Texas – General Emissions Information

Last updated on March 16th, 2021

Texas General Emissions Information

Although Texas is able to enjoy the fairly clean air, it does conduct annual Texas emissions testing for many of the vehicles that are on its roadways. The state has issued a program called AirCheckTexas that is dedicated to making sure that areas with additional smog and pollution have vehicles tested annually.

If you live in one of the areas that require testing, you can easily find online an inspection station that is near to your location. The state even offers a tool that can allow you to see if you live in an area that requires Texas emissions testing and where the stations are in accordance with those counties.


All cars in the state of Texas are required to undergo a safety inspection each year. Many of these vehicles are also required to undergo an emissions inspection during this same process. The state requires a variety of emissions testing and the method that is used depends on the specific county where the vehicle is registered.

There are three different smog inspection methods, and they are listed below:

  • Two speed idle
  • Onboard diagnostic
  • Acceleration simulation mode

Two speed idle and acceleration simulation mode are typically used for vehicles are older. The onboard diagnostic is the method that is currently used for most newer models. This is when information is downloaded directly from your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic computer.

Failing The Test

If your vehicle happens to fill the emissions test, you will first need to have the vehicle and the issue diagnosed. This will give the mechanic the know-how on how to fix the problem so that you will be able to pass the emissions test when you have it retested later on. You are required to have it repaired through a recognized emissions repair facility and then retested.

There are also waverers available when you use these facilities and even though you are allowed to use other shops to have the work completed, you may end up paying more for them. If you are not able to pass inspection, you may be able to apply for a waiver, but if you do not use a recognized repair facility it may be more difficult to receive the waiver.


The state of Texas currently offers drivers some rewards for eco-friendly vehicles, such as vehicles that are not powered by gasoline, diesel-powered vehicles, and vehicles that are less than two years old. These vehicles are all exempt from having an emissions test completed.

However, since hybrids are able to run on gasoline, they are not exempt and must undergo the emissions testing. It is also important to note that all vehicles that are registered in the state of Texas are required to undergo annual safety inspection regardless of the type of vehicle that they are.

When you’re driving a green vehicle, you’re doing more than just helping the environment. You may also be saving yourself money because you are able to participate in many federal tax incentives that have been put in place to encourage drivers to think about the environment as they drive their vehicles. Be sure that you discuss your options with both your tax accountant and your insurance company.

Filed under: Texas, Articles, State Emissions Testing

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