Waivers, Extensions, and Exemptions
What is a waiver?
When a vehicle has failed at least one emissions test and the owner has made efforts to have that vehicle repaired, a waiver may be issued at an E-Check test facility. Below lists the types of waiver options. The motorist must bring all original emissions-related repair receipts, as well as the vehicle, to the station in order for a waiver to be issued. Repairs may be performed at any legitimate repair facility or by the vehicle owner. In the case of self-repairs, only receipts for parts will count toward a waiver. An owner may not submit receipts for her/his own labor. Tampering-related repairs do not count towards either waiver option. Note: waivers are not transferable to the new owner if the vehicle is sold. Warranty repairs do not apply to the waiver limit requirements.
Option 1 - Applies to the Tailpipe Test Only:
CONDITIONAL PASS WAIVERS are issued after the initial tailpipe test. To qualify for this waiver, the vehicle must be a 1995 or older model year and must show:
a) at least a 30 percent improvement from the initial emissions readings for which the vehicle failed without causing initially passed readings to exceed state standards; AND
b) eligible receipts for emissions-related repairs totaling at least $200. Tampering-related repairs do not count towards this option. Receipts will only be accepted for repairs performed after the initial inspection and/or within sixty days prior to the initial inspection.
The above type of waiver applies only to vehicles tested via the tailpipe test that are 1995 and older.
Option 2 - Applies to Both OBD II and Tailpipe Tests:
REPAIR CAP WAIVERS are issued to motorists when they have spent $300 or more towards emissions-related repairs on a vehicle and still do not pass. In the case of the tailpipe test, this waiver does not require any improvements in the pollutant(s) for which the vehicle failed. Tampering-related repairs do not count towards this option. Receipts will only be accepted for repairs performed after the initial inspection and/or within sixty days prior to the initial inspection.
Waivers are issued at the E-Check test facilities. For the E-Check test facility nearest you, contact 1-800-CAR-TEST.
What is an extension?
Motorists may be eligible for an extension if there is a legitimate need for additional time to meet the testing requirements. An extension only postpones the testing requirement. A vehicle that receives an extension MUST be tested prior to registration renewal the following year. An Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application must be completed and either taken to or mailed to the Ohio EPA E-Check field office, or mailed to Ohio EPA E-Check, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049. The 23 full service E-Check stations can also process most exemption and extension request. Click here for more information on exemption and extension processing locations.
How does a vehicle qualify for an extension?
Motorists attempting to make major repairs to a vehicle at the time of initial registration or registration renewal, may apply for a four month extension. However, a 30-day temporary tag may be your only option depending on your situation. Keep repair orders, parts orders, receipts, and other evidence that a vehicle is undergoing repairs at the time of registration or registration renewal. This documentation must be submitted along with a completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application and a copy of the vehicle registration or title.
OUT-OF-STATE not in another state's testing area.
Motorists with a vehicle registered in Ohio but temporarily located out-of-state and not in another state's emissions testing area may be eligible for a four month extension. A completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application and a copy of the vehicle registration must be submitted to Ohio EPA.
See our page for out-of-state testing options.
There may be other circumstances under which you may qualify for a four-month extension. If you have questions, contact the Mobile Sources Section at (614) 644-3059.
Motorists may be eligible for a six-month hardship extension for vehicles which fail the Ohio E-Check test if the household's income falls within the income guidelines. To qualify for a hardship extension, the motorist must provide a completed Hardship Extension Application, a failed E-Check test, a written estimate for emission related vehicle repairs, including diagnostic fees, in the amount of $75 or more, and meet the income guidelines below:
| * 1 person up to $16,245
| * 2 person up to $21,855
| * 3 person up to $27,465
| * 4 person up to $33,075
| * 5 person up to $38,685
| * 6 person up to $44,295
| * 7 person up to $49,905
| * 8 person up to $55,515
For households more than 8 members, add $5,610 for each individual member.
Tax dependent college students who are absent from the household solely because of college attendance must be included on your application for the determination of eligibility and may not apply as separate households. Household income is defined as the gross income of all household members, except wage or salary income earned by dependent minors under 18 years of age. Head of household and spouse may never be considered as minors. Gross income includes wages, interest, annuities, pensions, social security retirement, disability, public assistance, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), alimony, spousal support, child support, unemployment benefits, worker's compensation, and any other indirect income such as utility allowances.
