New York Smog Check / Emissions Test
The State of New York requires most vehicles to pass a safety inspection and a vehicle emissions test in order to receive an original registration or an annual registration renewal. Once a vehicle passes its safety inspection and smog check, the vehicle owner will receive a New York vehicle inspection sticker to place on the vehicle’s windshield. This sticker will indicate the validation expiration date for when the vehicle must get retested.
Requirements to Pass the New York Smog Check
The State of New York requires all vehicles to pass the inspection process every year. If a vehicle owner falls into one of the following categories, they will need to get their vehicle to pass a smog check:
- New residents who do not have a valid inspection sticker from another state for their vehicle and who are obtaining a New York vehicle registration for the first time
- Residents with vehicle inspection stickers that are about to expire
- Vehicle owners who have bought a vehicle from a private seller. (Buyers in this scenario have 10 days to get their vehicle checked after they register the car in their name)
- Vehicles getting their title transferred between two owners (The new owner in this scenario has 10 days to get their vehicle checked after they register the car in their name)
New York residents who are out-of-state during their vehicle emission testing deadline and who have already gotten their vehicle to pass a safety inspection must apply for a New York out-of-state extension, or confirm their current extension is still valid.
Also, check out requirements for insurance coverage for your vehicle in the State of New York.
Smog Check Exemptions for New York Drivers
If a vehicle falls into one of the following categories, it does not need to pass a smog check:
- Vehicles older than 25 years old
- New vehicles younger than two years old
- Electric vehicles
- Registered farm equipment
- Diesel vehicles weighing less than 8500 lbs
- Vehicles with historical plates
- Homemade or custom vehicles refurbished in the upstate area
Smog Check Fees
Vehicles can get smog checks at any NY DMV-registered inspection station. Inspection stations must post an official sign stating the inspection fees. The State of New York breaks down smog check fees by location and test type:
New York City Area:
- Diesel: $25
- Low-enhanced emissions test: $11
- OBDII test: $27
Upstate New York:
- Diesel: $25
- Low-enhanced emissions test: $11
- OBDII test: $11
Fees are the same across all of New York State for vehicle safety inspections:
- Heavy-duty vehicles: $12 – $20
- Light-duty vehicles: $6 – $15
- Motorcycles: $6
New York State also levies fines against vehicle owners who do not get their vehicle emissions test completed by the deadline. Vehicles with:
- An inspection sticker expired 60 days or less: $25 – $50 fine
- An inspection sticker expired 60 days or more: $50 – $100 fine
- No inspection sticker: $50 – $100 fine
The State of New York will also levy an additional $88 surcharge on top of all fines levied against the vehicle owner for not getting their emissions test completed on time. This does not include any additional tickets or fines given by the police or New York DMV.
Performing Emissions Testing in New York
New York vehicle owners must take their vehicle to a New York State authorized vehicle emissions testing location to get their vehicle to pass a safety inspection and an emissions test. The New York DMV recommends owners bring the following when getting their vehicle’s tested:
- Proof of identification
- The vehicle’s registration
- Proof of insurance
- Inspection Fee
After completing the vehicle’s inspection, the owner will receive a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) stating whether the vehicle passed or failed its inspection, and detailing any emissions-related repairs that need fixing. Vehicle owners can keep this for their records and to use as proof their vehicle passed its inspection if the NY DMV does not receive the vehicle’s inspection results.
Emissions Tests in New York:
The state of New York performs 3 types of emissions tests depending on a vehicles model year and engine type.
- On Board Diagnostic Tests: Licensed New York emissions testing facilities will administer an ODBII test on most motor vehicles made in the 1996 model year or later. 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. New York test personnel 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.
- Low Enhanced Inspection: The New York DMV requires a “Low Enhanced” emissions inspection on all vehicles that do not have an ODBII system installed on it. This includes most vehicles made in the 1995 model year or older, up to 25 model years old, and that weigh less than 18,000 lbs
- Smoke Opacity Test: A Smoke Opacity Test measures the particulate matter and pollutants coming from the exhaust of diesel vehicles. Diesel vehicles weighing more than 8,500 lbs and registered in one of the five counties of the New York City metropolitan area must get a Smoke Opacity Test:
Visual Emissions Component Inspection: All vehicles manufactured with the following components receive a visual inspection to make sure the owner has not uninstalled the components and they work properly:
- Catalytic converter (CAT)
- Exhaust gas recirculation valve (EGR
- Positive crankcase ventilation system (PCV)
- Air injection system (AIS)
- Evaporative emissions control (EVAP)
- Fuel inlet restrictor (FIR)
- Thermostatic air cleaner (TAC)
Once a vehicle passes its test, the New York DMV validates the results for 12 months. Emission tests must be completed in order to receive a registration renewal or original vehicle registration.
