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Car Inspection in Arizona

SUMMARY: Arizona Vehicle Inspection Program

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) governs the state's Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP). New residents must have your vehicles inspected immediately upon registration. Registered vehicles must complete an emissions inspection every 1 year or 2 years, based on model year and weight. Some types of vehicles are exempt from inspection.

Read on for more information about Arizona emission testing, including which vehicles must be tested, how to apply for testing exemptions, and emissions testing fees.

New Arizona Residents

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT), you must register your vehicle immediately after becoming a resident; because your vehicle must undergo an Arizona emissions test, it's important to bring your vehicle in for testing as soon as possible.

See “ Inspection Requirements and Exemptions" below to determine whether your vehicle requires AZ vehicle emissions testing.

NOTE: Any out-of-state smog and emissions tests do not apply.

Inspection Requirements and Exemptions

Inspection Requirements

Unless they are exempt (see “Inspection Exemptions" below), all vehicles model year 1967 and newer in the Phoenix and Tucson areas* require ADOT emissions testing. This includes vehicles used to commute to the Phoenix or Tucson areas for purposes such as work or school.

Emissions testing in Arizona must be completed no more than 90 days prior to registration or renewal.

How often to test your vehicle depends on how often you must renew your vehicle's registration:

  • Model year 1981 and newer vehicles: 2 years.
    • This does not include diesel vehicles.
  • Model year 1980 and older vehicles: 1 year.
    • This also includes most vehicles in Tucson.

Your registration renewal notice will state whether it's time for an emissions test.

* Some partial ZIP codes require testing. Please refer to the state's VEI Address Locator to determine whether your vehicle requires testing.

Inspection Exemptions

The following vehicles are exempt from emissions testing:

  • Vehicles model year 1966 and older.
  • Gasoline-powered and alternative fuel vehicles 5 model years old and newer (this does NOT include reconstructed vehicles).
    • See “Arizona Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving" below for more information on testing AFVs.
  • Collectible vehicles (must carry collectible vehicle insurance).
  • Motorcycles.
  • Vehicles under 90 ccs, golf carts, and other electric-powered vehicles.
  • Vehicles titled in more than one state (“apportioned vehicles").
  • Wholesale vehicles transferred between dealers.

For questions, call:

  • Phoenix: (602) 771-3950
  • Tucson: (520) 628-5651

Out-of-State Exemptions

If your vehicle is out of state 90 days prior to registration expiration, you can apply for an out-of-state exemption, which is valid for 1 year of registration.

You have the following options:

If the area you're in has an inspection program, you must:

  • Have the vehicle tested.
  • Mail the following to one of the addresses listed below:
    • The original copy of the vehicle inspection report stating the vehicle passed inspection.
    • A check or money order for $9.50 made payable to the ADEQ. The check or money order must include your name and physical Arizona address; no P.O. boxes allowed.
    • A copy of your Arizona registration.
    • A self-addressed envelope.

If the area you're in doesn't have an inspection program, you must:

  • Request an out-of-state exemption by:
    • Writing the ADEQ at one of the addresses listed below.
    • Calling the ADEQ at (602) 771-3950 in Phoenix or (520) 628-5651 in Tucson.
      OR
    • Completing an Application for Out-of-State Exemption and mail it to one of the addresses listed on the form.
  • Mail the form and the following to one of the addresses listed below:
    • A check or money order for $9.50 made payable to the ADEQ. The check or money order must include your name and physical Arizona address; no P.O. boxes allowed.
    • A copy of your Arizona registration.
    • A self-addressed envelope.

Phoenix area residents mail to:

Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP)
1110 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Tucson area residents mail to:

Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP)
4040 E. 29th St.
Tucson, AZ 85711

Military Exemptions

If you're active duty military personnel stationed out of state and aren't using your vehicle*, you can apply for a military exemption using the Application for Military Vehicle Exemption.

* If the vehicle is in use, use one of the applicable out-of-state exemption processes listed above.

Completing a Vehicle Inspection

To complete an emissions inspection in Arizona, find your local emissions testing location and bring your:

  • Current registration.
  • Title.
  • Bill of sale, if applicable.
    • If you failed the first test and are retesting, bring the original vehicle inspection report, with repair information included on the back.
  • Key for any locking gas caps.
  • Payment for applicable fees:
    • Phoenix fees:
      • Passenger cars model year 1981 and newer: $20.
      • Light trucks weighing less than 8,501 lbs.: $20.
      • Heavy-duty diesel vehicles over 8,500 lbs.: $28.
      • Most other vehicle types: $19.
    • Tucson fees: $12.25.

You'll receive documentation that your vehicle was inspected and passed (or failed), but the information is also entered electronically to the DOT.

Failed Vehicle Inspections

If your vehicle fails its Arizona emissions inspection, you must have it repaired and reinspected. Your re-inspection is free if you return to the same inspection location within 60 days and bring your original inspection report with repair information.

About the Arizona VEIP

Overall, most vehicles receive the following tests as part of the VEIP:

  • On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) Test: OBD tests monitor vehicle components and evaluate any system problems.
  • Gas cap test: Makes sure the gas cap can maintain pressure in the fuel tank and lines.
  • Tailpipe test: Measures levels of hydrocarbon (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) during certain operating conditions.
  • Smoke opacity test: Reserved for diesel vehicles and checks for visible pollutants from the exhaust plume.

Your inspection technician will inform you of any additional tests.

Arizona Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving

As noted above, some AFVs are exempt from smog and emissions testing.

For eco-friendly driving purposes, exempt vehicles include:

  • Electric vehicles.
  • Solar-powered vehicles.
  • Hydrogen-powered vehicles.

For more details on these vehicles, as well as all the perks you can enjoy by going green, visit our page on green driver incentives.

As one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, Arizona is experiencing the pains that come with development. One such pain is air pollution, specifically in the heavily traveled cities of Phoenix and Tucson. As such, the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is partnering with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to administer Car Care, an emissions-control program that helps decrease airborne toxins that can affect public health.

http://www.azdeq.gov/index.html

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