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  • Car Inspection in Arizona

    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.

    Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program

    The AZ Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program(VEIP) applies to vehicles in the metro Phoenix and Tucson areas whose model year falls after 1967, mandating that the cars' emissions levels be inspected 90 days before their registration renewal date.

    Your automobile will also need to be tested if you live outside the designated areas but commute into them for employment or schooling. You will be notified by postal mail if your car requires an emissions test.

    You may be able to have you car tested at an emissions testing site outside of Arizona. However, you will need to contact the ADEQ at  (800) 234-5677 for permission and other details (also see "Out-of-State Tests," below).

    Vehicles Exempt from Testing

    Please note that some exemptions apply:

    • Gas and alternative fuel vehicles with current model year and previous 4 model years, except reconstructed, vehicles.
    • Automobiles with a model year of 1966 or older do not need to be tested.
    • Vehicles licensed in more than one state do not need to be tested.
    • Vehicles powered by electricity, golf carts, and those that do not displace more than 90 ccs do not need to be tested.
    • Leased vehicles that commute into the designated areas do not need to be tested.
    • Wholesale dealer vehicles do not need to be tested.

    Furthermore, if you live in one of the designated areas but do not use your vehicle to commute within it, or if you live in part of a zip-code that you know is exempt from the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program(VEIP) you can apply for a Code 52 exemption. When you do so, include a copy of the vehicle's registration as well as a copy of a current utility bill or property owner's tax evaluation notice to verify your residence township, range, and section.

    Arizona Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving

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

    For eco-friendly driving purposes, exempt vehicles include:

    • Electric vehicles.
    • Solar-powered vehicles.
    • Hydrogen-powered vehicles.
    • 4 model years and newer models (this excludes reconstructed vehicles).
    • New alternative fuel vehicles.
    • Model year 2012 (and newer) Original Equipment (OEM) alternative fuel 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.

    Emissions Testing Procedures

    The emissions testing process is quite simple and quick, but you might want to bring along the Testing Manual for Air Pollutant Emissions for reading material just in case. It outlines the testing procedures and details the items you need to bring to your test:

    • Current vehicle registration, title, or bill of sale
    • Registration renewal application
    • Fee for test

    If this is your second test because your vehicle failed the first one, you will also need to bring the initial emissions test report and proof that you have repaired your car for the retest.

    Emissions Testing Stations

    The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) offers a list of emissions testing locations, as well as the wait times on its website.

    Out-of-State Tests

    If your vehicle is not in Arizona at the time your emissions test is required, you will need to have it tested where it is, then send the original test report as well as a copy of your current registration, your registration renewal application, and a checkfor $9.50 to the ADEQ in a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

    Waivers

    Under some circumstances, a vehicle may be eligible for a one-time waiver, which will allow you to register the vehicle without passing an emissions test. Visit the ADEQ waiver section to see whether your vehicle qualifies for the exemption.

    Report Polluters

    One of the easiest things you can do to protect the quality of Arizona's air is to report gross polluters to the ADEQ. The call is anonymous, and it makes a big difference. In Maricopa County, you can call (602) 372-2703. The number for Pima County is (520) 622-5700. You can also report a gross polluter online.

    To learn more about the ADEQ, visit its website at www.azdeq.gov.

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