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Vehicle Emissions Testing in Pennsylvania

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In Pennsylvania, an emissions test is required for many original registrations, as well as for annual registration renewals. Renewal notices are sent annually to vehicle owners, and indicate whether and by what date an emissions test must be completed, usually no more than two months before the renewal.


A car, van, truck or light-duty truck (9000lbs or lighter) requires an emissions test when:

  • It is a 1975 model or newer.
  • It is registered in the counties of Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Cambria, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Washington, Westmoreland and York.


Emission tests are valid for a period of one year.


A vehicle is exempt from emissions testing when:

  • It is a motorcycle.
  • It is a vehicle owned for a year and more and has driven less than 5000 miles in the year before the inspection.
  • It is a new vehicle and has driven less than 5000 miles.
  • Registered antique, collectible or classic vehicles.
  • Registered street rods.

For additional information call (800) 265-0921.


Any PennDOT Authorized Emissions Inspection Station can test your vehicle. To save time it would be a good idea to combine both safety inspection and emission testing on the same day.


Fees for the test vary as per the inspection station and it would be advisable to call before visiting.


In case your vehicle fails the emission test, all expenses that will accrue from making the vehicle road-worthy will have to be borne by you. It must then be retested, which if undertaken within 30 days of the first test, will be free of charge. If the vehicle fails the test again, you could receive a one year waiver if proof of spending over $150 in repairs is submitted. This can only be done by a PennDOT Authorized Emissions Inspection Station.


  • If you happen to be out of state for over 30 days after the expiration of your vehicle's emission sticker, you will have to retest your vehicle within 10 days of return to the state. It would be advisable to carry proof of having been out of state for the period of time claimed by you.
  • See also Vehicle History Reports.
Submitted by dlong on 27th Jul 2016

Why am I charged for

Why am I charged for emissions when I am driving a plug-in hybrid. I am doing my part and a tank of gas lasts me a month. Should I not be rewarded for doing so. I thought hybrids were exempt from the emissions test.

Submitted by Fuobama on 31st Mar 2016

I strive to be

I strive to be environmentally strong. I just went through an inspection for the 2002 Jeep Liberty, that I HAD to buy. Because some idiot "t-boned" my old "93 Chrysler. I never had any issues with my 93 vehicle! Now, I had to pay for a "waiver"? I love the earth, and would never do it any harm! I walk around my vehicle when it is running. There are NOT any emissions issues with my vehicle. This is just a scam!!!!

Submitted by LizzyB on 4th May 2016

If your vehicle does not have

If your vehicle does not have any emission issues, why did you have to get a waiver? How did it fail the emissions test?

Submitted by ffej on 20th Mar 2016

Here's another example of

Here's another example of Pennsylvania corruption: The Philadelphia Parking Authority now writes tickets for expired emissions stickers! Hey, maybe the people who work at the take out window at McDonald's should be given the power to write tickets as well. The PPA is the most corrupt, sleazy organization in the state and I can't imagine how much money they rake in trolling for stickers. Has nothing to do with their mandate!

Submitted by ticked in wm on 15th Jan 2016

My inspection station last

My inspection station last year said we failed emissions. Fixed what he thought was wrong...couldn't get the light off. Fixed something else and so on and so on. I mentioned that we should be exempt because we were over $150 and was told that wasn't true. I spent over EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS to get the emissions to pass. That is in addition to the $250 I spent for a new muffler. Now this year that 14 month old muffler is rusted through and isn't warrantied by Meineke. I have to pay over $200 for a new muffler again. Shouldn't that count towards that $150 to repair???

Submitted by ronrex on 1st Dec 2015

Why do I have emissions and

Why do I have emissions and the other county's around me do not. I drive 9 miles to work and they drive 25 miles in my county. So they are driving 3 times more miles per day and do not need emissions testing. WHAT

Submitted by craigwelker on 22nd Nov 2015

Where does this money go ??

Where does this money go ?? Do the whole state are not at all.Ripe off

Submitted by JoeyinPa on 27th Oct 2015

Owned my 99 metro for 5+

Owned my 99 metro for 5+ years now, 3,343 miles put on it since last inspection. Just paid $53.00 for a "lesser exempt test". Wait what? $53.00 is the full price, and what the heck is a "lesser exempt test"??? When asked i was told, "it went on rollers, not the dynomo." "Exempt means u take a lesser test to pass." Total BS??? If so how do i remedy this situation?

