Delaware Emissions

There are four DMV facilities in the state of Delaware and all provide vehicle inspections. The inspections require no fee. Typically, when a vehicle is titled for the first time in the state of Delaware, an inspection is required. However, an exception will be made for new vehicles that have never been titled in the state and if they have been sold by dealers to provide buyers with a Delaware application for title.

However, the newest five model years of vehicles may be required to have a vehicle identification number verification instead, if they weigh less than 10,000 pounds and are being titled for the first time in Delaware.

What does an inspection consist of?

Typically, an inspection will cover the following items: tires, brakes, windows, exhaust emissions inspection, and a test for the fuel system to make sure it does not leak. If you are testing a trailer that is over 4000 pounds, it must also pass the break and safety inspection. DMV inspection technicians are all certified and have been trained in every aspect of the inspection process.

When do I have to have an inspection completed?

You must have an inspection completed before the registration expiration date and it may be completed up to 90 days before the expiration date. By Delaware law, the DMV charges a $10 late fee on top of the normal registration fee for renewals that have been processed after the registration expiration date of the vehicle. In addition, vehicle owners will be required to provide valid proof of Delaware liability insurance as well as a vehicle inspection report in order to have the registration renewed.

Automobiles and light trucks that are newer than 1981 will most likely receive a low and high speed exhaust emission test as well. For gasoline powered cars and light trucks 1980 or older, current curb idle tests will continue. If you own a diesel fuel vehicle that is older than 1996, they are currently exempt from exhaust emissions testing, but will be required to pass safety testing for registration renewal. Diesel fuel vehicles newer the 97 will be required to pass an OBK-II test.

Do I get a renewal notice?

When your vehicle is up for renewal, you will you receive an email or voicemail about 90, 60, and 30 days before the expiration date of your registration. This gives owners time to register by mail without having their vehicle inspected. However, this mail-in renewal option will only be available for certain types of vehicles and depends on a number of things.


In order to make sure that your vehicle passes inspection in the state of Delaware, make sure that your engine is warmed up before you arrive. You should also turn off all accessories, such as the air conditioner, and allow your vehicle to fast idle for about 30 seconds before you enter the inspection facility.

You will be asked to check for turn signals, lights, horn and windshield wipers, as well as provide the key for your fuel cap if it locks. For best results, make sure that you are paying careful attention to the maintenance of your brakes and tires because there are very strict standards when it comes to these two specific items.