E-Check

The Clean Air Act requires 31 state and local areas to conduct vehicle inspection and maintenance programs to control vehicle emissions and help meet national air quality standards.

In January 1996, the State of Ohio began a new vehicle emissions testing program, E-Check, designed to identify motor vehicles that emit excessive levels of pollutants into the air.  Among the other emissions control options considered by legislature, E-Check was the most cost-efficient measure to reduce the volatile organic compounds (VOC's) that form ground-level ozone, or smog.  The program currently tests cars in seven Ohio counties.

E-Check Station Closings - In the event of extended power outages or extreme winter weather/snow storms please click here for possible station closings/updates.

                                                                  1-800-CAR-TEST (1-800-227-8378)

         
                                                                                       

Self-Service Emissions Testing Kiosks

There are self-service OBD II testing kiosks available for public use at 16 of the full-service E-Check station locations.  The self-service kiosks can be used by most 1996 and newer gasoline engine vehicles and 1997 and newer diesel engine vehicles to receive their initial test.  The inspection consists of three easy steps:

Step 1.  Scan your vehicle's VIN barcode, or enter it directly in the screen and verify or enter other vehicle information necessary.

Step 2.  Connect the Onboard Diagnostic (OBD) testing device to your vehicle's data port.

Step 3.  Collect your Vehicle Inspection Report showing your vehicle's information and the inspection results.  If your vehicle passes, you may proceed with your registration.  If your vehicle fails, you must return to a regular inspection lane during normal business hours for your re-inspection.

 The Self-Service Kiosks Are Open 24 Hours a Day 365 Days a Year !

  

 

Testing kiosks are available at the following locations:

 

 City

 Address

 Medina

770 North Progress Dr., Medina, OH 44256

 Euclid

1750 Metro Dr., Euclid, OH 44132

 Warrensville Heights

19000 S. Miles Rd., Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

 Westlake

24770 Sperry Dr., Westlake, OH 44145

Cleveland 

4557 Industrial Pkwy., Cleveland, OH 44135

North Royalton 

13000 York Delta Dr., North Royalton, OH 44133

Kent

1460 Fairchild Rd., Kent, OH 44240

Rootstown

5093 S. Prospect St., Rootstown, OH 44272

Akron

1818 Copley Rd., Akron, OH 44320

Cuyahoga Falls

3478 State Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223

 Twinsburg

2200 Pinnacle Pkwy., Twinsburg, OH 44087

 Berea

1291 W. Bagley Rd., Berea, OH 44017

Valley View

6150 West Canal Rd., Valley View, OH 44125

Chardon

10632 Auburn Rd., Chardon, OH 44024

Painesville

1755 North Ridge Rd., Painesville, OH 44077

Elyria

128 Reaser Ct., Elyria, OH 44036

  

 

If the check engine light has been turned off recently (within a week) because the battery was disconnected, vehicle repaired, serviced or the computer cleared with a scan tool, the vehicle may not be able to receive a test either at the kiosk or an inspection lane.  The vehicle may first need to be driven through its drive cycle to ready the vehicle’s computer for testing.  You can read the following for additional information on drive cycles and vehicle testing readiness:

 

http://epa.ohio.gov/dapc/echeck/testing_info/ECheckBrochures.aspx

http://epa.ohio.gov/Portals/27/echeck/docs/OBDReadiness_DriveCyclesNov2012.pdf


If the check engine light is on you will still be able to test the vehicle, however, you will receive a failing test.  The purpose for this would be to obtain the trouble codes for free which you or your mechanic can use to repair the vehicle.  The vehicle is allowed three free tests within a 365 day period.  The fourth and any subsequent tests will need to be conducted at a full service station in an inspection lane and will cost $18 each time.

During normal E-Check station hours of operation there will be employees available for help with the testing process.  As mentioned above, the kiosk is only able to test 1996 and newer gasoline engine vehicles and 1997 and newer diesel engine vehicles.  1995 and older vehicles (1996 and older diesels) must be tested using the "tailpipe" test because they are not equipped with OBD II technology.

 

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 2002 vehicle must be tested in 2010, 2012, etc.).  All odd model year vehicles must be tested during the odd-numbered years (e.g. a 2001 vehicle must be tested in 2011, 2013, 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 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, 2010 to 2013 model year vehicles are exempt from testing in 2013.

