and driven less than 5,000 miles annually.
Exemptions are also made when a vehicle’s ownership or registration is transferred between husband and wife, is transferred between vehicle leasing companies or has had an emissions inspection conducted 90 days before a transfer.
Out-of-State Emissions Testing in Nevada
If you are out-of-state when your Nevada emissions inspection and registration is due, you may have a test performed in the state you are visiting. Submit the completed DMV smog check results with the rest of your registration paperwork by mail. If the state you are in does not conduct emissions checks, complete an Emission Control Exemption Application (Form EC-8) and mail it with your other registration documents. You must still take your car in for inspection upon your return to Nevada.
Emissions Waivers in Nevada
NV emissions test waivers differ from exemptions in that waivers are given to owners of cars that fail inspections. Exemptions are for vehicles that do not require testing. If your vehicle fails two or more emissions checks, it may be eligible for a waiver if:
- It fails after being repaired at a 2G licensed emissions testing station and you have receipts to prove that your expenses meet your county’s minimum ($450 in Clark County and $200 in Washoe County).
- It exceeds carbon monoxide and/or hydrocarbon levels for 1968-1995 light-duty vehicles and all heavy-duty vehicles.
- It is a light-duty vehicle manufactured in 1996 or later and fails the illuminated “check engine” lamp test.
If the repaired vehicle still fails to pass an inspection, contact your nearest DMV Emissions Lab for instructions on obtaining a waiver.
Testing Fees in Nevada
Each emissions testing center in Nevada determines their testing fees, which must fall below the maximum amount set by the state. Testing locations may offer a smog check coupon or other incentives. In 2017, the maximum total inspection fee for light-duty gasoline vehicles in Clark County was $50. In Washoe County, it was $43.50.
Where to Perform an Emissions Check in Nevada
Drivers searching for a testing center should first check the requirements detailed above to make sure the vehicle needs an inspection prior to registration. If so, the NV DMV can help you find a smog test station near your location.
Look for a testing center displaying a state-shaped NV DMV sign certifying it as a “Nevada Authorized Emissions Station.” Locations with a 1G license may perform emissions tests but are not authorized to complete smog-related repairs. Stations with a 2G license may conduct Nevada smog testing and repair vehicles with emissions-related problems.
Failing a Nevada Smog and Emissions Test
If your vehicle fails the initial emissions test, make necessary repairs at a 2G licensed station and test it again. If it fails the second test, you may be eligible for a waiver, as described above.