Car Inspection in OhioPage Overview
Ohio Vehicle Emissions Tests
Ohio E-Check, the state emissions testing program, began in 1996 as a way to combat the growing problem of air pollution. Vehicles contribute greatly to smog levels and release harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These pollutants are largely odorless and colorless, so even though it may seem like your vehicle's emission is clean, it may still be producing an unacceptable level of pollutants.
The thought behind E-Check was to identify those vehicles whose emissions were unacceptably high as a cost-efficient way of reducing unhealthy air, and thus help meet federal air quality standards.
All qualifying vehicles must be tested every other year, with even model years being tested on even years and odd numbered model years being tested on odd years.
Your vehicle will need to pass an emissions test before you can renew your vehicle's registration if it is gas or diesel-powered, weighs 10,000 lbs. or less, and is 25 years old or newer.
You will receive notification in the mail before your registration renewal date reminding you to have the testing completed. Of course, you don't have to wait until then to do so.
For a list of the counties that require emissions testing, please visit the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website.
The state has compiled a list of emission station locations also called Ohio Echeck locations by county.
You may take your vehicle to any testing location, even if it's not located in your county. The testing does need to take place at an Ohio location, however; out-of-state smog tests don't count.
If your vehicle fails the test, you may receive a diagnostic form detailing the problem areas. You can address these at the repair center of your choice.
However, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency does license certain repair shops that have certified emission diagnosis and repair facilities and technicians who have had proper training. If you fail the test, a list of these approved and certified facilities will be given to you.
Vehicle Test Preparation
Make sure that your tires are properly inflated and aligned before testing, or it will be difficult to test your vehicle on the rollers.
Also make sure that your vehicle has been warmed up before bringing it in. (Cars that are not operating at normal temperatures tend to emit more pollutants, and may cause your vehicle to fail the test.)
Your vehicle failed the emissions test and you've made the recommended repairs, but it fails the test again. What should you do?
The state of Ohio has arranged for a waiver program in some limited cases. Some restrictions apply.
For more information, contact the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
Ohio rewards certain green drivers for operating eco-friendly vehicles; specifically, electric vehicles. Fully electric vehicles are exempt from emissions testing.
For more information about the perks of eco-friendly rides, visit our section on green driver incentives.Local Smog Check Stations
Choose a County
Other Topics in This Section