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  • Car Inspection in Oregon

    SUMMARY: Oregon Vehicle Emissions Inspections

    Eligible vehicles in the Portland and Medford areas must undergo emissions tests prior to registration and again every 2 years. Vehicles that fail could be eligible for trip permits or financial assistance. New residents must also bring their vehicles for vehicle identification number (VIN) inspections.

    The Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV) works with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to manage the DEQ Vehicle Inspection Program, which administers vehicle emissions tests.

    New Oregon Residents

    After moving to Oregon, you have 30 days to register your vehicle; if you register an eligible vehicle within an emissions-testing area, you must have your vehicle checked before registration.

    You must also submit your vehicle a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection. VIN inspections cost $7 (collected by the DMV) and can be conducted at:

    • The DMV, IF:
      • You're located outside an emissions-testing area.
      • Your vehicle isn't required to undergo emissions testing.
        OR
      • Your vehicle is salvaged, reconstructed, or from out of the country.
    • A DEQ Testing Station.

    Inspection Requirements & Exemptions

    Inspection Requirements

    Certain vehicles registered within the Portland and Medford areas must undergo an emissions check every 2 years. Your registration renewal notice will indicate when it's time for another emissions test.

    Eligible vehicle are as follows:

    Portland:

    • All gas-powered, alternative fuel, and hybrid vehicles model year 1975 and newer.
    • All diesel-powered vehicles model year 1975 or newer weighing 8,500 lbs. or less.

    Medford:

    • All gas-powered, alternative fuel, and hybrid vehicles 20 years old or newer.
    • All diesel-powered vehicles 20 years old or newer weighing 8,500 lbs. or less.

    Inspection Exemptions

    Within the testing areas mentioned above, the following vehicles are exempt from Oregon emissions testing:

    • Motorcycles and low-speed vehicles, including:
      • Mopeds.
      • All-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
      • Golf carts.
      • Tractors.
    • Diesel-powered vehicles weighing 8,501 lbs. or more.
    • Vehicles older than:
      • Model year 1975 (Portland area).
      • 20 years old (Medford area).

    If your vehicle is exempt, you may need to complete and submit a Declaration of Exemptions: DEQ's Vehicle Inspection Program (Form 735-1400) when you submit your vehicle's registration renewal.

    Contact the DEQ at (971) 673-1630 or (877) 476-0583 for details.

    Completing an OR Vehicle Inspection

    To have your car testing for emissions in Oregon, visit a DEQ Testing Station and bring:

    • Your entire registration renewal form, signed by a registered owner.
      • Section 1 and Section 2 must be completed.
    • Applicable fees*:
      • Portland area: $21.
      • Rogue Valley: $10.

    Once your vehicle passes, you'll receive a certificate to use during your registration renewal. The certificate is valid for 180 days; once you use it, your vehicle won't need another inspection for 2 years.

    * Emissions testing fees and registration fees are separate, but in most cases the DEQ can accept payment for both. The DEQ accepts ONLY cash, money orders, or VISA, MasterCard, or Discover debit/credit cards that do not require PINs.

    Out-of-State Vehicle Inspections

    If your vehicle is temporarily out of state when it's time to renew your registration and you're due for an emissions test, contact the DEQ at (877) 476-0583 for instructions.

    Failed Vehicle Inspections

    If your vehicle fails its initial OR emissions test, that first test will be free; however, your vehicle must be repaired and retested.

    When your vehicle fails, you'll receive a test results document to help you and your repair technician correct the problems. The DEQ provides a list of Recognized Auto Repair Shops (RARS) for repairs; however, you can choose any auto repair technician.

    Trip Permits

    If your vehicle fails but you still need to operate it before you can have it repaired and reinspected, you may be eligible for a 21 day trip permit. The cost $30.

    Learn more at the state's page on trip permits.

    Clean Air Partners Program

    Some low-income residents living in the Portland area may be eligible for the Clean Air Partners Program, which helps pay for vehicle repairs to meet emissions standards.

    To be eligible, your vehicle must:

    • Be a model year 1996 or newer.
    • Fail the OBD test.
    • Require only minor repairs.

    Learn more at the Clean Air Partners Program description.

    About the OR Emissions Inspection Program

    When testing your vehicle for emissions, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality uses an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) Test and a Basic Emissions Test.

    • OBD: Involves attaching emissions-testing equipment to your vehicle's computer system to test that all emissions-related components work properly.
    • Basic Emissions Test: Involves a two-speed idle test that checks for hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide levels.

    Your vehicle's emissions testing depends on your vehicle type and where you're located.

    Portland:

    • OBD: Model year 1996 and newer.
    • Basic Emissions Test: Model years 1975 to 1995.

    Medford:

    • OBD: Model year 1996 and newer.
    • Basic Emissions Test: 20 years old and newer, and all model years before 1996.

    Oregon Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving

    Oregon offers several possible incentives for eco-friendly driving including, but not limited to:

    • State and federal tax incentives.
    • Alternative fuel vehicle loans.
    • Auto insurance discounts.

    Learn more about these benefits as well as other perks for eco-friendly driving at our section on green driver incentives.

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