Cost of the Test

In accordance with House Bill (H.B.) 119, a motorist may receive up to 3 free tests within a 365 day period.  With the 4th test, and all thereafter, the motorist will be charged a fee of $18 which must be paid at one of the 23 full-service E-Check stations.  Only one free passing test is permitted within a 365 day period.

Duplicate Test Certificates

Motorists can obtain a duplicate copy of a valid passing test record at any of the E-Check testing locations free of charge.  The motorist will need to bring the vehicle identification number (VIN) to the testing station.

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 Web site 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 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.

  1. Vehicles more than 25 years old, as determined by vehicle model year;
  2. Commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating;
  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, Ohio 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 must have 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 $18.00 each.  Credit cards are not accepted.

What to bring to the test                        *Anyone can bring the vehicle in to be tested

Ohio title or registration. If your vehicle has Ohio license plates and is registered in an E-Check county the lane inspector may ask for the vehicle title or registration.  However, your vehicle can be tested without these items if the vehicle is registered in an E-Check county. If you are moving into an E-Check county, please see the sections below. If you are in the process of purchasing a vehicle and the title is not in your name, a voucher is required to perform the test.

Money.  In accordance with House Bill (H.B.) 119, a motorist may receive up to 3 free tests within a 365 day period.  With the 4th test, and all thereafter, the motorist will be charged $18.  Only one free passing test is permitted within a 365 day period.Motorists wishing to obtain a duplicate copy of a valid passing test record will need to bring the vehicle identification number (VIN) to the testing station.

30-day temporary tag.  If your vehicle has a 30-day temporary tag you must present one of the following documents at the time of the test:

  • Ohio title;
  • Ohio memorandum of title;
  • Ohio lease agreement with the VIN and your Ohio address listed on it; or
  • Ohio temporary registration.

Leased Vehicles. Lease holders must bring the Ohio lease agreement with the VIN and your Ohio address listed on it.

Out of state residents moving into an Ohio E-Check County If moving into an Ohio E-Check county one of the following processes must be followed in order to have an emissions test done, which will permit you to register a vehicle in Ohio:

  • The owner of the vehicle must go to the title bureau and request the VIN verification inspection only.  The owner will pay $3.50 for the inspection.
    • After the VIN inspection has been completed, the owner will take the vehicle to an E-Check station for testing. The owner will need to present the VIN Inspection Certificate to receive a free test.  If the VIN Inspection Certificate is not presented, one of the following must be presented:
      • Ohio title,
      • Ohio memorandum of title,
      • Ohio lease agreement with the VIN your Ohio address listed on it; or
      • Ohio temporary registration
    • After passing the emissions test, the owner of the vehicle should return to the title bureau and obtain an Ohio title.  The owner can also obtain the required registration from the registrar.
  • Purchase a voucher for $18 at the station or from Envirotest Systems.  After completing the registration process, the motorist will be eligible for a refund.  For more information on the voucher process, click here.

Ohio residents moving into an E-Check county must bring one of the following:

*Please note that Ohio residents are only required to test if the current year corresponds with your vehicle's normal testing year.  Check here to determine if your vehicle needs a test.

  • Purchase a voucher at the station or from Envirotest Systems.
    • The voucher must be presented at the time of the test.
    • After your vehicle has passed inspection, you may obtain your new registration and receive a refund for the cost of the inspection. For refund information contact Envirotest Systems Corporation at(330) 963-4464 x1234 or (800) 218-9247 x1234.
  • New temporary registration showing your new address (30-day temporary tag)

Vehicles from outside Ohio. If your vehicle is titled and registered in another state you must obtain a voucher from Envirotest Systems. The vehicle cannot be tested without a voucher.  For voucher information please go to Voucher Information..

No pets.  With the exception of service animals in the company of persons with a disability, the test facilities are unable to accommodate animals, including pets.  A service animal is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as "any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability."

 

If you have unanswered questions at the station, please ask for the station manager.

If a used vehicle is purchased that requires an E-Check before registration, the owner may transfer plates from their old vehicle to the new one and drive with those plates legally for 30 days.  Please keep in mind the three guidelines for transferring standard plates, they are as follows:

  • The vehicle that the license plates were on is no longer owned by you.  You have signed the title over to the new owner, salvaged the vehicle, etc.
  • The license plate registration and sticker are still valid.
  • The same person or persons owned both the old and the new vehicle for which the plates are transferring.

 

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 must have 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.