Safety Inspections: All New York motor vehicles must pass a safety inspection every 12 months. Safety inspections must be done by a licensed safety inspection facility with trained safety inspection personnel. A safety inspection must be completed for a vehicle by the owner no later than the date stated on the vehicle’s inspection sticker or a written statement must be submitted by the inspection facility stating that the vehicle owner has a scheduled inspection within 8 days of the inspection sticker’s expiration date. New York vehicle safety inspectors review the following mechanical components on all vehicles:
- Seat belts
- Front End
- Wheel Fasteners
- Tires (Except Spare)
- Windows and windshield
- Windshield wipers and blades
- Fuel leaks
Failed Smog Inspections – Next Steps
A vehicle owner may be eligible for a waiver if the vehicle did not pass its OBDII retest but the vehicle owner received a VIR stating the vehicle passed the following parts of the inspection process:
- The safety inspection.
- The gas cap test for gas vehicles
- A visual inspection of emissions control components gas vehicles
- The vehicle’s emissions control components show no signs of tampering
- The vehicle owner has spent a minimum of $450 on emissions-related repairs to the vehicle
The vehicle owner must submit receipts and work orders with the itemized completed repairs and repair costs from a NYS-registered automotive repair facility. If the owner completes the repairs themselves, they can count the cost of parts, but not labor toward the $450 waiver expenditure limit. If the vehicle owner meets the above requirements, they can apply for the waiver during the time of the vehicle’s retest. Test personnel will complete the waiver application as long as the owner can present all the vehicle’s repair receipts.
Applicants approved for the waiver have to sign it and the inspection facility where the owner applied for the waiver keeps it. After receiving the waiver, inspection personnel will put a new inspection sticker on the vehicle valid for one year.
The New York DMV does not offer any type of waiver or exemption for vehicles that fail the safety inspection.
Moved to New York – Smog Check Requirements
New residents to the state of New York who obtain a vehicle registration and who have received a smog check for their vehicle do not need to pass a New York smog check until their current smog check sticker or certificate expires.
New residents who have not gotten their vehicles tested before must get their vehicles tested during the registration process. They must get their vehicles to pass a smog check within 10 days of getting their vehicles registered.
Transferring a Vehicle Title in New York – Smog Check Needed?
Smog checks must be completed within 10 days of transferring the vehicle’s title from one owner to another.
Do Sellers Give Buyers a Valid Smog Certificate?
If a buyer purchases a vehicle from a private seller, the buyer must get the vehicle to pass a smog check within 10 days after getting the car registered in the State of New York.
Special Tips to Pass the New York Emissions Test
New York vehicle owners may want to get their vehicle’s 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 York 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 it has one, and is not malfunctioning; If it does not have one or it is not working, the vehicle 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 the 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 getting an emissions 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 addressed and fixed. Transmission problems can affect your vehicle’s emissions and cause your vehicle to fail an emissions 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 the 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 York’s smog check requirements, New York-registered drivers must get their vehicles to pass a vehicle emissions test. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in New York pages below to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Manhattan, New York
Manhattan, in New York County, New York, is one of the five boroughs of New York City and has a population of 1.6 million. New York-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in Manhattan must get their vehicles to pass a smog check. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing locations in Manhattan, New York page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn, in Kings County, New York, has a population of 2.6 million and is one of the five boroughs of New York City . New York-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in Brooklyn must get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing locations in Brooklyn, New York page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in The Queens, New York
Queens in Queens County, New York, has a population of 2.3 million and is one of the 5 boroughs in New York City. New York-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in Queens must get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing locations in Queens, New York page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in The Bronx, New York
The Bronx in Bronx County, New York, has a population of 1.5 million and is one of the five boroughs in New York City. New York-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in and around The Bronx must get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in The Bronx, New York page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Staten Island, New York
Staten Island, in Richmond County, New York, has a population of 476,015 and is one of the five boroughs in New York City. New York-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in Staten Island must get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing locations in Staten Island, New York page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.