Search
Search & Choose State
  • Location:

  • Smog Check and Car Inspection in New York

    Introduction

    The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (NY DMV) requires vehicles to complete both a safety and emissions inspection every year. You must complete your inspection when required or risk being penalized.

    New to New York?

    If your vehicle has been properly inspected before entering the state and has an inspection sticker, you can register your car with the NY DMV. Your out-of-state sticker will be valid until it expires, or for 1 year from establishing NY residency—whichever comes first.

    If your vehicle has not been previously issued an inspection sticker (even if it has received an inspection), you must get a safety and emissions inspection in New York before registering your vehicle.

    About the NY Vehicle Inspection Program

    The New York Vehicle Inspection Program (NYVIP) is administered by the NY DMV. The inspection program involves a:

    • Vehicle safety inspection.
    • Vehicle smog and emissions test.

    Vehicle Safety Inspection

    The purpose of the vehicle safety inspection is to ensure that your vehicle is in safe operating condition according to New York state laws.

    When you present your vehicle for inspection, technicians will inspect:

    • Seat belts.
    • Brakes.
    • Steering mechanism.
    • Chassis and suspension.
    • Tires, wheels, and wheel fasteners.
    • Vehicle lights (e.g. turn signals, headlights, brake lights, etc.).
    • Windows, windshield, and windshield wipers.
    • Horn.
    • Fuel leaks and signs of any other leakage.

    For additional information regarding the safety inspection, feel free to review the NYVIP’s inspection overview page.

    Smog and Emissions Inspection

    Unless your vehicle is exempt, you must complete an emissions test in addition to the safety inspection (see “Requirements and Exemptions” below). The emissions inspection only takes a few minutes, and the types of tests required depend on the model year and weight of your vehicle:

    • Model year 1996 and newer gas-powered vehicles less than 8,501 lbs.: On-Board Diagnostic inspection (OBDII).
    • Model year 1997 and newer diesel-powered vehicles less than 8,501 lbs.: On-Board Diagnostic inspection (OBDII).
    • Model year 1995 to 25 years old at 18,000 lbs. or less: Low-enhanced emission inspection.

    OBDII Inspection

    Part of the emissions inspection is the on-board diagnostics test (OBDII). This is a computerized test that connects to your vehicle to check the emissions system through the vehicle's computer. Your computer controls the emissions output of your engine, as well as a malfunction indicator light (MIL) that illuminates if your computer or your engine is not working correctly.

    Low-Enhanced Emissions Inspections

    The low-enhanced inspection is a thorough visual inspection of all the emissions equipment in your vehicle, including but not limited to:

    • Functional gas cap.
    • Catalytic converter.
    • Exhaust gas recirculation valve.
    • Positive crankcase ventilation system.
    • Air injection system.
    • Evaporative emissions control.
    • Fuel inlet restrictor.
    • Thermostatic air cleaner .

    Once you complete your inspection, the results will be automatically uploaded to the NY DMV. A new inspection sticker will be affixed to your windshield, where it must remain at all times.

    Review the NYVIP inspection overview page if you would like to know more about what will be examined on your vehicle for the emissions test.

    NY Vehicle Inspection Requirements & Exemptions

    The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires all vehicles registered in the state to complete a vehicle inspection every 12 months.

    • You should also plan to have your vehicle inspected if you meet any of the following requirements:
    • You’re new to NY and do not have a valid out-of-state inspection sticker in order to register your vehicle with the NY DMV.
    • You purchased a car in a private sale (not from a dealer) and want to register it in your name with the NY DMV. The inspection must be completed within 10 days of registering your car.
    • A vehicle’s ownership has been transferred into your name. The inspection must be completed within 10 days of registering your car.
    • Your current vehicle inspection sticker is about to expire. Sign up for e-reminders to receive an e-mail when it is time to get your vehicle inspected.

    You may contact your local NY DMV office or call the NYDMV help desk at (518) 473-5595 if you have additional questions about vehicle inspections.

