Missouri Smog Check / Emissions Test
The State of Missouri requires vehicle emissions tests and smog checks for non-exempt vehicles in metropolitan areas deemed to be in “non-attainment” status in meeting the Federal Clean Air Act’s air quality standards. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri State Highway Patrol manage Missouri’s Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program (GVIP) together. The program began Oct. 1, 2007.
Requirements to Pass the Missouri Smog Check
The State of Missouri requires emissions testing in the following parts of the state for gasoline vehicles made in the 1996 model year or later, and diesel vehicles made in the 1997 model year or later that weigh less than 8500 lbs:
If a vehicle falls under one of the following categories, it is exempt from having to pass a Missouri smog check:
- Vehicles not registered in the above parts of the state
- New motor vehicles sold during the vehicle’s model year or next year that has no more than 6,000 miles reading on its odometer during its time of sale
- Vehicles made in * “even” model years with expiring registrations in “odd” calendar years
- Vehicles made in * “odd” model years with expiring registrations in “even” calendar years
- All types of trailers
- Motor vehicles and RVs that weigh over 8,500 lbs
- Motorcycles, dirt bikes, and motor tricycles
- Vehicles made in the 1995 model year or older, and 1996 model year or older for diesel vehicle.
- Vehicles registered with the Missouri Department of Transportation for use in interstate commerce
- Vehicles for sale as junk, salvage, or for rebuilding
- Vehicles for sale at public auction and bought and sold between dealers
- Low-speed gasoline vehicles
- “Title Only” vehicles
- Vehicles with historic plates, school bus, shuttle bus, or street rod plates
- Solar power, electric, hydrogen, or dual-fueled vehicles using fuels other than gasoline, diesel, or E10 and E85
- Plug-in electric-drive vehicles; Examples of such vehicles include:
- Chevy Volt
- Nissan Leaf
- Fisker Karma S Plug-in Hybrid
* Vehicles being sold, still require an inspection
Vehicles in the following transactions do not need to pass a vehicle emissions test:
- Registration transfers that do not involve a change of ownership for “even” model year vehicles in “odd” calendar years, or “odd” model year vehicles in “even” calendar years
- Out of state vehicle registrations and registration renewals or registering during the time of their renewal/registration. The vehicle must have been out of state for the previous 60 days before the vehicle’s registration/renewal deadline
- License plate renewals for plates transferred from one vehicle during the past six months
Smog Check Exemptions for Missouri Drivers
Missouri offers exemptions for vehicle owners depending on certain circumstances. Vehicle owners who do not drive a lot may be eligible for a Mileage-Based Exemption Request if their vehicles meet the following criteria:
- New motor vehicles that are: Untitled/unregistered during the 4-year period following the vehicle’s model year and driven less than 40,000 miles by the time of its first required safety inspection. The vehicle’s safety inspection report from its last biennial safety inspection, and current safety inspection report must be submitted to confirm this mileage exemption
- Motor vehicles driven less than 12,000 miles between their required two-year safety inspection
Vehicle owners who live in one of the “covered” locations in the State of Missouri requiring vehicle emissions testing and who are out of the area for at least 24 months prior to their testing deadline can apply for an Out of Area Waiver. Vehicle owners must fill out and submit a notarized Out of Area Waiver Request to the Department of Natural Resources, at PO Box 176 Jefferson City Missouri 65102 to apply and be considered for the exemption.
Smog Check Fees
The Missouri smog check fee is $24 and the safety inspection fee is $12. The first retest done with in 20 business days of the initial smog check is free.
Performing Emissions Testing in Missouri
Here are some tips to have a successful vehicle emissions test:
- Drive the vehicle to the emissions testing location
- Begin early and show up early. Inspection station personnel must perform a test on your vehicle within two hours of the vehicle owner’s arrival to the testing station. If they do not, call (314)416-2115
- Vehicles that arrive to the testing station with the “Check Engine” light on must get tested regardless
After the testing personnel complete the inspection of the vehicle, the vehicle owner will receive:
- A Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) detailing the results of the testing and certifying the vehicle passing or failing of the test
- An emissions inspection windshield decal indicating the passing of the emissions test
The State of Missouri validates passing test results for only 60 days from the initial inspection date. Vehicle owners must get their car registration or registration renewal done within that 60 – day time frame or pass the test again.
On Board Diagnostic Tests: The Missouri’s Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program will administer an ODBII test on most motor vehicles made in the 2000 or newer model years. The OBDII system installed in U.S. manufactured vehicles made in the 1996 and newer model years is a mechanical issue early-warning system. The system records the vehicle’s performance by administering a specific kind of test referred to as a “Monitor”. Certain monitors test a vehicle’s primary emissions components and subsystems. While the key is in the ignition and the engine is off, a test technician will make sure the vehicle’s DLC (Data Link Connector) works properly. Then, the test technician hooks an emissions diagnostic tool up to your vehicle’s DLC using a cable to allow the technician’s diagnostic tool to communicate with the vehicle’s OBD II system. The Missouri GVIP test technician can check your vehicle’s engine and emissions systems, and see if any monitors state a “Not Ready” status. The test personnel can complete the test in around 2 minutes.
Failed Smog Inspections – Next Steps
If a vehicle fails a Missouri smog inspection, the vehicle owner will receive:
- A VIR certifying the vehicle failed its emissions inspection and detailing the areas it did not pass
- A list showing the ten closest Missouri emissions testing locations. These locations will have Missouri Certified Emissions-Repair Technicians and can calculate emissions-related labor and repair expenses towards cost-based waiver requirements.
