Vermont Smog Check / Emissions Test
The State of Vermont requires all non-exempt vehicles registered in the state to pass a safety inspection and a vehicle emissions tests for original registrations and annual registration renewals. Vehicle owners can have both the safety inspection and emissions test performed at the same time in the same location. New residents have similar requirements. The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Vermont Air Quality and Climate Division (AQCD) collaborate on administering the state’s vehicle inspection and testing program.
Requirements to Pass the Vermont Smog Check
If a vehicle falls into one of the following categories, it must pass a Vermont smog check:
- Gasoline vehicles made in the 1996 model year or newer
- Diesel vehicles made in the 1997 weighing less than 8500 pounds
Almost all motor vehicles in Vermont must pass a safety inspection. Also, check to make sure your vehicle meets Vermont’s insurance requirements as well.
Smog Check Exemptions for Vermont Drivers
Vehicles with exhibition registrations made in the 1940 model year and older with no additional modifications or additions do not have to pass a Vermont smog check.
Smog Check Fees
The free market drives the price for Vermont smog checks fees. Individual inspection station owners set the prices. Inspection stations must display the fee next to their official inspection station certificate.
Performing Emissions Testing in Vermont
The State of Vermont requires all motor vehicles in the state to pass an inspection program annually that involves vehicles to get a safety inspection and vehicle emissions test. Since Vermont allows private owners to run vehicle inspection stations, there are 1600 licensed vehicle inspection stations able to administer vehicle inspections throughout the state. Vehicle owners must bring the following to a vehicle inspection:
- Vehicle registration
- Proof of Insurance
- Testing fee
Vermont test personnel will inspect the vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and compare it to the documentation the vehicle owner provides during the inspection. After a vehicle passes its safety inspection and smog check, test personnel will present an inspection sticker for the vehicle owner to place on the vehicle’s windshield.
Vermont Vehicle Emissions Testing: There are three types of testing Vermont inspection personnel can perform on a Vermont-registered vehicle depending on its engine type and model year.
- Visual Catalytic Converter Inspection: Vermont test technicians administer a visual inspection of all vehicles manufactured with a catalytic converter installed in them. Test technicians check to make sure a vehicle has a catalytic converter, that the catalytic converter does not show signs of tampering, and that the converter is in good working order.
- Visual Gas Cap Check: Vermont test technicians will do a visual inspection of a vehicle’s gas cap to see if the gas cap has a good seal and does not have any cracks.
- On Board Diagnostic Tests: Vermont test personnel administer an ODBII test on most light-duty (weighing less than 8500 lbs) gasoline motor vehicles made in the 1996 model year or newer model years, and diesel vehicles made in the 1997 model year 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. A Vermont 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.
Vermont Safety Inspection: Most motor vehicles in the State of Vermont must pass a safety inspection.Vermont safety inspectors evaluate the following vehicle components:
- wheels and tires
- steering and suspension
- sheet metal
- exhaust system
- fuel system
Failed Smog Inspections – Next Steps
If a vehicle does not pass a smog inspection, the vehicle owner must get the required repairs completed and get the vehicle reinspected. After failing an inspection, vehicle owners will receive from test personnel a VIR detailing what emissions-related repairs must be completed by a certified mechanic.
Moved to Vermont – Smog Check Requirements
When moving to Vermont, new residents have 60 days to get their vehicle registered after obtaining residency. Once getting a car registered, a new Vermont resident must get their vehicle to pass a smog check and safety inspection within 15 days of receiving their vehicle registration. New residents must also have their vehicle complete a VIN inspection. VIN inspections can be completed by:
- Police officers
- Law enforcement personnel
- Vermont DMV agents
Vermont will allow reciprocity with some states with similar inspection programs as Vermont’s Vehicle Inspection program. A valid inspection certificate from another state may allow a new resident to meet Vermont’s smog check requirements. To find out more about Vermont’s reciprocity requirements for new residents, contact your local Vermont DMV Office.
Special Tips to Pass the Vermont Emissions Test
Vermont 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 Vermont 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.
To learn more about how to prepare your vehicle for a Vermont OBDII emissions test, check out the Vermont AQCD’s guidelines on Vehicle Readiness.
Find Smog Check Stations Near Me
To stay in compliance of the State of Vermont’s smog check requirements, Vermont-registered drivers must get their vehicles to pass a vehicle emissions test. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Vermont pages below to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Burlington, Vermont
The City of Burlington, in Chittenden County, Vermont, has a population of 43,000. Vermont-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in Burlington must get their vehicles to pass a smog check. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Burlington, Vermont page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Rutland, Vermont
The City of Rutland, in Rutland County, Vermont, has a population of 60,000. Vermont-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in Rutland must get their vehicles to pass a smog check. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Location in Rutland, Vermont page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.
Smog Check Stations in Montpelier, Vermont
The City of Montpelier, in Washington County, Vermont, has a population of 59,000. Vermont-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in Montpelier must get their vehicles to pass a smog check. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Montpelier, Vermont page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.