Submitted by knj6142013 on 30th Jun 2015

OBD1 95 - OBD2 95 newer all

OBD1 95 - OBD2 95 newer all the way to 75? I'm in OH and I'm blown away by your E-checks how does this work and how can you enforce in this state to pass classic cars (20 years +) ?

Submitted by tfran01 on 6th Apr 2015

Pa. is ripping off people

Pa. is ripping off people with their State Inspections - I just transferred a Leased vehicle from MD to PA - purchased July '14 and has 5150 miles on it. Cannot believe I have to pay for an emissions test on a practically NEW CAR.

Just another way this state takes peoples hard earned money -

Submitted by SkyblueElsa on 15th Nov 2014

How much Pennsylvania

How much Pennsylvania emissions test in Delaware county that each station charges? The station around my house charges $51 plus $5 emission sticker. Is it a normal rate in Delaware County, Pennsylvania?

Submitted by strum456 on 5th Nov 2014

PA DOT: WAKE UP! The general

PA DOT: WAKE UP! The general public is being screwed by senseless inspection regulations.

Example: Some counties require a gas cap check - about a $15 fee. Although many new vehicles DO NOT EVEN HAVE GAS CAPS, the gas cap check fee is still being assessed on Pennsylvania motorists!

We are being forced to pay for the inspection of components that our vehicles do not even have!!!

Submitted by strum456 on 5th Nov 2014

PA emissions testing is

PA emissions testing is unnecessarily costly to the general public. The OBDII systems used on 1996 and newer vehicles do THEIR OWN EMISSIONS TEST multiple times every time the vehicle is driven. All that is needed to determine if a vehicle's emissions system is working properly is a $50 OBDII scanner. Instead, the state has mandated an extremely costly system that networks emissions information with Harrisburg. Pennsylvania should follow the lead of many other states and finally get rid of all of this bureaucracy.

Submitted by toyota5000 on 5th Sep 2014

My 2010 Totoya Corolla was

My 2010 Totoya Corolla was just in for inspection. I drove less than 5000 miles and the Sticker Issuance Report indicates that is the reason the sticker was issued. Why then did the service department conduct the test and charge me $39.95?

Submitted by AbsolutelyFedUp on 10th Jul 2013

You all are exactly right!

You all are exactly right! Just another way to screw us out of money. Aint enough that we pay all these taxes. Cant get your car to pass....get fined. Much like this Obamacare... so now we are "required" to have health insurance or face a fine! Doesn't exempt us from paying the medical bills. I'm so sick of all these regulations!!! Its PURE BS!

Submitted by cethironwood on 18th Feb 2013

Really see no benefits for

Really see no benefits for this emission testing, other than a way to fill the coffers of this state. Bought a Chevy Volt. Since I rarely use gas will they demand that the car needs a test also? Sheeesh. Robbery.

Submitted by ntorch96m on 29th Jan 2013

Get rid of this politically

Get rid of this politically motivated useless PA emissions program. It is additional cost to both the consumer and state to administer. My car passed emissions in Erie County only to find that it won't in Berks County with a recent move. Now I need to spend an additional $150 to try to get it fixed and or apply for a 1 yr waiver. This after I already spent $400 for new brakes all around then I find I fail emissions. Surprise!!!!! DUMP THIS PROGRAM.

Submitted by usteel on 20th Nov 2012

The real joke is that you

The real joke is that you can't pass if there is a code stored in the computer that is associated with the check engine light having been on or if the light is on. I went to my GM dealer 5 times with my pontiac Grand prix to get them to repair the issue that turned on the light. They hooked up their computer and then reapired five or six things, even a new gas cap, and my check engine light came back on every time. I'm out over $1000 on top of the cost of testing by the state. I now have to spend even more money to get that light off. Rip off is not the word to describe this crime against taxpayers. By the way have you seen those DOT dump trucks, city buses and semis running around the city billowing black smoke from exhaust to the tune of a thousand times more pollution that the average car....what a joke state testing for car emissions is!!!!!! Test for mechanical safety if you like but dump this tax grab called emissions testing.

Submitted by barnzee68 on 1st Nov 2011

What a huge ripoff this

What a huge ripoff this is,Emissions test all vehicles in Pa. or none.Or post guards along county lines to make sure your not driving a non emissions tested vehicle through our county which we have paid for the clean air. Its a hard pill to swallow when i'm paying $70.00 for my inspection and people i work with pay $20.00.

Submitted by chuckd on 14th Nov 2011

I vote for none....just

I vote for none....just another way for the money hungry government to take your hard earned dollar out of your is a big scam

Submitted by urdrwho on 16th Apr 2014