Cost of the Test

In accordance with House Bill (H.B.) 119, a motorist may receive up to 3 free tests within a 365 day period.  With the 4th test, and all thereafter, the motorist will be charged a fee of $18 which must be paid at one of the 23 full-service E-Check stations.  Only one free passing test is permitted within a 365 day period.

 

Duplicate Test Certificates

Motorists can obtain a duplicate copy of a valid passing test record at any E-Check testing location free of charge.  The motorist will need to bring the vehicle identification number (VIN) to the testing station.

E-Check Field Office

Cleveland/Akron Area Field Office
Ohio EPA, E-Check Program
2190 Pinnacle Parkway
Twinsburg, Ohio 44087-2364

(330) 963-4479

 

Hours: Monday thru Friday 8 to 5

Please select Google link below for a map to the office:

Google map of Akron Field Office

Exemption and Extension Processing Locations

Hardship, repair, and out-of-state extensions as well as military, student and out-of-state exemptions can now be processed at any of the 23 full service E-Check stations as well as the Ohio EPA Twinsburg field office location.  Please have the Exemption/Extension Application or Hardship Application filled out and other required paperwork with you when you arrive.  Only walk-in applications can be processed at the following locations:

Full-Service E-Check Stations:

2021 Brown Street, Akron, OH 44319
       1460 Fairchild Road, Kent, OH 44240 
1818 Copley Road, Akron, OH 44320        770 North Progress Drive, Medina, OH 44256
205 Sandstone Blvd., Amherst, OH 44001         13000 York Delta Drive, North Royalton, OH 44133
1291 West Bagley Road, Berea, OH 44017         1755 North Ridge Road, Painesville, OH 44077
17202 Munn Road, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023         5093 South Prospect Street, Rootstown, OH 44272
10632 Auburn Road, Chardon, OH 44024         408 East Main Street, Spencer, OH 44275
2724 East 55th Street, Cleveland, OH 44104         200 Pinnacle Pkwy., Twinsburg, OH 44087
4557 Industrial Pkwy., Cleveland, OH 44135         6150 West Canal Road, Valley View, OH 44125
17704 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44110         19000 S. Miles Road, Warrensville Heights, OH 44128
3478 State Road, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44233         24770 Sperry Drive, Westlake, OH 44145
128 Reaser Court, Elyria, OH 44036         1979 Joseph Lloyd Pkwy., Willoughby, OH 44094
1750 Metro Drive, Euclid, OH 44132   


Important:  Below is a list of exemptions and extensions that cannot be issued at the E-Check stations unless an appointment has been made to meet with an Ohio EPA employee at a station:

  • Permanent
    • Overweight vehicles
    • Alternatively fueled vehicles 
  • Storage
  • Trust
  • Handicap vehicles unable to test
  • Impounded vehicles
  • Medical

To schedule an appointment and for information regarding exemptions and extensions please contact the Ohio EPA at 330-963-4479.

Please note that ALL exemptions and extensions can be processed at our two Ohio EPA office locations:

 
Ohio EPA E-Check                                        Ohio EPA E-Check
2190 Pinnacle Parkway                                50 West Town Street, Suite 700 
Twinsburg, OH 44087                                  Columbus, OH 43215

 

Mail-in applications must be sent to one of the above Ohio EPA offices for processing.

 

 

In-State Student

State legislators did not provide  a  waiver or extension option for in-state students as they are considered to be home within the 365 days prior to registration renewal when the motor vehicle can be tested.  The test is valid for 365 days.  There are several options available for student motor vehicles:

STUDENT in the E-Check counties:

The following seven counties  are required to do E-Check emissions testing at this time: Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit.  A student motorist can submit their vehicle to emissions testing through any of the E-Check stations located in those E-Check counties. To find out the nearest station, please visit our site location webpage. The test is good for 365 days.

STUDENT with a vehicle registered in an E-Check county but attending school in  a county where E-Check is not required in Ohio:

If a student motorist has a vehicle registered in an E-Check county and an established residency in the area where E-Check is not required, you may transfer your registration to the county where the motorist and vehicle resides. The change in registration location will remove the motor vehicle emissions testing requirement.  If the vehicle is in the motorist’s parents’ name, the title must be changed to reflect the change of ownership.

