Emissions testing in Utah is required for certain vehicles at regular intervals. Testing requirements vary according to the model year and type of vehicle and the owner’s county of residence.

A UT DMV emission inspection must take place no more than 2 months prior to the date of the vehicle registration renewal and must be included in your registration paperwork to obtain a renewal. Continue reading to learn more about car inspections in UT and your county’s requirements and fees.

Utah Emissions and Smog Check Requirements

Emissions testing in UT is required every 2 years on all vehicles registered in Davis, Salt Lake, Utah and Weber counties with model years less than 6 years old. Testing is conducted on an odd/even basis, meaning that vehicles with odd-numbered model years are tested on odd-numbered calendar years and vehicles with even-numbered model years are tested during even-numbered years. Most vehicles in these counties that are 6 years and older must be inspected every 12 months unless the model year is 1967 or older. These older cars and trucks do not need a smog certificate to obtain car registration renewals.

In Cache County, vehicles are not required to be inspected during the first 5 years after manufacturing. Vehicles that are 6 or more model years old must obtain a smog certification every other year, on the same odd/even basis described above. Vehicles in Cache County have test exemption status if they were manufactured in or before 1968.

Cars manufactured after 1996 will receive an Onboard Diagnostics (OBDII) emission inspection that utilizes the car’s onboard computer for diagnostic purposes. During this brief test, the vehicle inspection technician connects an analyzing tool to the vehicle’s computer and obtains readings that pinpoint any defects in the emissions system.

Some vehicles, including older models without OBDII systems, will have a tailpipe inspection where an instrument inserted into the tailpipe captures and measures emission gases. Other types of emissions testing may take place as part of a full vehicle inspection, depending on the age of the vehicle and the type of fuel it uses.

Have your Utah vehicle inspection no more than 2 months prior to your registration renewal date. If your vehicle meets the requirements outlined above, you must submit an official emissions test result certificate as part of your car registration package.

Smog Check Exemptions in Utah

Smog check exemptions are extended to Utah vehicles registered in counties other than Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, Utah and Weber. Additionally, new vehicles in these counties are exempt from testing until the car is over 2 years old (5 years in Cache County). In Utah County, emissions testing is not required on diesel vehicles of any age. Motorcycles also do not need to undergo DMV emissions testing to operate on roadways.

Out-of-State Emissions Testing in Utah

Utah car owners who are out-of-state with their vehicles at the time an emissions inspection is due must complete Form TC-810, Exemption of Utah Safety and Emission Requirements for Vehicles Not in Utah. This form details out-of-state emission test requirements and includes spaces for information such as your temporary address, the reason for relocation and the date you plan to return to Utah.

Check the boxes indicating whether a test can be performed in your current location or not, then submit it along with your vehicle registration paperwork to the address printed on the form that corresponds with your Utah county of residence. The second page of the form conveniently displays test requirements in other states, to help you determine if you can obtain an inspection at your temporary location.

Emissions Waivers in Utah

Owners of vehicles that repeatedly fail Utah emissions testing, even after obtaining necessary repairs, may apply for an emission waiver through the county’s Inspection/Maintenance (I/M) Program. Vehicles eligible for a test waiver must never have received one in the past, and you must have receipts proving that a mechanic at a certified repair facility made the repairs.

The total amount spent on emissions-related repairs must meet a certain minimum that varies by county, based on the age and type of vehicle. An authorized representative of the I/M program must approve every emissions test waiver before issuing it.

Testing Fees in Utah

Utah emissions testing fees vary by county and each county adds a small fee to cover emissions programs, between $1 and $3. In Cache County, the inspection fee may not exceed $20. Davis County has no test fee limits, as each inspection station establishes its own fees. In Salt Lake and Utah Counties, each emissions testing center sets its own smog check fees, but the average paid in these counties is $25. Weber County has a flat rate maximum testing fee of $30.

Where to Perform an Emissions Check in Utah

You can have your vehicle inspected at any certified I/M station. Located within garages, repair shops, dealerships and other vehicle-centric businesses, a certified smog check station can be identified by the large blue and white signs.

Failing a Utah Smog and Emissions Test

After failing an inspection, obtain any suggested repairs and have a retest as soon as possible. If your vehicle fails the second test despite having the system flaws repaired, contact your county’s I/M program for information on obtaining an emissions inspection waiver for car registration purposes.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.