Smog & Emission Checks in Rhode Island
Rather than wait for federal action, Rhode Island has decided to combat its thickening ground ozone problem by making emission checks mandatory for most vehicles and light trucks under 8,500 pounds.
Electric cars, registered antique cars (more than 25 years old), and new vehicles (less than two years old or under 24,000 miles) are the lone exceptions to this rule. However, an emission check is recommended for new cars. If there's a problem, you can save money by having the car's warranty cover repair costs.
Emission checks must done every two years at any state-certified inspection station. To save you time, tests are jointly conducted during your vehicle's annual safety inspection. When arriving, be sure to have your car's registration. Emission checks cost $39.
If your car meets the state's emission standards, you will receive an inspection report and a validation sticker that must be displayed on your vehicle's windshield. Failure to do so is an invitation to getting pulled over by the police.
Failing your emission check means your vehicle is releasing an inordinate amount of pollution. The examining technician will supply you with a detailed inspection report indicating what needs to be corrected.
In addition, you will receive a Repair Data Form that needs to be completed and signed by the mechanic who repairs your vehicle. You then must present this Repair Data Form when you return for another emission check.
You will not be charged another $39 if your return for a reinspection at the inspection station that conducted your original check within 30 calendar days.
If your vehicle fails the reinspection, you will need to file a waiver through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A Diagnostic Waiver stipulates that your vehicle couldn't be repaired because the necessary parts are no longer available. A Repair Cost Limit Waiver confirms that you paid a minimum of $700 on emission repairs without success.
If you disagree with your vehicle's failing grade, you may request a Challenge Inspection. To do so, call (401) 222-2983 to arrange for an appointment with the DMV. There is no charge for a Challenge Inspection.
If you and your vehicle are out of the state for an extended period when your inspection sticker expires, it might be possible to get an inspection in another state. Check with an inspection station in that state to determine its testing procedures, and then contact the Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Emission Control Division at (401) 222-2983 to compare.
If the inspections are similar, you may have your vehicle inspected in the other state and then have it inspected in Rhode Island when you return.
We all work hard to do our share to protect the environment. But there are some who break the rules or skirt around the regulations. If you see a vehicle polluting the air, you can report it.
Just send a letter with details of the vehicle, including the license plate number and the location and date you saw the vehicle polluting, to:
- Motor Vehicle Safety and Emission Control Division
- 325 Melrose St.
Local Smog Check Stations
- Providence , RI 02907
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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