  


Out-Of-State Students

STUDENT with a vehicle registered in an E-Check county, attending school out of the state:

If a student motorist has time, have the vehicle tested the next time the vehicle is home. The test is valid for 365 days so testing can be done well in advance.  Testing ahead also applies to motorists who travel out of state for extended periods for work or migratory reasons, etc. If a student motorist needs additional time to return home, he or she can obtain 30-day temporary tags for the motor vehicle.  This may eventually involve a late fee. The motor vehicle title will be required at the BMV registrar office to obtain the temporary tags. There are two catetories for out of state students:

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. The "Out-of-State Law Enforcement Vehicle Verification" portion on the application must be completed by a school security officer or a local/state/federal law enforcement officer.

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. Once the student motorist has obtained the passing test certificate from the state he or she will need to exchange it for an Ohio exemption certificate. An

Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application  must also be completed and sent to Ohio EPA along with a copy of the vehicle registration and a copy of the state passing test certificate. The Ohio exemption certificate will exempt you from being required to return the motor vehicle to Ohio for testing prior to registration renewal.  Once the motorist has obtained the Ohio exemption certificate from Ohio EPA, he or she may renew the motor vehicle registration as usual.

See our
page for out-of-state testing options.


MILITARY

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.

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.  New vehicles are exempt from testing for the first four model years.


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 

 (614) 644-3059

OR

 Stop by or call the Ohio EPA Field Office


Duplicate Test Certificates

Motorists can obtain a duplicate copy of a valid passing test record at any E-Check testing location free of charge.  The motorist will need to bring the vehicle identification number (VIN) to the testing station.  Click here to find testing locations.

Cost of the Test

In accordance with House Bill (H.B.) 119, a motorist may receive up to 3 free tests within a 365 day period.  With the 4th test, and all thereafter, the motorist will be charged $18.  Only one free passing test is permitted within a 365 day period.

Frequently Asked Questions


Which vehicles must be tested?

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 within an E-Check county must comply with the E-Check requirement.  All even model year vehicles must test in even-numbered years.  All odd model year vehicles must test in odd-numbered years.

New vehicles are exempt for the first four model years.

For more information, please visit our Need a Test? Web site.

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Why does my vehicle need to be tested?

Automobiles are a major contributor to ground level ozone. In Ohio, the E-Check program is the most cost-effective method of reducing volatile organic compounds, and maintaining the required air quality. High pollution levels not only affect the future health of Ohioans, but also make it more difficult to draw new business and create jobs in our communities. The E-Check program will help provide a healthy future and a strong economy for Ohioans and their families.

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Why is the Ohio E-Check program important to Ohio's economy?

The E-Check program is a key component of the ten year maintenance plan to protect air quality while allowing for ten years of economic growth. With the pollution reductions achieved by the E-Check program, there is more room for new businesses to bring jobs to Ohio and for existing businesses to expand.

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What counties are included in the Ohio E-Check program?

The 7 Ohio counties currently participating in the program include: Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit.

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What is necessary for new residents?

New Ohio residents to Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, or Summit counties:

If moving into an E-Check county one of the following process must be followed to register a vehicle in the State of Ohio:

  • The owner of the vehicle must go to the title bureau and request the VIN verification inspection only.  The owner will pay $3.50 for the inspection.
    • After the VIN inspection has been completed, the owner will take the vehicle to an E-Check station for testing.  The owner will need to present the VIN Inspection Certificate to receive a free test.  If the VIN Inspection Certificate is not presented, one of the following must be presented:
      • Ohio title
      • Ohio memorandum of title
      • Ohio lease agreement with the VIN and your Ohio address listed on it
      • Ohio temporary registration
    • After passing the emissions test, the owner of the vehicle should return to the title bureau and obtain an Ohio title.  The owner can also obtain the required registration from the registrar.
  • Purchase a voucher for $18.00 at the station or from Envirotest Systems.  After completing the registration process, the motorist will be eligable for a refund.  For more information on the voucher process, click here.
  • The owner of the vehicle must obtain a new Ohio driver's license with the updated address.  After obtaining the license, take the license, current vehicle registration, and the vehicle to the testing station.  After passing the emissions test, the owner of the vehicle will be able to obtain an Ohio title and registration.

