Car Inspection in Idaho
Idaho Emissions Testing
It might seem like a hassle to keep your car running clean, but emissions checks aren't just proper for the environment (and your fellow drivers). For some people, smog, and emissions checks are the law.
When gasoline or diesel doesn't fully combust, it becomes what we know as vehicle emissions.
However, gas isn't the only culprit that contributes to clouding our air. Also adding to the problem are:
- Emission controls.
- Engine design.
- Improper car care.
The result is a combination of pollutants such as:
- Carbon monoxide.
- Carbon dioxide.
- Nitrogen oxides.
- Sulfur oxides.
- Dangerous organic compounds.
Vehicles in Canyon County and the City of Kuna in Ada County must undergo smog and vehicle emissions testing. (See "ID Vehicles Exempt from Smog Checks" below for further details.)
If you live in one of the emissions testing areas, your vehicle must pass a test every 2 years to be eligible to renew its registration. You'll receive a notice in the mail when it's time to test your vehicle. You can take your vehicle to any of the state's emissions testing locations.
For a complete list of testing locations, please visit the Idaho Vehicle Inspection Program (IDVIP) website.
Emissions tests generally cost up to $11 per vehicle.
You can check when your vehicle is due for an emissions test online using the state's Test Due Date tool. The same tool will find your emissions test results.
For more information, check the IDVIP's FAQs.
Your vehicle must be tested if it is:
- A gas-powered vehicle with a model year of 1981 to 1995.
- A gas-powered vehicle with a model year of 1996 or newer and over 5 years old.
- A diesel-powered vehicle with model year of 1981 to 1997.
- A diesel-powered vehicle with a model year of 2008 or newer and over 5 years old.
Failing the Emissions Test
If you pass the test, congratulations! You can go on about your day.
However, if you fail the vehicle emissions test, you'll receive a report detailing why your vehicle failed the smog and emissions check. Once you have made the necessary repairs, you can get your vehicle retested for free if you go within 30 days. If your vehicle fails again, the next retest is $10.
Learn more about how to handle failed tests on the IDVIP website.
Some vehicles are exempt from smog and emissions checks; most notably, certain "green vehicles."
If you drive a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) or electric vehicle (EV), your vehicle is exempt from testing.
For more information on the perks of driving eco-friendly vehicles such as saving money (and time), check out our Green Driver State Incentives in Idaho page.
Other exemptions include:
- Model years fewer than 5 years old.
- Model years older than 1981.
- Classic automobiles.
- Vehicles with Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR) of fewer than 1,500 lbs.
- Motor homes.
- Motorized farm equipment or any vehicle defined as a farm vehicle.
Otherwise, again, if you live and register your vehicle anywhere other than Canyon County or the City of Kuna in Ada County, you must bring your vehicle for an emissions inspection.Local Smog Check Stations
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