Green Vehicle Laws and Regulations in Ohio

Ohio maintains a few green vehicle laws focused on protecting the environment. These include emissions test requirements (and exemptions for electric cars), diesel fuel regulations, auto insurance requirements, and laws against the tampering of vehicle emission control systems. Whether you drive an electric vehicle or hybrid, or are considering buying one to also take advantage of the eco-friendly driver incentives that come with it, stay up to date with the latest laws.

Ohio Emissions Testing for Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

Your vehicle must undergo an emissions test to maintain valid OH vehicle registration if it:

  • Runs on gasoline or diesel fuel (flexible-fuel vehicles and hybrids included),
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 lbs. or fewer,
  • Is 25 years old or newer (based on the current test year),
  • And is registered in an E-Check county. These include:
    • Cuyahoga.
    • Geauga.
    • Lake.
    • Lorain.
    • Medina.
    • Portage.
    • Summit.

Get the full scoop on our page detailing emissions test requirements.

Emissions Test Exemptions for New and Electric Cars

Ohio exempts new vehicles (first four model-years) and fully electric vehicles from emissions testing. Keep in mind, only seven counties (listed above) test emissions at all.

For more on time- and money-saving incentives beyond emissions test exemptions, visit our page on green driver perks.

Diesel Gallon Equivalent Standard

The rate at which Ohio calculates motor fuel taxes on liquid natural gas depends on whether the National Conference of Weights and Measures adopts diesel gallon equivalent standard. For example, if adopted, the standard is the equivalent of one gallon of motor fuel. If the Conference doesn't adopt a standard, 6.06 pounds of liquid natural gas shall be considered the equivalent of one gallon of motor fuel.

Regulations Against Tampering with Emission Control Systems

Ohio prohibits the following when it comes to tampering with a motor vehicle emission control systems. You may not:

  • Tamper with a vehicle's emission system control before it is sold (or delivered) to a buyer.
  • Drive a vehicle that has been tampered with, if its engine had previously met federal or California emission control standards (as certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
  • Tamper with a vehicle's emission control system after its sale, lease, or rental and delivery to the final buyer, lessee, or renter.

The list of OH regulations on tampering is extensive. Consult Ohio Revised Code 3704.16 for full details.

Ohio Auto Insurance Requirements for Eco-Friendly Vehicles

Alternative fuel vehicles such as electric cars and hybrids must maintain auto insurance in line with Ohio minimum requirements. However, depending on your car insurance provider, you might be eligible for discounted insurance rates for eco-friendly drivers. Learn more on our page dedicated to money-saving green driver incentives.

Keep Pace with the Latest Ohio Green Vehicle Laws

Keep in mind that these vehicle-related laws and green driver incentives are subject to change. Refer to this page as well as your local Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) branch and the Alternative Fuels Data Center for the latest.

Find a Nearby Ohio Emissions Testing Station

Locate the closest OH smog and emissions testing station with the widget below:

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