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  • Smog Check and Car Inspection in Vermont

    SUMMARY: Vermont Safety & Emissions Tests

    Certain vehicles in Vermont must undergo safety and emissions inspections annually. New residents have 15 days after their registration date to complete the inspections—however, in some cases, reciprocity may be granted. Failing vehicles must be repaired and retested.

    The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) oversees the state’s safety and emissions inspection program. Read on for information about eligible vehicles, how to complete an inspection, and what to do if your vehicle fails testing.

    New Vermont Residents

    You must register your vehicle within 60 days of establishing residency in Vermont; however, you must apply for registration sooner if your out-of-state registration expires before those 60 days are up.

    Safety inspections and emissions tests are due within 15 days of the registration date. All vehicles require safety inspections; not all vehicles require emissions tests. See Inspection Requirements and Exemptions below for details.

    Your vehicle also must undergo a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection before registration. VIN inspections are conducted by:

    • Law enforcement officers.
    • Law enforcement personnel.
    • DMV agents.

    Learn more about VIN inspections at the state’s page on vehicle serial number verification.

    Reciprocity with Other States

    Under certain circumstances, if you had your vehicle inspected in your previous state, and that state’s requirements are similar to those in Vermont, your out-of-state inspection certificate may be recognized or your time may be extended in which to have your vehicle inspected with the Vermont DMV.

    Contact your local DMV office to find out if your previous inspection qualifies for reciprocity.

    Inspection Requirements & Exemptions

    Safety & Emissions Requirements

    Nearly all vehicles in Vermont must undergo safety inspections annually.

    Additionally, as part of the safety testing, the following vehicles must also undergo emissions testing:

    • Gasoline-powered vehicles model year 1996 and newer.
    • Diesel-powered vehicles model year 1997 and newer weighing 8,500 lbs. or under.

    Safety & Emissions Exemptions

    Exhibition vehicles that are model year 1940 and older are exempt from inspection, AS LONG AS that vehicle is in original manufacture condition (i.e. no additions or modifications have been made).

    Completing a VT Vehicle Inspection

    To have your vehicle inspected for safety and emissions in Vermont, bring it to a state-approved inspection station along with your vehicle’s current and valid proof of registration and insurance. Fees vary by location; call ahead.

    The inspection technician will provide all other paperwork, including the inspection work order and completed inspection log sheet.

    Once your vehicle passes the safety and emissions (if applicable) inspections, the technician will complete and affix an inspection sticker to your vehicle.

    Failed RI Vehicle Inspections

    If your vehicle fails either inspection, it must be repaired and retested.

    If your vehicle fails the emissions inspection, the technician will provide you with the exact reasons listed on the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD II) Inspection Test Report Form. You can see a sample of this form on the state’s page for detailed inspection information. Your repair technician will use this form to complete the appropriate repairs.

    About the Vermont Testing Programs

    Safety Inspections

    Safety inspections check your vehicle’s safety components in categories including:

    • Body and frame.
    • Tires and wheels.
    • Brakes.
    • Steering and suspension.
    • Glass.
    • Electric and lighting systems.
    • Fuel and exhaust systems.

    Your inspection technician will explain all testing components.

    Emissions Inspections

    When applicable, your vehicle will undergo an emissions system inspection called the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD II) Inspection.

    Simply put, OBD II tests involve attaching a scan tool to the vehicle’s on-board computer and checking that all emissions-related components are functioning properly.

    Vermont Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving

    As mentioned above, not every vehicle requires an emissions test; however, that doesn’t mean you can’t further help the environment (and your wallet!) with eco-friendly driving.

    Learn more about the perks of eco-friendly vehicles and green driving practices at our sections on green driver incentives and green driving laws and regulations.

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