Ohio residents moving into an E-Check county must bring one of the following:

  • Purchase a voucher from Envirotest for $18. Vouchers may be purchased at the stations or via phone at 1-800-CAR-TEST
    • Proceed to the E-Check station and have the vehicle tested. The voucher must be presented at the time of the test.
    • After passing the emissions test, the owner can obtain the required registration from the registrar.
    • After passing the emissions test, a reimbursement for the cost of the test can be obtained from Envirotest. For refund information, call 1-800-CAR-TEST.
  • New temporary registration showing your new address (30-day temporary tag)
  • The owner of the vehicle must update their Ohio driver's license with the updated address.  After obtaining a new license or postcard from the Ohio BMV with the updated information, take the license or postcard, current vehicle registraion, and the vehicle to the testing station.  After passing the emissions test, the owner of the vehicle will be able to obtain the required registration.

*Please note that Ohio residents are only required to test if the current year corresponds with your vehicle's normal testing year.  The paragraph below will help you determine if your vehicle needs a test.

Testing is required for even year vehicle models in even years and odd year vehicle models in odd years (i.e. a 2002 model year vehicle is required to test in 2012, a 2001 vehicle is not required to test in 2012). If the vehicle is not required to test for registration purposes, proceed to the registration bureau and register as usual.

 

 

 

 


What type of testing is required for diesel vehicles?

All diesel-fueled vehicles equaling 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating or less must be tested through the E-Check program if they are registered in one of the 7 E-Check counties. Model year 1996 and older diesel-fueled vehicles are given an opacity test to determine the "density" of the exhaust emitted from the vehicle's tailpipe. Opacity is defined as the percentage of light transmitted from a source which is prevented from reaching a light detector. The major environmental concern with diesel-fueled vehicles is the particulate matter emitted as a result of combustion. Particulate matter includes microscopic particles and tiny droplets of liquid. Because of their small size, these particles are not stopped in the nose and upper lungs and may end up in the lower lungs. These particles can then become trapped and cause irritation. Exposure to particulate matter can cause wheezing and similar symptoms in people with asthma or other forms of Chronic Lung Disease.

Beginning January 5, 2004, model year 1997 and newer diesel-fueled vehicles will undergo the OBD II test, instead of the tailpipe test. For more information on OBD II, please see the OBD II FAQ.

If a diesel-fueled vehicle cannot be driven on the dynamometer due to conditions such as all-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, etc., then it is given an idle snap test.  This is a test where the vehicle remains in neutral or park, and the engine is revved to produce emissions.  The dynamometer is not utilized during this method of testing. 

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How far in advance can I have my vehicle tested?

An E-Check compliance certificate is good for 365 days, so it is possible to have your vehicle tested up to one year in advance of your registration date.  It is often helpful to test early when you know that you will not be in Ohio when it is time to renew.The certificate must be valid thru vehicle registration expiration date.

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Who can take my vehicle in for a test?

Any motorist may take a vehicle requiring an emission test to the testing station.  Ohio EPA recommends that the motorist take the vehicle title or registration to ensure a smooth testing process.

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How often will my vehicle need to be tested?

Vehicles are required to be tested every two years. Vehicles with an even-number model year will be inspected in even years. For example, a 2000 vehicle will be tested in 2012, 2014, etc. Vehicles with an odd-number model year will be inspected in odd years. For example, a 1999 vehicle will be tested in 2011, 2013, etc. Since the compliance certificate is good for 365 days, we recommend that you have your vehicle tested far in advance of the registration expiration date.

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Where can I find the testing history of a vehicle?

 

Ohio EPA will provide motorists with the Ohio testing history of a vehicle.  To obtain the Ohio testing history, call Ohio EPA at (614) 644-3059 with the vehicle identification number. To learn if the vehicle has a valid test, motorists may contact the Ohio E-Check hotline at 1-800-CAR-TEST.

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How will I be notified about the test?

You will be notified by mail approximately 90 days before your registration expires. The mailer will provide you with station hours, and a phone number to call for more information.

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Are there any restrictions on where I can have my vehicle tested?

No.  You may have your vehicle tested in any of the Ohio E-Check stations located in one of the 7 E-Check counties, regardless of where the vehicle is registered.

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Do I need to make an appointment before taking my vehicle to a test station?

No. Vehicles are tested on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointments are necessary.

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What if I purchase a used vehicle?

If the seller of the vehicle supplies you with a valid E-Check compliance certificate, the vehicle does not need to be tested again. If the vehicle does not have a valid E-Check compliance certificate, you must have the vehicle tested prior to registering the vehicle. If the buyer is unsure whether the vehicle has a valid certificate, please contact 1-800-CAR-TEST with the vehicle identification number.  Please note that if the vehicle is within the first four model year exemption period, no test is required.

