New Hampshire Smog Check / Emissions Test
The state of New Hampshire requires vehicle emissions tests and vehicle safety inspections for many first-time registrations, and annual registration renewals. New Hampshire Inspection stickers placed on New Hampshire-registered vehicles indicate the vehicle’s test expiration date. Vehicle owners must get their vehicle to pass its next emission tests 10 days before the end of the vehicle owner’s birth month.
Requirements to Pass the New Hampshire Smog Check
If a car, truck, motorhome or RV falls under one of the following categories, it must pass a vehicle emissions test in the state of New Hampshire:
- Vehicle made in the 1996 model or later
- Gasoline vehicles
- Diesel vehicles weighing less than 8500 lbs and made in the 1997 model year or later
The State of New Hampshire validates emissions tests for 12 months. Vehicle owners must get their vehicle to pass a smog check when getting registration renewal, or obtain an original registration. All new residents and all vehicles with an expired inspection sticker must also get a safety inspection.
Smog Check Exemptions for New Hampshire Drivers
There are no vehicle exemptions for any vehicles in the state of New Hampshire except for Electric vehicles.
Smog Check Fees
The State of New Hampshire does not have any regulations regarding smog check fees. Though, most testing locations charge between $20 and $50 per inspection. The state encourages vehicle owners compare prices between different stations. New Hampshire certifies emissions inspection stations and there are many throughout the state.
Performing Emissions Testing in New Hampshire
Vehicles owner must get their vehicles to pass a safety and vehicle emissions test within 10 days of getting their vehicle registered, or 10 days before the end of their birth month. However, for antique vehicle owners, an inspection sticker expires in April. All vehicles will receive a visual inspection to check emissions-related mechanical systems in the vehicle.
The following is a list of items generally covered in a New Hampshire vehicle inspection:
- Registration, plates, registration certificate and vehicle identification number
- Steering, front end and suspension
- Brakes, including parking brake
- Odometer and speedometer
- Electrical system, horn and defroster
- Lights and reflectors, including headlight aim
- Glass, glazing and mirrors
- Exhaust system
- On-board diagnostics system
- Body, chassis and bumper height
- Fuel system
- Tires and wheels
All vehicles made in the 1996 model year or later will also be required to pass an On Board Diagnostic (OBDII) Test.
On Board Diagnostic Tests – New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire 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.
After completing a New Hampshire vehicle inspection the results will immediately be transmitted to the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles. Vehicle owners will also receive a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) stating whether the vehicle passed its inspection or not and stating any mechanical issues that need to be addressed by the owner.
Failed Smog Inspections – Next Steps
For vehicles that do not pass a smog check, the vehicle owner must get repairs completed and retested. Repairs must be made within the first 60 days after the first inspection by an OBD system trained technician. If the vehicle is not repaired within 60 days, the testing location that completed the initial test on a vehicle that did not pass its inspection must report that the vehicle has not been repaired. Vehicles usually do not pass New Hampshire Smog and Safety inspection for the following reasons:
- A required physical component on the vehicle is not functioning properly
- The On Board Diagnostic (OBDII) System returns a “Not Ready” status on one or more of its Monitor tests due to either recent repairs or a battery replacement. (After driving the vehicle for a week or so, the OBDII system will reset and be ready to be retested.)
- The vehicle’s OBDII systems is not communicating with the test personnel’s diagnostic tools
- The vehicle’s “Check Engine” light is on
Vehicle owners will receive a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) from New Hampshire test personnel if their vehicle does not pass inspection. The VIR will provide details of the mechanical issues the vehicle owner needs to get addressed by allowing a mechanic to diagnose and repair the issues. Vehicle owners have 60 days to get repairs completed on their vehicles and retested.
If a vehicle does not pass any part of the New Hampshire vehicle safety inspection, the owner has until the tenth day into the next month to get any safety-related repair completed, and get the vehicle retested.
Low Income? Apply for a New Hampshire Economic Hardship Waiver
Vehicle owners in the State of New Hampshire may be eligible for an Economic Hardship Waiver if they meet the following eligibility requirements:
- They own a vehicle that passed a safety inspection but did not pass an OBDII emissions test
- They are facing economic hardship and are unable to afford the repairs to make their vehicles able to pass a vehicle emissions test
The New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles makes decisions about waiver eligibility on a case – by – case basis. Vehicle owners can request a waiver application by picking up the phone. Applicants will need to provide the following information on the waiver application form:
- A full inventory of all the vehicles the applicant owns
- A calculation of the miles driven by the applicant every year
- The name and address of the applicant’s employer
- Yearly Income sources
- Reasons for being unable to afford the required vehicle repairs
- A copy of at least one work estimate for repairs by a New Hampshire State Inspection Repair technician
Applicants must sends must all requested documents to the address on the form. The New Hampshire DMV will reply by mail informing the applicant of its decision concerning the waiver. If the New Hampshire DMV approves the waiver request, the applicant must keep the waiver in their vehicle. If the applicant is not approved, they must get the required repairs completed within 60 days of the original inspection or face having their vehicle registration revoked.
Moved to New Hampshire – Smog Check Requirements
If someone moves to the state of New Hampshire, they must visit a New Hampshire smog check station within 10 days of registering their vehicle at a New Hampshire DMV office. After a vehicle owner completes an inspection, test personnel will present them with a valid inspection sticker.
Transferring a Vehicle Title in Colorado – Smog Check Needed?
When transferring a vehicle’s title to a new owner, New Hampshire requires the new owner to get the vehicle to pass a smog check no less than (10) days after the new owner registers the vehicle in their name. The New Hampshire requires this even if the vehicle’s current inspection sticker has not expired.
Do Sellers Give Buyers a Valid Smog Certificate?
Used car dealers must issue valid emissions test results for any vehicle they sell. Getting an emissions test is the buyer’s responsibility when purchasing a vehicle from a private owner.
Special Tips to Pass the New Hampshire Emissions Test
New Hampshire 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 the vehicle’s 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 New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire’s smog check requirements, New Hampshire-registered drivers must get their vehicles to pass a vehicle emissions test. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in New Hampshire pages below to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Manchester, New Hampshire
The City of Manchester, in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, has a population of 110,000 and is New Hampshire’s largest city. New Hampshire-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in Manchester must get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Manchester, New Hampshire page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Nashua, New Hampshire
The city of Nashua in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, has a population of 85,000. New Hampshire-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in and around Nashua must get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Nashua, New Hampshire page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Concord, New Hampshire
The city of Concord, in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, has a population of 43,000. New Hampshire-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing, and living in or around the Concord area must get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Concord, New Hampshire page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.