Car Inspection in Minnesota
Minnesota began testing the state's registered vehicles for emissions and pollutants production in 1991, when the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul failed to meet federal air quality standards and exceeded carbon monoxide limits.
However, Minnesota's vehicle emissions testing ended in 1999, when the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency requested reclassification of the area's air quality status from the federal government and got it.
Although the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency highlights that the number of drivers, the number of miles, and the volume of emissions is increasing every year, and that emissions are a health concern as well as air and living quality factors, the agency and the State of Minnesota do not conduct any vehicle emissions testing anymore.
Instead, the agency indicates it is focused on other air pollution issues related to vehicles and driving. While the agency says these are issues and problems that could not have been adequately addressed by vehicle emissions testing, there are no specific programs or policies in place.
If you have questions regarding emissions and pollutants, you can contact the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) online.
Although Minnesota motorists may appreciate the added convenience and decreased cost of registering their vehicles in the state, they should still be aware of things they can do to reduce vehicle emissions, pollution, health risks, and foreign oil dependency.
Obviously, not driving and instead relying on alternative transportation, such as bicycle, bus, rail, or other public transit, is the most effective way to cut down on emissions and related problems.
But driving is sometimes the only feasible, convenient, or practical way to get around. Luckily, alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, and more efficient engines, including hybrids, can make driving more efficient and ecologically friendly.
To reduce emissions while driving, all Minnesota drivers can follow these tips:
- Ensure your vehicle's engine is tuned and performing properly, including adequate oil levels, spark plugs and electrical systems, and fuel and air filters
- Ensure your vehicle's tires are properly inflated, checking at least monthly that the pounds per square inch (PSI) matches the recommended pressure
- Observe all speed limits, and do not accelerate unnecessarily
- Plan your driving time and route to avoid traffic, and group errands, work, and other trips together
Just because Minnesota does not test for vehicle emissions does not mean the state's drivers, who enjoy some of the most scenic wilderness and country in the United States, should not be conscious of the health and economic impacts of vehicle emissions.
Even though Minnesota doesn't require smog checks or emissions testing, you can still take advantage of certain perks by keeping your driving in eco-friendly check. For example, did you know there are certain tax breaks for green driving? What about auto insurance discounts? Depending on the provider, sometimes those are available, too.
Learn more about these benefits and others in our section on green driver incentives.