Smog & Emission Checks in New Hampshire
In New Hampshire we have an enormous variety of vehicles traveling the roads. In urban areas there is a concentration of new vehicles in modern models; in rural areas you might be surprised by a nostalgic old pickup truck.
The Sunday drive is a favorite past-time in New Hampshire―especially if you have an old convertible to cruise in. Air quality is a national concern and in New Hampshire, where you are surrounded by natural beauty, protecting the air we breathe is everyone's job.
To control smog and emissions the official licensed inspection stations are responsible for evaluating your vehicle's engine emissions in accordance with vehicle registration. Rules about emissions are set at the federal level by the Environmental Protection Agency.
It is not easy to assess the engine emissions when vehicles vary so much in make, model, and age. On older models, the inspector will look at your exhaust system and try to find any leaks.
Failures can sometimes be seen as smoke escapes from your exhaust system; sometimes you can smell the exhaust failure even if you can't see or hear it.
Newer vehicles have computers on board that report problems in the vehicle systems, including exhaust and emissions. The official inspection station will plug into your On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system to measure the emissions.
In New Hampshire a new program is developing and the vehicle inspection will be completed and reported to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) electronically. This Emissions Program will be implemented by a professional inspection and maintenance company.
If your vehicle fails the emissions inspection you will have 60 days to make the repairs. You might still get your inspection sticker if the only failure is the emissions inspection.
Schedule the repair immediately because after 60 days―if you haven't fixed the exhaust problem, you can be given a fix it ticket or equipment violation.
When you bring your vehicle in for inspection, if it is 20 years old or older that year, you are not required to pass the emissions test. Most older vehicles don't have On-Board Diagnostic Systems to find exhaust system failures.
Because emissions are a national issue and there are complicated laws at both the state and federal level, New Hampshire has established an Advisory Committee. The purpose of the committee is to monitor and review the emissions program, recommend changes, and file an annual report on the emissions testing program.
The governor and legislature will use the advisory committee report and other feedback to make decisions on the emission program. For example, the current implementation of our On-Board Diagnostics and Inspection Program was awarded based on the work of the Advisory Committee.
The interests of many groups are considered and represented on the committee:
- One member from the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association
- Department of Environmental Services Commissioner
- Representative from Attorney General's Office
- DMV Director
- Senators, three
- Representatives, three
In addition to improving the air quality we breathe, there are other benefits to keeping your engine exhaust system in good working order. If you have an exhaust leak then your engine isn't able to work as efficiently and you will see a decrease in your engine responsiveness.
You vehicle could become loud and smell bad if your emissions system isn't working properly. We have all been behind a car that blows a big cloud of black smoke―wouldn't it be nice if that exhaust system were repaired?
Fuel mileage is affected by how well your engine is performing. If your exhaust system is not working properly then you may be using more fuel than necessary and at current gasoline prices you want to maximize gas mileage.
You may be eligible for an economic hardship waiver if you cannot afford required emissions repairs within a 60-day window. For more information, call (603) 271-0352.
The state honors emission tests from other states as long as the vehicle is not registered in New Hampshire. This especially applies to out-of-state college students. If you're planning on becoming a New Hampshire resident, however, your vehicle will be required to pass an OBD emission test as part of the state's vehicle registration process.
If you suspect someone of violating New Hampshire's air quality rules, contact the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services at email@example.com.Local Smog Check Stations
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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