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  • Smog & Emission Checks in Missouri

    Introduction

    The Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) requires residents to complete regular vehicle inspections. The motor vehicle inspection required by the DOR involves two parts:

    • A vehicle safety inspection.
    • A smog check and emissions testing (only required for certain counties—see below).

    While safety inspections are required throughout the state, emissions testing is only required in certain counties (see below). We’ll help you determine what type of inspection you need, and what the inspection process is in Missouri.

    New to Missouri?

    New residents in Missouri have 30 days to register a vehicle—and in order to do so, you must have proof of a current vehicle inspection.

    All vehicles are required to have a safety inspection before they can be registered. An emissions inspection is required only if you are moving to one of the following areas:

    • St. Louis City.
    • St. Louis County.
    • St. Charles County.
    • Franklin County.
    • Jefferson County.

    MO Vehicle Inspection Requirements

    The model year of your vehicle will determine the year in which it must be inspected:

    • Even model year vehicles must be inspected in even calendar years.
    • Odd model year vehicles must be inspected in odd calendar years.

    You must also complete a vehicle inspection if:

    • You are new to MO and you want to register your car with the Missouri Department of Revenue (see “New to Missouri?” above).
    • You want to renew your MO registration and your renewal notice indicates that you must complete a vehicle safety and/or emissions inspection (these can be completed no earlier than 60 days before you renew your registration).
    • You recently sold or intend to sell a vehicle (i.e. the vehicle will undergo a title change). The seller of a vehicle in Missouri is required to supply the buyer with:
      • A safety inspection certificate less than 60 days old.
      • An emissions inspection certificate less than 60 days old, if you live in:
        • St. Charles County.
        • Franklin County.
        • Jefferson County.
        • St. Louis City.
        • St. Louis County.
      • NOTE: Our guide on Title Transfers in Missouri will help you learn more about what’s required to sell a vehicle in Missouri.
    • Your vehicle was involved in an accident.
    • A law enforcement officer orders you to submit your vehicle for inspection.

    If you fail to register your vehicle or renew your registration within 60 days of completing a safety or emissions inspection, it will no longer be valid, and you will have to complete (and pay for) another vehicle inspection.

    About MO Safety & Emissions Inspections

    Missouri Vehicle Safety Inspections

    The MO vehicle safety inspection program is regulated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP). The purpose of the program is to ensure that your vehicle does not pose a threat to you, your passengers, or other drivers on the road, and that it adheres to Missouri safety laws.

    Various parts of your vehicle will be inspected by technicians, including:

    • Seat belts.
    • Windshield and windows.
    • Turn signals and headlights.
    • Brake lights.
    • Brake system.
    • Horn.
    • Steering mechanism.
    • Rearview mirrors.
    • Exhaust system.
    • Fuel system.
    • Tires and wheels.
    • Bumpers.
    • Airbags.

    Once you successfully complete your inspection:

    • An inspection sticker will be affixed to your windshield where it must be displayed at all times.
    • You will be given a Certificate of Inspection and Approval, which will be required for registering and/or renewing your registration with the Missouri (DOR) Department of Revenue.

    If your vehicle does not pass the safety inspection, you will need to make appropriate repairs and have it retested (please see “Failed Missouri Vehicle Inspections” below).

    To learn more about what will be inspected on your vehicle, you may review the highway patrol's FAQ page or contact the SHP Vehicle Inspection Unit at (573) 526-6132.

    MO Smog and Emissions Testing

    The Missouri smog and emissions testing program is referred to as the Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program (GVIP), and is regulated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol (SHP) and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

    You must complete a Missouri emissions test in addition to the safety test if your vehicle is registered in one of the following areas:

    • St. Louis City.
    • St. Louis County.
    • St. Charles County.
    • Franklin County.
    • Jefferson County.

    Once you complete your emissions test, you will be given a vehicle inspection report (VIR) that lists the results of your test.