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Will I still be able to get my registration by mail?

Yes. Simply mail the emissions test certificate with your renewal notice and registration fee.

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What will my vehicle be tested for (tailpipe test only)?

The E-Check tailpipe test measures your vehicle's emissions under various operating conditions. It is designed to measure levels of hydrocarbon (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Vehicles will be required to meet emissions standards established for the year the vehicle was manufactured.

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If my vehicle does not pass the test, will the test center make necessary repairs?

No, the test centers do not make repairs. You may take your vehicle to a service facility of your choice to have necessary repairs made.

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Do I have to pay if my vehicle fails the test?

In accordance with House Bill (H.B.) 119, a motorist may receive up to 3 free tests within a 365 day period.  The fourth test, and all thereafter, the motorist will be charged $18 for the test. Only one free passing test is permitted per 365 day period.

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Are there specific repair facilities licensed by Ohio EPA to make emissions repairs?

Ohio EPA licenses repair shops and certifies repair technicians within the 7 E-Check counties. Technicians are trained and certified in areas of emission diagnosis and repairs. The technicians must complete a high-quality training program developed by the Training Repair Industry Advisory Group (TRIAG) and Ohio EPA to become Ohio certified E-Check repair technicians. Licensed E-Check repair facilities must employ at least one certified E-Check repair technician and maintain the following equipment:

Reference Materials
DVOM or Digital Multi-Meter
Vacuum Gauge
Fuel Pressure Test Kit
Carbon Cleaner System
3.5 or 5 Gas Analyzer
Scan Tool
Basic Ignition Scope with DIS capabilities

If a vehicle fails the test, the motorist will be given a complete list of all licensed repair stations in the area.

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What if my vehicle continues to fail the test?

Motorists are eligible to receive one of two types of waivers, depending on the results of repairs performed on failing vehicles. For information on these waivers, please go to our page on Waivers, Extensions and Exemptions.

 

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Why isn't testing required in all states? in all 88 Ohio counties?

Automobile emissions testing is required in all or part of 33 states to help maintain the federal air quality standard.  Areas that were in moderate non attainment or worse for ozone in 1990 are included in Ohio's E-Check program. These areas include the metropolitan statistical areas of Cleveland/Akron. These areas need to reduce ozone air pollution in order to maintain healthy air quality and to accommodate economic growth. E-Check complements industrial controls in these areas to maintain healthy air quality. Without E-Check, additional requirements could be imposed on industry, limiting the area's ability to attract new jobs and broaden the tax base.

Ohio EPA does not have the authority to implement or require testing of vehicles registered outside the 7 counties. Ohio's legislators did not give Ohio EPA the authority to implement an automobile emissions testing program in all Ohio counties.

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Why must we test when vehicles are operating more cleanly today than ever before?

It is true, an automobile manufactured in 2000 runs more cleanly than the new vehicles of 1970. Automobile manufacturers have complied with more stringent emissions standards set by the federal government each year. New emissions devices combined with unleaded fuel have improved auto emissions during the past twenty-seven years; however, manufacturers still have no control over routine maintenance of a vehicle once it leaves a showroom.

From 1970 to 2000, U.S. population increased 35 percent and vehicle miles traveled increased 127 percent. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles records indicate there were 5,201,307 registrations in 1970 compared to 11,740,513 registrations in 2000. Transportation sources are the most prevalent cause of volatile organic compound emissions which combine with sunlight to create ground level ozone. Auto emissions can have adverse health effects on Ohio citizens.

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I had my vehicle tested last year when I purchased it; why do I have to test it again this year?

When the title of a vehicle is transferred and the new owner wishes to register that vehicle, a passing E-Check test may be required for registration. The vehicle then begins being tested biennially based on model year.  In some cases, when a motorist purchases a used vehicle, an emissions test may be required in two successive years. For example, if a 2005 vehicle was purchased in 2012, the motorist would be required to provide a passing test certificate to register the vehicle. In 2013, the vehicle would be required to test again based on the odd model year testing schedule. If the passing test certificate from the 2012 test is more than 365 days old at the time of registration, the vehicle will be required to test again.  If the test certificate from 2012 is still valid at the time of registration, the vehicle will not have to be tested in 2013.

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My vehicle failed at one test station and I drove to another station and it passed. Is there something wrong with your equipment at the first station (tailpipe test only)?

