New Mexico – General Emissions Information

Last updated on April 26th, 2018

All motor vehicles in New Mexico that are more than four years old and are driven into, operated, or are otherwise present in Bernalillo county for 60 or more days per year but are registered in another county or state shall comply.

All 1980 and newer motor vehicles up to 10,000 lbs. GVW must pass an emission test every two years and at the change of ownership.

Beginning January 1, 2013, all 1998 and newer diesel motor vehicles must pass emissions.


There are exemptions for the New Mexico emission testing and you will not need to have one done if your vehicle is older than 1975, if your new vehicle is under four years old, if you have a motorhome, or if your vehicle weighs more than 10,001 pounds.

Vehicles that do not need to have an air care certificate.

All new motor vehicles for four years following initial registration from the date of the manufacturer’s certificate of origin (MCO);

Vehicles that are fueled by a mixture of gasoline and oil for purposes of lubrication;

Motor vehicles that are used for legally sanctioned competition and not operated on public streets and highways;

Implements of husbandry, or road machinery not regularly operated on public streets and highways;

Other vehicles that are not regularly operated on public streets and highways after providing satisfactory proof to the program manager;

vehicles leased by a leasing company whose place of business is Bernalillo county to a person who resides outside of Bernalillo county; however, an exemption shall not be granted if the person resides in an area, that has an EPA-required vehicle inspection program;

Vehicles that are 35 years old or older;

Vehicles sold between licensed dealers;

Vehicles with a GVW of 10,001 lbs. or more; and

Dedicated electric vehicles;

Existing electric hybrid vehicles which were exempted from 20.11.100 NMAC as of the effective date of NMAC, until such time that a change of ownership of the vehicle occurred.


In New Mexico and emissions test is valid for 90 days and is required when you are looking to reinstate a suspended registration or to complete an original or renewal registration. If you purchase a vehicle from a used car dealer, they are required to provide you with a New Mexico emissions test, but you are required to receive it yourself if you purchase it from a private owner.



You must have your vehicle repaired if it fails the New Mexico emissions test and then you are required to have an emissions re-test after it has been repaired. You can repair the vehicle either at the station or at another location and the re-inspection will need to be conducted at the vehicle pollution management headquarters. There is no cost for a re-inspection.


There are nearly 120 air care stations located in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Los Lunas, and Sandia Park. You may also be able to find auto dealers and auto shops that conduct inspections as well as inspectors who are certified by vehicle pollution management. These usually range between $15 and $20.

It is possible to receive an extension if you are currently out-of-state or if your vehicle is unavailable for inspection. You will need to file an affidavit of the vehicle unavailability and submitted to the vehicle pollution management office in order to receive this extension.

In order to keep our air quality and roads safe, it is important that we have our vehicles tested and maintained regularly. In order to do this the state of New Mexico has set up requirements in regards to inspections on vehicles that must be completed in a timely manner. It is your responsibility to have this testing completed before the expiration date.

Filed under: New Mexico, Articles, State Emissions Testing

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