- A repair information sheet for the repair location performance report
If a vehicle does not pass an inspection, the vehicle owner has 20 business days (holidays and weekends excluded) from the date paid for the first inspection to get the vehicle retested in order to be eligible for a free retest. The vehicle owner does not have to return to the same testing location in order to get the free retest.
Low Income? Missouri Cost-Based and Estimate-Based Waivers
If a vehicle owner is facing economic hardship and can not afford the repairs required to meet Missouri’s vehicle testing requirements, they may be eligible for one of the several waivers offered by the State of Missouri. To qualify for a Missouri Cost-Based Waiver, the vehicle owner must meet the following requirements:
- Owner gets the repair work completed at a state certified emissions repair shop and spends a minimum of $450 on eligible repairs. Labor costs can count toward the waiver expenditure limits. The owner must fill out and submit a Cost-Based Waiver- Repair by Vehicle Repair Technician.
- Owner does the repairs themselves and spends at least $400. Labor costs do not count toward waiver expenditure limits.The owner must fill out and submit a Cost-Based Waiver- Repair by Self.
- Owner is a titled vehicle owner and is financially dependent on state and federal disability and public assistance programs, and has spent at least $200 on emissions related repairs.The owner must fill out and submit a Cost-Based Waiver and Financial Waiver Eligibility.
- Owners who receive a VIR showing a single trouble code not addressed in a previous testing cycle, and not covered in a previous cost-based repair or estimate based waiver. The owner must also submit a repair cost estimate of at least $450 and fill out and submit a Estimate-Based Waiver.
All repair costs must qualify under Missouri’s eligibility requirements.
Transferring a Vehicle Title in Missouri – Smog Check Needed?
Anytime a vehicle gets a title transfer in the State of Missouri, it must pass a new emissions test.
Do Sellers Give Buyers a Valid Smog Certificate?
When selling a vehicle in the state of Missouri, the seller must provide a valid emissions testing certificate or emissions test waiver.
Special Tips to Pass the Missouri Emissions Test
Missouri vehicle owners may want to get their vehicles tested as soon as they receive their first testing notice. Allow extra time to get any needed repairs done before your registration expires. Also, if a vehicle owner plans to be out of town during the date when their registration expires, planning early will give owners time to meet the deadline. Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure passing a Missouri vehicle emissions test:
- Make sure the vehicle does not have its “Check Engine” light on; If it does, it will not pass the test. To fix, check to make sure the gas cap is on tight and is not broken. Keep the sealing surfaces in the cap clean so it can make a good seal. If it is not, tighten it and drive around to see if the light goes off.
- Follow the vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule. Many of the mechanical issues that cause vehicles to fail their tests can be addressed during a routine check-up
- If your vehicle is a make and model year when catalytic converters came standard on the vehicle, make sure your vehicle has one and is not malfunctioning; If it does not have one or it is not working, it will not pass the test
- Allow your vehicle to run for at least 10 minutes before it takes a test to insure an accurate reading
- Research your vehicle manufacturer’s recalls, Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), and warranties before getting any repairs done. The cost of their repair maybe covered by the manufacturer.
- If your vehicle’s On Board Diagnostic (OBDII) system is showing trouble codes, make sure to get them fixed by a certified emissions mechanic. Do not just try to clear the codes.Test personnel will know and the vehicle will not pass inspection.
- If your vehicle is misfiring when it is idling, make sure to get this addressed before taking the test
- If a vehicle’s battery is brand new, drive the vehicle for a couple of days before taking it to get an On Board Diagnostics test so as to allow the OBD system to reset
- Make sure the vehicle’s oil is not dirty. Get the oil changed on a routine basis
- Maintain the recommended air pressure in your vehicle’s tires
- Inspect your vehicle’s hoses and belts for wear. Get them replaced if necessary
- Get any mechanical issues with your vehicle’s transmission address and fixed. Transmissions problems can affect your vehicle’s emissions and cause your vehicle to fail its test.
- If your motor vehicle’s emissions system has a mechanical issue, check your manufacturer’s warranty. Federal law states emissions systems on vehicles made in the 1995 and newer model years must have their emissions systems warrantied for two years or 24,000 miles.
- If the OBDII diagnostic system or catalytic converter on your vehicle made in the 1995 model year or newer has a mechanical issue, check your vehicle’s manufacturer’s warranty also. Federal regulation states these vehicles must have a warranty on their OBDII and catalytic converters for eight years or 80,000 miles.
Find Smog Check Stations Near Me
To stay in compliance of the State of Missouri’s smog check requirements, Missouri-registered drivers living in certain parts of the state must get their vehicles to pass a vehicle emissions test can check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Missouri pages below to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in St. Louis, Missouri
The City of St. Louis, an independent city in Missouri, has a population of 311,000 and is Missouri’s largest metropolitan area with over 2 million residents. Missouri-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in or around the St. Louis area may have to get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing St. Louis, Missouri page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in O’Fallon, Missouri
The city of O’Fallon, in Saint Charles county, Missouri, part of the Saint Louis, Missouri metropolitan area has a population of 80,000. Missouri-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing, and living in and around St. Louis may have to get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in O’Fallon, Missouri page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Festus, Missouri
Festus, a town in Jefferson County, Missouri, has a population of 11,600. Jefferson county is one of the counties part of the St. Louis Metropolitan area which requires smog checks. Missouri-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing, and living in or around the St. Louis area may have to get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Festus, Missouri page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.