DMV.com is a privately owned website.* Privacy

Vehicle Emissions Testing in Wisconsin

Compare Auto Insurance Rates and Save DMV.com Exclusive!

In Wisconsin, a vehicle 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.

VEHICLES THAT REQUIRE AN EMISSIONS TEST

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

  • The gross weight rating is 8500 pounds or lesser
  • It is driven mainly in the counties of Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Washington or Waukesha.

VALIDITY

Emission tests are required every second year from the time of renewal of license plates. 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. If the vehicle is more than 5 years old, the test must be done within 45 days of registration.

EXEMPTIONS

A vehicle is exempt from emissions testing when:

  • It is a 1996 model or older
  • It is a diesel powered vehicle
  • It is a motorcycle

EMISSIONS TESTING LOCATIONS

Any Authorized Vehicle Inspection Facility licensed by the State can test your vehicle. Look for the official sign issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles to authorized testing stations. The test standards and maximum fees will be displayed at the stations. Only select stations deal with light-duty diesel vehicles.

EMISSIONS TESTING FEES

The inspection is done free of cost.    

EMISSIONS TEST FAILURES

If your vehicle fails the emissions test, you must have the vehicle repaired and then it must pass the after repairs emissions test. The vehicle can be repaired at the station. Some stations offer discounts or "no-pass, no-pay" deals at the station owner's discretion.
If your vehicle is unable to meet the emissions standard following the necessary repair work, file a temporary extension form.
Contact the Division of Motor Vehicles Inspection testing Facility or call (414) 266-1080 or (800) 242-7510 for more information.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Submitted by ehenkel on 5th Aug 2015

Why are vehicles from 1996

Why are vehicles from 1996 and before (older) exempt? These are probably the worst offenders.

Submitted by anonresponse on 9th Oct 2015

It was required that in 1997,

It was required that in 1997, all vehicles be equipped with OBD-II ports. OBD-II is "On-Board Diagnostics" and the 2 designates that it's a unified standard vs OBD-1, which was manufacturer specific standard. OBD-1 vehicles (1996 and older) all had their own manufacturer specific connections to plug into, and the computers didn't necessarily monitor/store the information needed by the emissions test. As such, these older vehicles required the more complex "IM-240" emissions test, which is a rolling road dyno utilized in conjunction with an exhaust gas analyzer that would read the exhaust pollutants while the vehicle was driven. These older machines were expensive to maintain and were not utilized in vehicles that have OBD-II computers. As the years went on, fewer and fewer cars tested utilized the expensive IM-240 equipment, and it finally reached a point that the cost to maintain, operate and calibrate the old dyno/gas analyzer equipment was too high for the lower utilization it was seeing.

Submitted by berdman4865 on 8th Apr 2015

There has to be a restitution

There has to be a restitution for failed tests that failed for no reason. I am out $103 for just such a situation.

Submitted by ponce on 26th Jan 2013

DMV NEEDS TO EXPLAIN TO

DMV NEEDS TO EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE THAT CARS THE EXEMPT FROM EMISSION ARE NOW FROM 1996 AND OLDER..A LOT A PEOPLE ARE CONFUSED..

DMV DO YOUR JOB..

Submitted by jonrichards on 18th Oct 2011

I tried the website and it

I tried the website and it worked right away. Lots of useful info on there saved me a lot of possible wasted time.