Meeting emissions testing standards to renew or apply for a car registration in South Dakota is not required for residents. However, understanding out-of-state smog check requirements and the reasons for regular vehicle inspection is beneficial to drivers in the state. Testing ensures vehicles have the least possible negative impact on the environment. Car emissions increase air toxicity, contribute to global warming and even affect the water supply. Meeting smog certification standards in South Dakota helps lower vehicle emissions and improves the air and water quality in the state.

South Dakota Emissions and Smog Check Requirements

There are no smog check requirements for vehicles in South Dakota, but residents should be aware of out-of-state inspection standards. A smog test is required if a resident moves from South Dakota to a state that requires vehicle emissions testing in the future. Vehicles must meet smog certification requirements to apply for or renew a car registration in these states.

Out-of-state emission testing is designed to meet state and federal emissions standards. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets emission standards at the federal level. The EPA recognizes regular auto emissions testing as a way to maintain clean air and water in each state. The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources monitors air quality in the state and encourages sustainable transportation practices.

Smog Check Exemptions in South Dakota

Because no emissions testing requirements exist in South Dakota, residents are exempt from smog test standards. For out-of-state vehicle emissions testing, special situations that vary by state allow residents to request an exemption or extension on an emissions inspection. Circumstances for test exemptions or extensions may include a car is being repaired or being from out of the state. Exemptions may also be approved for state residents who are students or military service members. South Dakota residents moving to a state with testing requirements should understand the exemption requirements in their future state of residence.

Out-of-State Emissions Testing

For an out-of-state smog check used to renew a car registration, a vehicle is inspected at one of the emissions testing locations within the state. South Dakota residents should anticipate an emissions inspection if they move to a state that has these rules in place. At these locations, most states perform an on-board diagnostics test for vehicles based on the model year and type of vehicle.

A car emission test requires a scanner to receive information from the on-board diagnostics computer of a vehicle about each part of the vehicle controlling emissions. If the parts are not working properly, the vehicle is likely releasing emission levels that do not adhere to the state standards. During the emissions check, an inspector may also look for tampering on the vehicle and inspect the gas cap and tailpipe. A tampering vehicle inspection checks for parts of a vehicle that have been modified, resulting in higher emissions released by the car. Tailpipes and gas caps may be checked because if the gas cap is not secure or the tailpipe does not function properly, higher levels of emissions could be released.

Emissions Waivers in South Dakota

In states with emission test requirements, vehicles that fail an inspection should be repaired and the emissions test redone. Most states requiring smog checks give out waivers to owners who have paid a certain amount of money on repairs for a vehicle. An emissions waiver allows the car registration to be renewed for a certain amount of time, as long as the owner of the vehicle shows receipts for the cost of emissions repairs at the DMV. Since there are no emissions testing requirements in South Dakota, emissions waivers are not needed.

Testing Fees in South Dakota

The price of auto emissions testing varies in South Dakota. Since smog certification is not required to renew a car registration, there are no specific emissions testing centers in the state. Local auto shops, however, may administer these checks. Call the shops to inquire about rates, keeping in mind the average test price in other states. To increase savings, a smog check coupon for an auto shop may be found in local magazines, newspapers or online.

For out-of-state emissions testing, an inspection can cost up to $30. For example, a smog test on newer cars in Colorado is $25, while a test on newer cars in Maryland is $14. Smog check prices are lower in states with less stringent emission requirements.

Where to Perform an Emissions Check in South Dakota

For states requiring an emissions inspection, contacting the local DMV office may be a simple way of identifying testing locations. In South Dakota, a car smoke test can be completed at regular auto service locations. Search online for “emissions testing near me” to find vehicle service shops that perform these tests. You can also call auto shops to compare inspection rates and find out general information.

Failing a Smog and Emissions Test

If a car fails vehicle emissions testing in South Dakota, the smog test will reveal why the car did not pass. Use this information to get the car repaired. Repairs for emissions are generally inexpensive. For states requiring tests, the test must be retaken after the vehicle is repaired. To pass vehicle inspection, a vehicle must be checked and serviced regularly. Before a car emission test, be sure the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) light is off. If the light is on during an inspection, the vehicle will automatically fail the test. If visible smoke is being released from a car and/or the MIL is on, the vehicle most likely has a high emission level.


Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.