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  • Smog Check and Car Inspection in Vermont

    Smog Checks and Car Inspections in Vermont

    Every vehicle registered in Vermont must undergo an annual safety inspection.

    For vehicles 1996 and newer powered by gasoline and 1997 and newer powered by diesel with a gross vehicle rating of 8,500 lbs. or fewer, this means also having an on-board diagnostics test, also referred to as an OBD II (the "II" simply implies the state is moving into a newer generation of testing). The OBD II test is the state's smog and emissions test.

    Each state inspection location provides both tests as necessary.

    New to Vermont?

    You have 15 days from the date you register your vehicle to bring it in for a safety inspection and possible smog check.

    Vermont Safety and Emissions Inspection Requirements

    Unless your vehicle is exempt (see the "Introduction" above and the "VT Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving" below), your vehicle will undergo both an annual safety inspection and a smog and emissions inspection.

    Safety Inspections

    Safety inspections are pretty straightforward.

    First, the technician will verify:

    Second, the technician will check basic vehicle components to make sure the vehicle is running safely. You can find a complete list of components within the state's section on Detailed Inspection Information, but a few of the common elements include:

    • Safety equipment, such as the seat belt.
    • Basic body elements, such as the interior and exterior rearview mirrors, bumpers and fenders, and windshield wipers.
    • Overall body elements, such as the frame, floor pan, and trunk area.
    • Tires and wheels, looking specifically for wear and tear, proper size, and proper inflation.
    • Steering and suspension, such as wheel bearings, tire rod ends, and ball joints.
    • Brakes, including failure lamps, hoses, and signs of leakage.
    • Lighting and electrical system elements, like horns, defrosters, and headlight aim.
    • Glass, including windshields, windows, and tinting.
    • Exhaust system, including the muffler, joints, and tailpipe.
    • Emissions issues, such as fuel caps and catalytic converters.
    • Fuel system, looking for vapor or fuel leakage and checking the fuel tank.
    Third, the technician will complete the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD II) Inspection Test Report Form. If you pass, you'll receive your annual inspection sticker; if you fail, you must have the necessary repairs made.

    Emissions Inspections (OBD II)

    Although the safety inspection includes some emissions checks, the main emissions inspection requires the technician to use a scan tool with OBD II scan tool capabilities, meaning it must be able to monitor (and identify problems with) the components that make up the engine management system.

    The entire OBD II check takes minutes. First, the technician will start the vehicle and check to see if the "check engine" light comes on. Then, he'll connect the scan tool to the vehicle. This tool communicates with the vehicle's on-board computer and confirms the vehicle is ready to be checked. At this point, the scan tool will notify the technician whether the system attempted to turn on the "check engine" light and record the results. If the system does try to turn on the light, the technician will take the next steps to determine repairs, etc.; if not, the technician will continue with any remaining inspection steps.

    Get more details at the state's section on Vehicle Emissions Control Requirements.

    VT Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving

    Good news! If your vehicle is an emissions-free vehicle, such as an electric vehicle (EV) or a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV), it's exempt from emissions testing.

    However, your vehicle must still undergo the annual safety inspection.

    For more information about the perks, laws, and regulations of driving eco-friendly vehicles and practicing green driving habits, visit our sections on green driver incentives and green driving laws and regulations.

    Vermont Inspection Stations

    The DMV provides a list of licensed inspection stations according to town and inspection types (i.e. cars, busses, motorcycles, etc.). Use this list, or scroll down to our Local Smog Check Stations tool below for quick reference.

    ALICIA: Please try not to use the state variables - it doesn't help the SEO density of the page, as it has a variable in place of a really valuable keyword. We should always actually write out the state agency name.

    VT Vehicle Inspection Fees

    Each inspection station sets its own fees; this might be an hourly fee or a flat-rate fee. Please call ahead to find out how much your smog and safety inspection station charges.

    Passed Vermont Vehicle Inspections

    Once your vehicle passes the inspections, you'll receive an annual inspection sticker for your vehicle. Attaching this sticker is enough; you don't need to bring proof of passing to the DMV.

    NOTE: The inspection technician will properly complete the inspection sticker before affixing it to your vehicle.

    ALICIA: Same note as above. A variety between the full agency name and the abbreviation (DMV, SOS, BMV, etc.) is optimal.

    Failed Vermont Vehicle Inspections

    The On-Board Diagnostics (OBD II) Inspection Test Report Form will outline why your vehicle failed; after receiving the form, you must make the necessary repairs before you can receive your new annual inspection sticker.

    NOTE: The On-Board Diagnostics (OBD II) Inspection Test Report Form isn't a DMV-provided form; each inspection location has copies of the form. However, you can see an example of the form on the state's section on Detailed Inspection Information.

    ALICIA: Same note as above.

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