Owners of vehicles failing for gas cap only do not qualify for an extension and the gas cap must be repaired or replaced. The hardship extension is available one time per vehicle.
What is an exemption?
An exemption establishes compliance for a vehicle for one test cycle (two years) as long as ownership does not change. An exemption allows the motorist to register a vehicle. A motorist may apply for any exemption repeatedly throughout several testing cycles. An exemption may be TEMPORARY or PERMANENT. New vehicles are exempt from testing for the first four model years.
Who qualifies for a TEMPORARY exemption?
Active duty military personnel stationed outside Ohio and their spouses qualify for a military exemption. You will need to provide a copy of the vehicle registration, a copy of your military ID, and one of the following, a copy of current orders dated within 3 years of vehicle registration renewal date, or official documentation on military letterhead confirming your current duty and station location. Only vehicles owned or operated by military personnel stationed outside Ohio or their spouses are eligible. An Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application form must be completed.
STUDENT not in another state's testing area.
An out-of-state student attending college in a state where testing is not required at the time of renewal will need to provide a dated statement from the registrar of the school attesting to the student's registration and the effective dates of that registration. Current grades and current billing statements are acceptable but must be on school letterhead, and show effective dates of enrollment. Computer printouts will not be accepted without the school's seal and original signature of the registrar. An Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application must also be completed and sent to Ohio EPA along with a copy of the vehicle registration.
STUDENT within another state's testing area.
An out-of-state student attending college in another state's test area, must have a vehicle emission test performed at a U.S. EPA approved program. See instructions for out-of-state below.
OUT-OF-STATE within another state's testing area.
Motorists who are out-of-state and in another state's testing area must have a vehicle emission test performed at a U.S. EPA approved program. Original test results must then be mailed to Ohio EPA, along with a completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application and a copy of the vehicle registration.
See our page for out-of-state testing options.
Exemption for Vehicle PERMANENTLY LOCATED Out-of-state
If a vehicle registered in an E-Check county is permanently located outside Ohio and the owner or operator does not reside in another state's emissions testing program area, that vehicle may be eligible for a non-permanent exemption. The owner must provide a completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application and a copy of the Ohio registration or Ohio title.
A surviving spouse or other immediate family members may qualify for a temporary exemption due to the death of a vehicle owner if the vehicle is not due for testing as part of its normal testing cycle. A copy of the title in the survivor's name and a copy of the death certificate should be submitted to Ohio EPA, E-Check. An Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application form must be completed. Vehicles that are required to test for registration purposes that year (e.g. even model year vehicles in even-numbered years and odd model year vehicles in odd-numbered years) are not eligible for a temporary exemption.
If a vehicle is transferred from the owner into a trust, that vehicle may be eligible for a non-permanent exemption. The owner must provide a completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application, a copy of title, and paperwork showing establishment of a trust.
Are hybrid vehicles exempt from testing?
No, hybrid vehicles are required to be tested. Prior to January 5, 2004, temporary exemptions were issued to owners of these vehicles due to problems encountered testing these vehicles with the tailpipe test. With OBD II testing available on January 5, 2004, hybrid vehicles must be tested.
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:
- Electrically powered vehicles; (One time verification inspection by Ohio EPA Mobile Sources Section required.)
- Vehicles operating on alternative fuel, such as propane, butane, alcohol, or natural gas. (One time verification inspection by Ohio EPA Mobile Sources Section required.)
- Non-commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating
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.
- Vehicles more than 25 years old, as determined by vehicle model year;
- Commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating;
- Historical and collector's vehicles - contact Ohio BMV for details;
- Parade and exhibition vehicles - contact Ohio BMV for details;
- 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, Ohio 43216-1049 Phone: (614) 644-3059.
Whom may I contact for additional information?
If you have questions regarding exemptions, extensions, or waivers you may contact:
Ohio EPA E-Check Program
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049
Stop by or call the Ohio EPA Field Office