    NY Vehicle Inspection Exemptions

    There are no exemptions for vehicle safety inspections. Some vehicles are exempt from emissions inspections depending on the age or type of the vehicle. Emissions exemptions extend to:

    • Vehicles less than 2 years old.
    • Vehicles older than 25 years old.
    • Electric vehicles.*
    • Motorcycles.
    • Vehicles registered with historical plates.
    • Vehicles that meet heavy safety inspection standards, as defined by the NY DMV.
    • Diesel powered vehicles model year 1997 and newer that weigh under 8,501 pounds.*

    * For more information about emissions exemptions and other perks for driving eco-friendly vehicles, check our section on green driver incentives.

    If you have additional questions about vehicle exemptions, contact your local NY DMV office or call the NY DMV help desk at (518) 473-5595.

    Completing a NY Safety & Emissions Inspection

    To complete your New York vehicle inspection, you may visit any New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) license inspection station. Official inspection stations have a yellow and black sign that says “Official Inspection Station.” Inspection stations that do motorcycle inspections will also display an orange and blue sign.

    When you go to your inspection, it’s a good idea to bring the following:

    • Proof of identification.
    • Your vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
    • Payment for the inspection fee (see “Inspection Fees” below).

    When your inspection is complete, you will receive a Vehicle Inspection Receipt that you should keep for your records. This receipt can function as proof of inspection in the event that the DMV doesn’t receive notice of your inspection completion, or your registration renewal notice says that you have not had an inspection.

    You can find local inspection stations through the NY DMV's station look-up feature by zip code and county to locate the one closest to you.

    Failed NY Vehicle Inspections

    If your vehicle fails an inspection, you must make repairs prior to having it retested before your inspection sticker expires, or you risk additional late fees and penalties (see below). The vehicle must pass inspection prior to the expiration of the inspection sticker or they will be subject to late fees and penalties for not completing their inspection on time.

    Failed Safety Inspection

    The NY DMV does not offer any type of waiver or exemption for failing the safety inspection. If your vehicle fails, you must have it repaired and retested to obtain an inspection sticker. The vehicle inspection station can charge you for a retest.

    • If you complete your retest within 30 days, only the safety repairs that you completed on your vehicle will be retested.
    • If you complete your retest after 30 days, you must redo the entire inspection process, including the emissions portion.

    Failed Emissions Inspection

    Just as with your safety inspection, if your vehicle fails the smog and emissions check, it must be repaired and retested before the sticker expires. However, if your vehicle repeatedly fails the OBDII portion of the emissions test, you may be eligible to apply for a waiver (see below).

    • If you complete your emissions retest within 30 days, only the repairs that you completed on your vehicle will be retested.
    • Retests completed within 30 days only focus on the emissions repairs that were made to the vehicle.
    • If you complete your emissions retest after 30 days, you must redo the entire inspection process, including the safety inspection portion.
    • Retests completed after 30 days will repeat the entire testing process, including the safety inspection.

    You may be subject to late penalties if you do not complete your inspection before your sticker expires.

    OBDII Emissions Testing Waiver

    You may be eligible to apply for an OBDII emissions inspection waiver if:

    • Your vehicle failed its OBDII retest but received a vehicle report showing the vehicle passed all of the following:
      • The safety inspection.
      • The gas cap test (gas-powered only).
      • A visual inspection of emissions and smog control devices (gas-powered only).
    • The emissions control system on your vehicle is free from any signs of tampering and intact.
    • You have attempted to complete emissions-related repairs to your vehicle, and the repair costs have reached at least $450.
      • You must be able to provide receipts and work orders detailing the amounts and type of repairs completed on your vehicle by a NYS registered repair shop.
      • If you completed the repairs yourself, you may only count parts, not labor, towards the $450 threshold.

    If you meet the above requirements, then you may apply for a waiver at the time of your retest. Inspectors will complete the application for you, as long as you are able to provide them with all your repair receipts.

