Metro Denver and north Front Range emissions inspections

Changes for 2015

  • Find out about new exemptions, onboard diagnostic (OBD) testing and other changes.

County requirements

  • You must have an emissions inspection done on any gasoline-powered vehicle when you register, renew registration for, or sell the vehicle within the Automobile Inspection and Readjustment (AIR) program area. The program area covers all or parts of the following counties:
    • Adams (west of Kiowa Creek).
    • Arapahoe (west of Kiowa Creek).
    • Boulder.
    • Broomfield.
    • Denver.
    • Douglas.
    • Jefferson.
    • Larimer (Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, and surrounding mountain areas).
    • Weld (Greeley, Windsor and the I-25 corridor).
  • Vehicles registered to an address outside the program area but driven regularly into the program area (e.g., for work or school) must be inspected.

Inspections for 1982 and newer vehicles

  • An enhanced inspection is required every two years for 1982 and newer gasoline-powered light-duty vehicles (i.e., passenger cars and light trucks under 8,501 pounds GVWR).
  • Many vehicles can pass inspection by driving past the RapidScreen roadside units found throughout the program area.
  • Vehicle owners learn if they need an inspection (e.g., “EMISSIONS TEST REQUIRED”) through the registration renewal cards that they get from their county clerks.
  • Newer vehicles are exempt from inspection to the original owner for the first seven years. A 2010 vehicle, for example, won\'t need a emissions inspection until 2017.
  • Vehicles that are 8 through 11 years old get a test of their onboard diagnostic (OBD) computer systems.
  • AS OF JANUARY 2015: vehicles in this age range with their “Check Engine” light turned on will fail the inspection. They must be repaired and reinspected in order to pass.
  • AS OF JANUARY 2015: Hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles that are 8 years and older must have a test of their OBD computer systems. If these vehicles have their “Check Engine” light turned on, they will fail the inspection and must be repaired and reinspected in order to pass.
  • Fully electric-powered vehicles (i.e., with no gas tank or tailpipe emissions) remain exempt from inspection.
  • Vehicles that are 12 years and older will have their emissions tested on a dynamometer (a treadmill-like device that provides real-time emissions data). Hybrid vehicles aren't placed on the dynamometer.
  • The inspection can be done at any Air Care Colorado inspection station.
  • Collector vehicles are subject to different emissions requirements.
  • See the frequently requested information page or the Air Care Colorado website for additional emissions inspection information.

Inspections for 1981 and older vehicles

  • A two-speed idle test is required every year for 1981 and older light-duty vehicles and all heavy trucks. This test can be done at Air Care Colorado inspection stations or independent licensed test stations.

Enhanced inspection expanded to north Front Range

The Enhanced Vehicle Emissions inspection was expanded in 2010 to parts of Larimer and Weld counties to control ground-level ozone.