Car Inspection in Connecticut

SUMMARY: Connecticut Emissions Inspections

Connecticut requires vehicle emissions testing every 2 years. Bring your qualifying vehicle, the $20 fee, and your test notice to a state-approved emissions test center. The type of emissions tests your vehicle undergoes depends on your vehicle. New residents must have their vehicles tested prior to vehicle registration.

Read on for more information about the Connecticut Emissions Program, including which vehicles require testing, the various types of emissions tests, and what to do if your vehicle fails or you need a waiver or extension.

New to Connecticut

You must register your vehicle within 60 days of becoming a resident.

Because vehicle emissions tests are required for registration, it's best to have your vehicle tested early on within those 60 days—if your vehicle requires testing.

Emissions Inspection Requirements

ALL vehicles in Connecticut EXCEPT those listed as exempt are required to undergo emissions testing.

Emissions tests are required every 2 years. You'll receive a test notice within 45 days of your CT emissions test date. Make sure your current address is on file with the DMV; otherwise, you won't receive your notice.

Additionally, a non-exempt vehicle purchased from:

  • An authorized Connecticut dealer must be emissions compliant at the time you purchase the vehicle. You can check the emissions expiration date using the vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • A private party (and the vehicle has already been registered in Connecticut) must be inspected within 30 days of registration. You won't receive a CT emissions test date notice.
  • Out-of-state must be emissions compliant before you can register it.

Contact the motorist hotline at (877) 469-2884 if you have any questions about whether and when your vehicle requires emissions testing.

Smog Inspection Exemptions

The following vehicles are exempt from emissions tests:

  • Model year 2018 and newer.
  • Model year 1998 and older.
  • Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity (not hybrids).
  • Motorcycles.
    • Includes bicycles with attached motors.
  • Vehicles weighing 10,001 lbs. or more.
  • Composite vehicles.
    • Must have a composite vehicle title.
  • Farm vehicles.
  • Diesel powered Type II school buses.
  • Registered vehicles not designed mainly for highway use.
  • Vehicles with Dealer, Repairer, or Transporter license plates.
    • Must be for the transportation for wholesale or auction.

Completing a CT Vehicle Inspection

Use the state's Test Center tool to find CT emissions centers appropriate for your type of vehicle and the emissions tests it requires. The $20 fee*.

  • Your test notice.

Once you pass your emissions test, you'll receive a Vehicle Inspection Report. For future reference, keep this report with your registration documents.

NOTE: The emissions technician can refuse to test your vehicle and issue you a Turn Away Document for reasons such as leaking fluids, unsafe tires or wheels, and more. The state provides a complete list.

* The DMV—not the test center—will collect an additional $20 fee and deny your registration renewal if you fail to have your vehicle inspected on time.

Failed Vehicle Inspections, Extensions & Waivers

If your car fails inspection, you must have your vehicle repaired and retested within 60 days of the initial test. You get 1 retest for free.

Although you can make the repairs yourself or have your vehicle repaired at the repair shop of your choosing, the DMV recommends using a Certified Emissions Repair Facility.

Emissions Inspection Extensions

If you're unable to have your vehicle tested by 30 days after the due date, you might be eligible for an extension.

Qualifying reasons include:

  • Your vehicle is out of state.
    • You can still have your vehicle tested if you're located in one of these compliant states.
  • You're attending an out-of-state school.
  • You're military personnel and on active out-of-state duty.
  • Your vehicle is under repair due to an accident.

Refer to the state's Emission Testing Time Extensions for information on each application process.

Emissions Inspection Waivers

When applicable, you can apply for a:

  • Cost waiver.
    • Available after you meet the minimum required emissions repair costs of $1108.84.
  • Economic hardship waiver.
    • Available if your annual income is at or below state and federal poverty levels.
  • Functional diagnosis waiver.
    • Available if the technician determines your vehicle doesn't require additional repairs.

Learn more about these emissions test waivers and how to apply at the state's waiver eligibility page.

Connecticut Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving

As mentioned above, fully electric vehicles are exempt from smog and emissions testing.

To be clear, this means vehicles that run solely on electricity. Hybrids that partially run on electricity are not included.

For more information about eco-friendly driving perks, such as auto insurance discounts and tax incentives, visit our page on green driver incentives.

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