    If your application is approved:

    • You will be issued a waiver that you must sign, which is kept with the inspection station along with other documents regarding your waiver application.
    • Inspectors will affix a new inspection sticker to your windshield that will be valid for 1 year.

    New York Vehicle Inspection Fees

    The New York Vehicle Inspection Program (NYVIP) fees depend on the maximum gross weight (MGW) of your vehicle, where you choose to have your vehicle inspected, and whether the vehicle requires an OBDII emissions test or a low-enhanced emissions inspection. Fees are broken down by safety inspections and emissions inspections.

    Emissions

    New York Metropolitan Area:

    • OBDII test: $27.
    • Low-enhanced emissions test: $11.
    • Diesel: $25

    Upstate New York:

    • OBDII test: $11.
    • Low-enhanced emissions test: $11.
    • Diesel: $25

    Safety Inspection

    Safety inspection fees are the same statewide.

    • Light vehicles: $6 to $15.
    • Heavy vehicles: $12 to $20.
    • Motorcycles: $6.

    Late Fees and Penalties

    Vehicles that do not have an inspection sticker or have allowed the sticker to expire will not be allowed to renew its registration without successfully passing an inspection. You also run the risk of receiving a traffic ticket, and could face the following fines:

    • Sticker expired for less than 60 days: $25 to $50.
    • Sticker expired for more than 60 days: $50 to $100.
    • No inspection sticker: $50 to $100.

    You will also be charged a $55 mandatory state surcharge in addition to all the fines above, plus any additional fines assessed by the police or the NY DMV.

    Out-of-State Vehicle Inspections

    If your NYS inspection sticker expires while your vehicle is in another state, you must contact the DMV of the state you are in to see if it requires out-of-state vehicles to carry a valid inspection.

    • If you are required to have a valid inspection from that state, comply with that state's rules for vehicle inspection. If the state issues an inspection sticker, it will satisfy the New York DMV regulations.
    • If you are not required to have a valid inspection, you may request an extension from the NY DMV. You will have 10 days to complete a NYVIP inspection once you return to New York.

    To request an extension on your inspection from the NY DMV, send the following information to the DMV:

    • Your name as it appears on your registration.
    • Your out-of-state mailing address.
    • The make and year of your vehicle.
    • Your license plate number.
    • The expiration date and number of your inspection sticker.

    Mail the above information to New York DMV at:

    NYSDMV Bureau of Consumer and Facility Services
    Inspection Extension
    P.O. Box 2700
    Albany, NY 12220-0700

    Allow 14 days to receive your extension sticker in the mail. After you get your extension inspection sticker:

    • DO NOT affix the sticker to your windshield while you’re out of New York State.
    • Keep the extension sticker and the instructions you received in your vehicle at all times in case you need to show it to law enforcement.

    You will not be able to renew your registration if you have an inspection extension. If you need to renew your registration before you can complete an inspection, contact the NY DMV at (518) 402-2111.

    NOTE: The extension sticker is not a guarantee that you will not get a ticket in another state.

    Once you return to New York:

    • Write the date of your return to the state on your inspection sticker.
    • Affix the sticker to your windshield.
    • Complete an inspection on your vehicle within 10 days.

    Failure to complete an inspection upon return may result in additional penalties.

    Replacement NY Vehicle Inspection Sticker

    If you have lost your inspection sticker, or the sticker is unreadable, you can request a replacement sticker. Send a copy of your most recent inspection receipt to the NY DMV, or send the following:

    • The serial number located on your sticker (if available).
    • The make and year of your vehicle.
    • Your vehicle’s license plate number.
    • The date and odometer reading of your vehicle at its most recent inspection.
    • Your phone number.
    • Payment for the $2 replacement fee in the form of a money order or check made payable to Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

    Send your documents to the following address:

    NYSDMV Bureau of Consumer and Facility Services
    Issuance Unit
    P.O. Box 2700
    Albany, NY 12220-0700

    Be a Hero
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 0

    heroes have registered as organ donors.