    For additional information regarding the smog and emissions program, you may visit the GVIP’s FAQ page or contact the GVIP at (314) 416-2115 or by email at imunit@dnr.mo.gov.

    Missouri Vehicle Inspection Exemptions

    Vehicle Safety Inspection Exemptions

    You may be exempt from the Missouri safety inspection if your vehicle:

    • Is 5 model years old or newer.
    • Weighs 26,000 lbs. or more AND is registered for under 12 months (possible if your vehicle is registered quarterly and is prorated, including changes in ownership).
    • Is an “even” model year with a registration expiring in an “odd” calendar year.
    • Is an “odd” model year with a registration expiring in an “even” calendar year.
    • Is a trailer.
    • Has been registered with Missouri DOR and participates in interstate commerce.
    • Displays an historic plate.
    • Is being sold for rebuilding, salvage, or junk.
    • Is a low-speed vehicle.
    • Is out of state when your renewal and inspection date arrives (see “MO Out-of-State Vehicle Inspection Extension” below).

    This exemption does NOT apply to emissions inspections for the counties in which they are required. Owners of the above vehicles will need to get a safety inspection if a law enforcement officer orders you to do so.

    You will receive a notice in the mail when your vehicle is required to complete its safety inspection for registration renewal purposes.

    If you’re still unsure as to whether you must complete an inspection, you may contact the Missouri Vehicle Inspection Unit at (573) 526-6132.

    Smog and Emissions Testing Exemptions

    If your vehicle is registered outside of the below areas, you are not required to complete a Missouri emissions inspection:

    • St. Louis City.
    • St. Louis County.
    • St. Charles County.
    • Franklin County.
    • Jefferson County.

    For residents of the above counties, emissions inspection exemptions may include:

    • A brand new vehicle within its first model year (exempt during its current year and the following year), with an odometer reading of less than 6,000 miles.
    • Vehicles whose first retail sale is within its first 2 model years.
    • Vehicles with an “even” model year with a registration expiring in an “odd” calendar year.
    • Vehicles with an “odd” model year with a registration expiring in an “even” calendar year.
    • Vehicles with a gross weight of more than 8,500 lbs.
    • Motorcycles, motor tricycles, dirt bikes, and trailers.
    • Vehicles manufactured in 1995 or earlier.
    • Diesel-powered vehicles manufactured in 1996 or earlier.
    • Vehicles driven less than 12,000 miles between required inspections every 2 years. You must complete a Mileage-Based Exemption Request (Form MO 780-1972) and submit it to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) before registering your vehicle.
    • Brand new vehicles that have never been titled or registered during the first 4 years following the model year, and have less than 40,000 miles at the time of their first safety inspection. You must complete a Mileage-Based Exemption Request (Form MO 780-1972) and submit it to the MO DNR before registering your vehicle.
    • Vehicles that are registered within one of the cities/counties listed above, but have been based and operated elsewhere for at least 24 months. You must submit a notarized Out of Area Waiver Request (Form 780-2202) to the DNR.
    • Vehicles registered with the Missouri DOR and participating in interstate commerce.
    • Plug-in electric drive vehicles, and those exclusively powered by electric, solar, or hydrogen power, or any fuel other than ethanol, diesel, or gasoline.
    • Vehicles sold for junk, rebuild, or salvage.
    • Low speed gasoline-powered vehicles.
    • Vehicles with historic, school bus, shuttle bus, or street rod license plates.
    • Vehicles that are being only titled, but not registered.
    • Vehicles being registered or renewed while out of state (see “MO Out-of-State Vehicle Inspection Extension” below).

    You are also exempt from completing a smog check and emissions inspection if you are renewing license plates that have been transferred from one vehicle to another within 6 months, or if you are transferring the registration of your vehicle to an “even” model year and “odd” calendar year, or vice versa.

    If you have additional questions regarding vehicles that are exempt from emissions and smog testing, contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by phone (314) 416-2115 or by email at imunit@dnr.mo.gov.

