Car Inspection in Michigan

Michigan currently does not require automobile or truck emissions testing. However, the state has been in a running battle with federal regulators over air quality in portions of western Michigan and the southeastern Michigan area, near Detroit, for years.

In fact, until 1995, auto emissions―but not emissions from trucks―were tested in scattered portions of the Detroit metropolitan area. Western Michigan was scheduled to begin testing in the late-1990s, and several vehicle-testing facilities were constructed. But the state brokered a deal with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that allowed it to postpone enactment of the program, and the facilities were sold to private entities.

Nonetheless, air quality in the Detroit area remains consistently below that of much of the rest of the state. The Detroit area has been looking at ways to reduce pollution, among them:

  • Tightening standards for industrial pollution
  • Encouraging car pooling
  • Using cleaner-burning gasoline mixes in the summer months when the region is most likely to suffer smog alerts
  • Restricting the use of small engines, specifically gas-powered lawn mowers, on days when the ozone concentration is particularly high

Meanwhile, you can see what the conditions are at the Michigan Department of Environmental's website. Its Air Quality Index is updated on a regular basis.

Want to know what's out there and what it can do to you? Visit the American Lung Association, which has information about lung ailments and diseases.

Michigan Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving

Although the Secretary of State (SOS) does not require emissions inspections, certain alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) are exempt from all types of inspections.

For specific details—as well as information on tax breaks and auto insurance discounts—see our page on green driver incentives.

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