General emissions inspection requirements and information


  • Check the registration renewal postcard that your county clerk mails to you about a month before your vehicle’s registration renewal is due.

  • New vehicles are exempt from inspection for the first seven model years.

    • A 2011 vehicle, for example, doesn't need an inspection until 2018.

  • Vehicles 8 through 11 years old will be inspected using onboard diagnostics (OBD).

    • If the “Check Engine” light is turned on, these vehicles will fail the inspection and need repairs.

    • Making repairs improves vehicle performance, extends vehicle life and saves money.

    • Learn more at EPA or National OBD Clearinghouse.

  • Vehicles manufactured beginning in 1982 that are at least 12 years old will be inspected using the “I/M 240” dynamometer (treadmill) test.

    • In 2016, this requirement applies to model year 1982 through 2005 vehicles and so on.

    • A check engine light on a vehicle at least 12 years old may still pass if the I/M 240 test can be run and the car can pass the test. An advisory may be issued.

  • Vehicles manufactured in 1981 and older will be inspected using a two-speed idle test.

  • Hybrid vehicles 8 years and older will be inspected using onboard diagnostics (OBD).

    • As with all vehicles inspected, hybrids will also have their gas caps checked, and no visible smoke is allowed.

  • ​Most inspection stations now have at least two lanes dedicated to inspecting all-wheel-drive vehicles to accommodate the large number of these vehicles.

  • RapidScreen roadside tests remain an important part of the program,allowing exceptionally clean vehicles to skip a trip to an inspection station.

    • Owners of eligible vehicles will see “PASSED ROADSIDE EMISSIONS” on their registration renewal cards, and they won't need to go to an inspection station.

    • Current RapidScreen locations are posted on the Air Care Colorado website.

  • Air Care Colorado inspection stations accept cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

  • Diesel-powered vehicles are inspected through a different program.


For more information,contact Air Care Colorado: