Nevada Smog Check / Emissions Test
The State of Nevada requires vehicle emissions tests before every yearly registration renewal as well as for most original vehicle registrations. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles runs the state’s vehicle testing program.
Requirements to Pass the Nevada Smog Check
There are many vehicles the State of Nevada requires to pass a smog check, they include: Passenger cars, trucks, RVs, and motorhomes. If one of these vehicle types also fall into the following categories, they must get a smog check:
- Vehicle owners residing in the urban areas of Clark or Washoe County
- Gasoline vehicles no matter their weight or size
- Diesel vehicles weighing less than 14,000 lbs
- Vehicles made in the 1968 model year or later
- New vehicles that are on their third registration. Hybrids are exempt from testing for five years, and the first and second years are exempt for all other new vehicles
Smog Check Exemptions for Nevada Drivers
If your vehicle falls under one of the following categories, it is exempt from testing:
- New motor vehicles on their first and second registration
- New hybrid-electric vehicles for the first 5 model years
- Vehicles made in the 1967 model year or older model year
- Motorcycle or moped
- Vehicles based in remote areas of Clark and Washoe counties and all other Nevada counties (see Testing Areas or call us).
- Alternative fuel vehicles (AFV)
- Diesel vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 14,001 pounds or greater
- Transfer of ownership/registration if the vehicle owner completed the last test within 90 days before the current transfer
- Transfer of ownership/registration between husband and wife
- Transfer of ownership/registration between companies whose principal business is leasing vehicles if there is no change in the lessee or operator of the vehicle
- Vehicles registered as a Classic Rod, Classic Vehicle or Old Timer and driven 5,000 miles or less per year
- Vehicles registered with a Replica registration
Smog Check Fees
The State of Nevada allows smog check locations to be privately owned. Because of this fact, smog check fees vary by location. There is a yearly maximum amount the state allows smog check locations to charge by law. This amount changes annually.
Performing Emissions Testing in Nevada
All non-exempt vehicles must pass a yearly vehicle emissions test in the State of Nevada by law. The Nevada DMV sends out renewal and first – time registration notices in the mail. The notice will indicate if and when the test must be completed. Emissions tests are usually very convenient since most Nevada inspection stations are privately owned and decentralized. Emissions tests stay valid for 90 days after the initial test date of completion. Vehicles must pass a Nevada smog check in order to receive an original registration, and also for most renewals. Nevada DMV testing personnel usually perform two types of emissions test on Nevada-registered vehicles:
On Board Diagnostic Tests – Nevada test personnel will administer an ODBII test on most motor vehicles made in the 1996 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”. 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 Nevada test technician can check your vehicle’s engine and emissions systems, and see if any monitors state a “Not Ready” status. If there are too many monitors stating a “Not Ready” status, then the vehicle will not pass the test. The test personnel can complete the test in around 2 minutes.
Two-Speed Idle Test (PC – TSI): Nevada test personnel measure the vehicle’s emissions while the vehicle remains in Park or Neutral gear and rev the vehicle’s engine at two different RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) levels. Some older vehicles get tested while on a dynamometer.
Vehicle owners will know immediately if they pass the test and will receive a vehicle inspection report immediately. If getting a first-time registration, vehicle owners must go to a Nevada DMV office location. Vehicle owners getting registration renewals, have several different registration options.
Failed Smog Inspections – Next Steps
If your vehicle fails an initial smog inspection, the vehicle owner must get the vehicle repaired and retested. If the vehicle does not pass the second test, then the vehicle owner may be eligible for a waiver.
While waiting to get a vehicle retested the vehicle owner must have insurance and a valid registration, or a movement permit in order to operate a vehicle on Nevada public streets. If a vehicle owner’s registration expires before they are able to get their vehicle to pass a smog inspection, they can get a movement permit at the DMV after presenting their registration or other proof of ownership. However, owners who do not get their vehicles to pass a smog inspection before their registration expires can still be charged a late fee and cited by law enforcement if they operate their vehicle after their registration expires.
Moved to Nevada – Smog Check Requirements
New residents who recently moved to Nevada must register their vehicle within 30 days of becoming a Nevada resident. Depending on the type, year, and weight of the vehicle, new residents may be required to get their vehicles smog checked once they obtain Nevada residency. The Nevada DMV recommends new residents to bring their vehicles to a certified inspection facility as soon as possible after moving to Nevada so as to have plenty of time to complete any necessary repairs or to apply for waivers. Keep in mind, the State of Nevada does not recognize or honor out-of-state smog or emissions tests.
Do Sellers Give Buyers a Valid Smog Certificate?
Nevada exempts new vehicles from smog checks for the first 2 years. Used car dealers must issue valid emissions test certificates when selling a vehicle. The buyer must get a vehicle to pass a smog check and obtain a valid smog certificate if they buy a vehicle from a private seller.
Special Tips to Pass the Nevada Emissions Test
Nevada 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 Nevada 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 Nevada’s smog check requirements, Nevada-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 Nevada pages below to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Las Vegas, Nevada
The City of Las Vegas, in Clark County, Nevada, has a population of 615,000 and is Nevada’s largest metropolitan area. Nevada-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in or around the Las Vegas area may have to get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Las Vegas, Nevada page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Henderson, Nevada
The city of Henderson in Clark County, Nevada, has a population of 277,000. Nevada-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in and around Henderson may have to get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Henderson, Nevada page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Reno, Nevada
The city of Reno, in Washoe County Nevada, has a population of 237, 000. Nevada-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing, and living in or around the Reno area may have to get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Reno, Nevada page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.