Car Inspection in Indiana

SUMMARY: Indiana Vehicle Emissions Testing Program

Indiana requires certain vehicles registered in Lake and Porter counties to undergo emissions testing every 2 years. Clean Air Car Check handles vehicle emissions checks, as well as helping motorists with vehicle failures and rejections. The state requires the same conditions for new residents.

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) requires vehicle emissions testing via Clean Air Car Check. Read on for information about eligible vehicles, costs, how to handle failures and rejections, and more.

New Indiana Residents

If eligible, your vehicle must undergo emissions testing prior to vehicle registration.

Once you've moved to Indiana and established residency, you have 60 days to register your vehicle.

Read on for information about requirements and exemptions, as well as how to complete an emissions test if necessary.

Inspection Requirements & Exemptions

Inspection Requirements

You must bring in your vehicle for emissions testing every 2 years before registration renewal.

Your vehicle requires inspection if it:

  • Is registered in Lake or Porter county.
  • Was manufactured after 1976.
    • Vehicles 4 model years old and newer are exempt; see “Inspection Exemptions" below.
  • Weighs 9,000 lbs. or under.

Your vehicle will need to be tested according to the year it was made. Model years that are even-numbered will be tested every even-numbered calendar year; odd-numbered will be tested in odd-numbered years.

Inspection Exemptions

The following vehicles are exempt from emissions testing in Indiana:

  • Any vehicle not registered in Lake or Porter County.
  • Those 4 model years old and newer.
  • Those weighing over 9,000 lbs.
  • Those powered by electricity or diesel.
  • Vehicles model year 1975 and older.
  • Motorcycles.
  • Vehicles with an engine displacement under 200 cc.
  • Recreational vehicles.
  • Ceremonial vehicles.
  • Kit cars or dune buggies (must meet “Specialty Exemption" criteria).
  • Show cars (must meet “Show Car Exemption" criteria).
  • Construction equipment used off-highway.
  • Farm equipment (must be registered for farm use only).

Completing an IN Vehicle Inspection

When you're ready for your IN emissions check, visit a Clean Air Car Check Station with your current vehicle registration or your renewal application. Testing is free.

Once your vehicle passes, you'll receive a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) to use when you register your vehicle or renew your registration.

The same VIR will outline problems should your vehicle fail the test.

Out-of-State Extensions

If your vehicle is going to be out of state at the time your renewal is due, you should consider renewing and having your vehicle inspected early. You can get your car tested as far ahead as October of the year prior to your renewal date.

If renewing and inspecting early is not feasible for you, your vehicle might be eligible for an out-of-state extension if it's located more than 300 miles from an inspection station. Such extensions apply to students out of state, military members, and business purposes.

You can apply for an out-of-state extension:

Out-of-state extensions cost $40; if applying online, you can opt for rush processing for an additional $10.

Once you return to Indiana, you have 15 days to bring your vehicle for an emissions test.

Failed or Rejected Vehicle Inspections

If your vehicle failed its Indiana emissions check, the inspector will provide you with a Vehicle Inspection Report detailing why your vehicle failed or was rejected, as well as information on how to have your vehicle repaired and retested.

If your registration is due to expire before you can have your vehicle repaired and retested, you can apply for a temporary permit valid for 30 days.

For more information on applying for temporary permits, contact the Clean Air Car Check at (888) 240-1684 or (219) 661-8269.

For more details specific to failure, rejection, and vehicle and test types, visit the state's page on failures and rejections.

Emissions Test Waivers

If your vehicle still fails the emission test after repair, more work might need to be done. Under certain circumstances, a waiver might be granted, which will allow you to renew or receive your registration.

NOTE: Only 1 waiver will ever be granted over the lifetime of your vehicle; the next time your vehicle is due for testing, it will need to pass.

You may apply for a waiver if all of the following apply:

  • The vehicle has failed at least 2 tests.
  • All emissions control equipment is intact and visually operational.
  • Repairs made to your vehicle are connected with the emissions problems that caused your vehicle to fail the test.
  • For vehicles made between 1976 and 1980, at least $75 has been spent on emission-related repairs.
  • For vehicles 1981 and newer, at least $450 has been spent on repairs performed by an Indiana Certified Emissions Repair Technician.

Make sure to bring all repair receipts to the testing facility.

About the IN Emissions Program

Indiana uses the following types of vehicle emissions tests:

  • Gas Cap Pressure Check: Checks that the vehicle's gas cap keeps fuel vapors from escaping.
    • Applicable to all vehicles.
  • On-Board Diagnostics (OBD II) Test: Checks the vehicle's emissions components by attaching testing equipment to the vehicle's computer system.
    • Applicable to vehicles model year 1996 and newer.
  • Inspection and Maintenance (I/M 93) Test: Uses a dynamometer to analyze the vehicle's tailpipe emissions.
    • Applicable to vehicles model year 1981 to 1995 or newer.
  • Single Idle Speed (BAR 90) Test: Checks the exhaust stream using a metal probe inserted into the tailpipe while the vehicle idles.
    • Applicable to vehicles model year 1976 to 1980.

Typically your emissions check should only take about 10 minutes to complete. Learn more about how you can prepare your vehicle for each test at the state's page on emissions testing.

Indiana Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving

As mentioned above, eco-friendly vehicles like those powered by electricity and diesel don't require emissions testing.

For more information on eco-friendly vehicle exemptions, as well as ways to potentially save money on auto insurance and federal taxes, visit our section on green driver incentives.

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