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Vehicle Emissions Testing in Washington

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In Washington, a vehicle emissions test is required for many original registrations in some counties. Vehicles have to be tested every other year before completing the registration renewal. Renewal notices are sent annually to vehicle owners, and indicate whether and by what date an emissions test must be completed.


A car, truck, motor home or RV (recreational vehicle) requires an emissions test when:

  1. It runs on gasoline or diesel, is between five and twenty five years old and is registered in King, Pierce, Clark, Spokane or Snohomish counties.
  2. It is a hybrid vehicle between 5 and 20 years old in one of the above counties, which has an EPA fuel economy rating of less than 50 mpg.


Emission tests are valid for 90 days. A valid test is required to reinstate a suspended registration and to complete an original vehicle registration or registration renewal. Used car dealers are required to issue a valid emissions test for any vehicle they sell. Getting an emissions test is the buyer's responsibility when the vehicle is purchased from a private owner.


A vehicle is exempt from emission testing when:

  1. It is registered outside King, Pierce, Clark, Spokane or Snohomish counties.
  2. It is a hybrid vehicle that has an EPA fuel economy rating of at least 50 mpg in city driving.


Any Authorized Emissions Inspection Station licensed by the State can test your vehicle.


There is a maximum emissions testing fee of $15 set by the Department of Licensing. The first retest is free. Please visit Emissions Fees for details.


If your vehicle fails the emissions test, you must have the vehicle repaired, preferably by an Authorized Emission Specialist, after which it must pass the after repairs emissions test. The first retest is free.
If your vehicle is unable to meet the emissions standard following the necessary repair work, you may be able to obtain a waiver issued by DMV prior to registration. You can apply for a waiver if you can provide authorized receipts showing that you have spent at least $150 in diagnosis and repairs by an Authorized Emission Specialist. Waivers are not granted for vehicles with removed, altered, or inoperative emission control systems.
Contact the Department of Ecology Emission Test Station for any further queries.


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