Smog and Emissions Testing in New York
The safety and emissions test in New York is mandatory for all car-owning residents and must be taken every 12 months. After a vehicle is checked for its overall safety, a smog check is given to ensure that vehicles on the road are not contributing to the hazardous effects of smog. Auto emissions testing is a vital part of a vehicle inspection, and car owners who do not pass the evaluation must retake it until the vehicle is approved by the DMV. Most, but not all, vehicles in New York are subject to a safety and emissions evaluation, annually.
The following car emissions testing in New York content will cover more detailed information on:
- New York emissions and smog check requirements
- Smog check exemptions in New York
- Out-of-state emissions testing in New York
- Emissions waivers in New York
- Testing fees in New York
- Where to perform an emissions check in New York
- Failing a New York smog and emissions test
New York Emissions and Smog Check Requirements
There are generally three types of emissions testing in New York: low enhanced inspection, diesel and onboard diagnostics (OBDII). Each of these vehicle inspection types have slightly different criteria.
The OBDII emissions inspection is the most common test and is typically used to inspect light diesel cars and gasoline-fueled cars that were manufactured after 1996. This smog check method relies on checking the functionality of certain parts. In most cases, cars displaying a "check engine" indicator will not pass the OBDII test. Regarding the specific emission test requirements for diesel cars, the vehicle inspection will also include a smoke test. The car will be tested on the opacity of the smoke coming from the exhaust. Opaque smoke is an indicator of emitting harmful gases.
The low enhanced emissions test in NY is used to inspect gasoline-powered cars with the model year of 1995 or older. With this type of smog check, all emissions control devices will be inspected, including the gas cap, catalytic converter, the air injection system and more.
Smog Check Exemptions in New York
Some registered vehicles in New York do not have to complete the emissions inspection, although they still must undergo a general safety inspection every year. Most of these vehicles are exempt from DMV emissions testing because they are very unlikely to emit a high level of toxic gases.
The vehicle emissions testing exemption in New York extends to the following vehicles:
- Electric cars, not including hybrids
- Historical vehicles
- Vehicles newer than two years
- Vehicles older than 25 years
Out-of-State Emissions Testing in New York
If a car owner is a permanent New York resident but is living elsewhere when his or her smog certification expires, there are two general courses of action that may be taken, depending on the situation.
If the state where the car owner is temporarily residing also has mandatory vehicle emissions testing, he or she can get the emissions inspection completed in that state. New York will honor passed vehicle inspections in other states in lieu of a NY emission evaluation.
New York residents living in states that do not offer DMV emissions testing need to request a safety and emissions extension until they can return to NY. However, car owners cannot renew registration in New York while benefitting from an extension.
Emissions Waivers in New York
Emissions testing in New York can be waived under special circumstances. There is currently only one way to obtain an emissions inspection waiver, which requires the vehicle to fail the initial OBDII evaluation.
If a vehicle fails the OBDII smog check, the owner and vehicle must meet the following qualifications to be eligible for the emissions waiver:
- The vehicle passed the safety portion of the evaluation.
- If the vehicle is fueled by gasoline, it passed the gas cap and visual portions of the evaluation.
- If the owner has spent more than $450 in professional repairs to pass the emissions test, and can provide receipts.
- If the owner has attempted to repair the smog check issues by his or herself, and has spent more than $450 in purchasing parts.
Testing Fees in New York
How much is the emissions test in New York? The emission test cost varies depending on the type of vehicle being inspected. The cost of a smog check in NY is contingent upon the weight and fuel type of the vehicle. This is because the criteria for a car emission test for some cars may differ by the make and model of the vehicle.
There are three different types of car smoke tests in New York: the low enhanced emissions test, OBDII and diesel. The low enhanced emissions test is usually given to hybrid and gasoline-fueled cars that are 25 model years or older and costs $11. The OBDII smog test is used for all other hybrid and gasoline-powered cars that are newer than 25 model years. The OBDII test also costs $11, except in metropolitan areas, where the test costs $27. The diesel smog check is administered to cars that are fueled by diesel, and costs $25.
Emission test costs may also include late fees. If a vehicle's smog certification sticker has been expired for up to 60 days, the fine will be between $25 and $50. Emission sticker expirations exceeding 60 days, or not having sticker at all, will be a fine of $50 and $100. There will also be a $88 mandatory service fee in addition to the initial fine.
Where to Perform an Emissions Check in New York
"Is there emissions testing near me?" Luckily for car-owning residents, there are hundreds of emissions testing locations throughout the state, as New York emissions testing is required every year. Because there are so many emission testing centers, many smog check stations in NY specialize in inspecting certain types of vehicles.
To find a smog test station in your county for your specific vehicle type, please visit the state of New York official DMV website.
Failing a New York Smog and Emissions Test
Cars that fail auto emissions testing must retake the test until the vehicle passes. In most cases, the failing of a DMV smog check indicates that the car requires several repairs. The car owner is responsible for the costs of necessary repairs and retaking the test.
Vehicle owners who retake and pass the smog test within 30 days of their previous inspection will only be tested on the parts of the inspection that the vehicle failed, while those who retake the test after 30 days will have to undergo the entire inspection all over again.