    MO Safety & Emissions Inspection Fees

    Motor vehicle inspection fees in Missouri vary between stations, but state law caps how much may be charged.

    All fees include one free retest should your vehicle fail its inspection as long as:

    • You complete your retest within 20 business days of your initial test.
    • You take your vehicle to the same station where you completed your initial test.

    Safety Inspection Fees:

    • Passenger vehicles and trucks: up to $12.
    • Motorcycles: up to $10.

    Smog and Emissions Testing Fees:

    • All vehicles: up to $24.

    MO Out-of-State Vehicle Inspection Extension

    If your vehicle is located out of state when your registration renewal date and mandatory inspection arrives, you will be granted an extension, provided that you have your vehicle inspected immediately upon its return to Missouri.

    Missouri state law requires that:

    • Your vehicle has been away from the state for 60 days or longer.
    • You must complete your inspection within 10 days of your vehicle’s return.

    To qualify for the extension, complete and submit a notarized General Affidavit (Form 768) to the DOR stating that your vehicle is out-of-state at the time you are supposed to get your safety and/or emissions inspection.

    Failed Missouri Vehicle Inspections & Waivers

    If a vehicle fails an inspection, you will need to get the vehicle repaired and retested before you can register it.

    You can get your vehicle repaired at any mechanic, but you may want to use a Missouri Recognized Repair Technician (MRRT) if you think you may need an inspection waiver due to extensive repairs.

    Safety Inspection Failure

    If your vehicle fails its safety test:

    • You must repair the items that resulted in your vehicle failing its inspection.
    • Complete a retest within 20 business days at the same station that performed your initial inspection to avoid having to pay for the inspection again.

    There are no waivers for failing the safety inspection, so if your vehicle cannot pass, you will not be able to register it. You may also only receive one free re-inspection within the window of 20 business days.

    Smog and Emissions Failure

    If your vehicle fails its smog and emissions test, you will be given a vehicle information report (VIR) that lists the results of your test. Once you have made repairs, you will get one retest for free. You must:

    • Take the VIR to your mechanic.
    • Make sure that your mechanic completes the Repair Data Sheet of the VIR. You will need the completed repair data sheet when you retest.
    • Complete a retest at the same station that failed your vehicle within 20 business days. Give inspectors the VIR and the completed repair data sheet.

    If your vehicle failed the on-board diagnostics test (OBD) due to its readiness monitors being unset, you may drive your vehicle for up to 30 days past the expiration date in order to reset the monitors. Make sure to keep your copy of the failed results with you at all times as proof.

    If you have additional questions regarding what to do if your vehicle failed its emissions inspection, you may contact the GVIP at (314) 416-2115.

    Smog and Emissions Testing Waivers

    Failed Emissions Testing Waiver

    If your vehicle repeatedly fails the emissions test, you may be eligible to apply for a cost-based emissions waiver, which will extend your emissions inspection certificate until your next biennial inspection.

    To be eligible for a waiver, you must fall under one of the following categories and submit the respective form to the address listed below:

    Submit your respective form to:

    Missouri Department of Natural Resources
    Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program
    7545 S. Lindbergh, Suite 210
    St. Louis, MO 63125

    You may contact the DNR at (314) 416-2115 for more information.

    Out-of-Area Waiver

    If your vehicle is registered in an emissions testing-required city or county (see above), is still located within the state of Missouri, but is/will be outside of its registered city or county for at least 24 months or more, you may qualify for an emissions exemption by submitting an Out-of-Area Waiver Request (Form MO 780-2202). Please note that if you do not submit this form, or if your request is denied, you will be required to get your inspection.

    Submit your form to the DNR address listed above.

    Waiver Approvals & Denials

    You will be notified in writing of the determination made regarding your request.

    • If you are approved for a waiver, the Department of Natural Resources will notify the Missouri Department of Revenue of your status. You do not have to take any further action.
    • If you are NOT approved for a waiver, you must successfully complete an emissions retest, and you will also be responsible for any late fees and penalties that resulted in waiting for a waiver approval.
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