Your vehicle must meet Virginia's emissions inspection requirements if it is garaged in one of the localities listed below:
- the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, or Stafford
- the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas or Manassas Park
Inspections are valid for two years and may be obtained by having your vehicle inspected by a certified emissions inspection station. When you have your vehicle inspected, your DMV vehicle record will be immediately updated by the emissions station.
No vehicle subject to an emissions inspection will be registered or reregistered by DMV until it has passed an emissions inspection or has been issued an emissions inspection waiver due to repair costs that exceed a repair cost threshold.
To find out fees and other information about the emission inspection program, please contact the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality at (703) 583-3900 or toll free in Virginia at 1-800-275-3844.
- If your vehicle is being registered for the first time in Virginia and has a current valid emissions certificate (performed in the last 12 months) from one of the following states, it may be titled and registered without a Virginia emissions inspection: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin
- Motor vehicles exempted from emissions inspections include:
- Gasoline powered passenger or property carrying vehicles with a model year that is more than 25 years old before January 1 of the current calendar year. As an example, vehicles with a model year of 1984 are exempt from emissions on or after January 1, 2009; vehicles with a model year of 1985 will be exempt from emissions on or after January 1, 2010. Vehicles 25 years old or older qualify as antique motor vehicles but are not required to display antique license plates to qualify for the emissions exemption. Although exempt from the emissions inspection, the $2 emissions fee is required when renewing these registrations.
- Gasoline powered passenger or property carrying vehicles with a manufacturer's designated gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds.
- Diesel powered vehicles
NOTE: Diesel powered vehicles are not exempt from the emissions testing
program requirements when they have:
- A model year newer than 1996, and
- A Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) less than 8,501 lbs., (if GVWR is not available, empty and gross weights will be used) and
- A registration that expires in July 2007 or later.
- Vehicles exclusively powered by clean fuel, including compressed or liquified natural gas, electricity, or solar energy
- Vehicles being titled for the first time in Virginia with a Manufacturer's Certification of Origin (MCO).
- Qualified hybrid motor vehicles - Toyota Prius and Honda Insight model year 2007 or earlier, and the 2010 Toyota Prius. All Toyota Prius and Honda Insight models are subject to the $2 per year emissions fee when renewing the vehicle registration as required by the DEQ, Virginia Code § 46.2-1182.1.
Emissions Inspections and Vehicle Registrations
To avoid delays in obtaining your vehicle registration from DMV, have your emissions inspection completed before you apply to DMV for registration.
DMV is limited to issuing a one-time only 30-day temporary registration if the vehicle owner is unable to produce proof of successfully passing an emission inspection. The customer will be charged a prorated registration fee for the one-month registration. There is no grace period allowed to obtain the safety inspection when Virginia tags are displayed.