General Testing Information

Anyone can bring the vehicle in for the test. Vehicle registration is not required but is helpful.

Testing frequency and which vehicles need to test

All even-model-year vehicles must be tested during the even-numbered years (e.g. a 2008 vehicle must be tested in 2014, 2016, etc.). All odd-model-year vehicles must be tested during the odd-numbered years (e.g. a 2007 vehicle must be tested in 2013, 2015, etc.). However, you do not need to have a vehicle tested if a previous test was done within one year of your current renewal date. 

An E-Check test is valid for 365 days following the date of the test. You may use that same test certificate to renew your registration if your renewal date falls within 365 days from the initial test. Please keep in mind that vehicles are only required to test every other year.

Vehicles that should test well ahead of their registration date are:

  • Those who spend winter outside of Ohio. Test before the winter season
  • College students attending a school in Ohio that is not located in a testing county
  • Vehicles that may need repairs or have a "check-engine" light on. Test early to allow plenty of time for repairs before your registration is due

All gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles, including flexible fuel and hybrid vehicles, equal to or less than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), 25 years old or newer from the current testing year and registered in an E-Check county must comply with E-Check. Please refer to the exempt vehicles section below for a list of vehicles that are exempt from the E-Check program.

New vehicles

New vehicles are exempt for the first four model years. For example, 2012 to 2015 model year vehicles are exempt from testing in 2015.

Vehicles permanently exempt from the E-Check program

Some vehicles are permanently exempt from the E-Check test requirement. The following is a partial listing of permanently exempt vehicles:

  • Vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds GVWR (contact Ohio EPA Field Office for appointment)
  • Motorcycles, recreational vehicles and motor homes (contact Ohio BMV for details)
  • Historical and collector's vehicles (contact Ohio BMV for details)

Please visit the exemption/extension website for additional information.

What is the difference between a 'permanent exemption' and owning a vehicle that is permanently exempt?

Vehicles that are eligible for a permanent exemption must make arrangements for the vehicle to have a one-time visual inspection performed by Ohio EPA Mobile Sources field staff. These vehicles include:

  1. Electrically powered vehicles (one-time verification inspection by Ohio EPA Mobile Sources Section required.)
  2. Vehicles operating on alternative fuel, such as propane, butane, alcohol or natural gas (one-time verification inspection by Ohio EPA Mobile Sources Section required.)
  3. Non-commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds GVWR

 

Several types of vehicles are permanently exempt from the E-Check test requirement and do not need a visual inspection. A complete list with a detailed explanation may be found in Ohio Administrative Code, Section 3745-26-12(c). It is not necessary for vehicle owners that are permanently exempt to be issued an exemption certificate. The most common types are listed below.

  1. Vehicles more than 25 years old, as determined by vehicle model year
  2. Commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds GVWR
  3. Historical and collector's vehicles (contact Ohio BMV for details)
  4. Parade and exhibition vehicles (contact Ohio BMV for details)
  5. Motorcycles, recreational vehicles and motor homes (contact Ohio BMV for details)

 

There may be other circumstances under which you may qualify for an exemption or an extension. If you have questions, contact an Ohio EPA E-Check field office or the Ohio EPA Mobile Sources Section, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049. Phone: (614) 644-3059.

Title transfers

Whenever a vehicle's title transfers to another individual within one of the seven E-Check counties and that vehicle's emissions test has expired, that vehicle must be tested. Vehicles within the four year exemption period do not test on a title transfer. Vehicles that are 25 years old or newer and were titled out-of-state must also be tested before they are registered in Ohio. If the previous owner has a valid test certificate, the new owner may use it to register the vehicle. In the event the previous owner does not have the certificate or is not sure if the vehicle has been tested in the last 365 days, please click here for vehicle test history. You will need the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to obtain this information.

IMPORTANT: An inspection certificate is valid for 365 days following the date of the test. If a vehicle that has undergone a title change is registered within 365 days from a previous test, then the new owner will not need to have the vehicle tested again in order to register. An inspection certificate is valid for one full year from test date, regardless of title changes.

 Automobile Dealer Information

Vehicles not registered in Ohio requesting testing

Any individual seeking an emissions test for a vehicle registered out of the State of Ohio or a vehicle registered in an Ohio county where testing is not mandatory will be required to purchase a voucher in advance for each vehicle to be tested. Testing vouchers can be purchased from Envirotest Systems at full-service E-Check stations for $18 each. Credit cards are not accepted.