In accordance with the contract documents, the E-Check contractor is required to verify calibration of each test lane on a daily basis before system startup. The contractor is required to perform other daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly tests or calibrations to ensure the system is operating properly. In addition, the gas analyzer readings are compared regularly with others in the system to determine the uniformity of the test equipment and to ensure motorists receive a fair test regardless of the location of the test facility. Not only does Ohio EPA field staff regularly verify these calibration records, but they conduct field testing of lane equipment for proper operation.

Many failing vehicles experience inconsistent operating conditions due to intermittent failure of various emissions parts. The inconsistent operating condition of an engine will cause emissions readings to vary and may cause a vehicle to fail the E-Check tailpipe test one minute and pass several minutes later with no repairs having been performed between tests. A vehicle not fully warmed up may emit more pollutants than a vehicle operating at normal temperatures. In order to minimize problems associated with intermittent failures, Ohio EPA recommends motorists have routine maintenance items checked and operate the vehicles at least 15 minutes prior to being tested. 

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My vehicle does not emit smoke and there isn't a spot of rust, why does it need to be tested?

Many motorists believe that a vehicle which does not emit smoke and has an immaculate paint job is a well-maintained vehicle. Outward appearance of a vehicle is not an accurate indication of how well the vehicle's engine has been or is maintained. The pollutants detected by the E-Check test are odorless, nearly colorless and therefore, undetectable by the naked eye. If a vehicle does not pass the E-Check test, the vehicle is not operating "cleanly" with regard to the harmful emissions. If all emissions repairs are made to a vehicle to bring that vehicle into compliance, the motorist generally experiences an improvement in gas mileage. Proper emissions repairs also lengthen vehicle life.

Regardless of age or mileage, vehicles that are maintained in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations have a better chance of passing the emissions test. Passing the E-Check test indicates that your vehicle's emission control system is operating well, polluting less, and consuming less gas.

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Additional questions about the Ohio E-Check Program?
Call 1-800-CAR-TEST or 1-614-644-3059.

 

Testing in Other States

If a vehicle is registered in an Ohio E-Check county and is permanently, temporarily, or indefinitely housed out-of-state, it is not exempt from the Ohio E-Check requirements.  If the vehicle is located in a state with a testing program, you must test the vehicle and send the vehicle's original passing test certificate, a readable copy of the vehicle's registration, and an Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension application [PDF] to Ohio EPA. 

Last updated: 2/28/2014

 

STATE

TESTING AREA

TELEPHONE

Arizona

Phoenix and Tucson

1-877-myAZcar (hotline)

California

Statewide

1-800-952-5210

Colorado

Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties with the exception of rural portions of Adams and Arapahoe counties east of Kiowa Creek

(303) 456-7090 (hotline)

Connecticut

Statewide

1-888-828-8399

Delaware

Statewide

(302) 744-2503

DC

                      District wide

(202) 727-5000

Georgia

Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale Counties

1-800-449-2471

(404) 363-7028

Idaho

Boise (Ada County)

(208) 377-9191

 

Illinois

Only 1996 model years and newer (OBD II test) Cook, DuPage, and Lake counties: portions of Kane, Kendall, Madison, McHenry, Monroe, St. Clair, and Will Counties

1-800-635-2380

 

Louisiana

Only 1996 model years and newer  (OBD II test)

Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, and West Parish

(225) 219-3523

 

Maine

OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS MUST CONTACT CALL AHEAD TO ARRANGE A TEST.

Cumberland County (Portland)

(207) 287-2437

Maryland

Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, Queen Anne's, and Washington Counties

(410) 537-3270

Massachusetts*

Only 1998 model years and newer (OBD II test)

Statewide

(866) 941-6277

Missouri

Only 1996 model years and newer (OBD II test)

St. Louis area (Counties of Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis)

(866) OBD-TEST

(866) 623-8378

Nevada

Clark County (Las Vegas)

Washoe County (Reno)

(702) 486-4981

(775) 684-3580

New Hampshire

Only 1996 model years and newer (OBD II test)

Statewide

 

(603) 271-8800

New Jersey**

Statewide

(888) 656-6867

(609) 895-6886

New Mexico

Albuquerque/Bernalillo County

(505) 764-1110

New York

Vehicles 25 model years old and newer in Metropolitan NYC

Only 1996 & newer model years statewide (with the exception of NYC area)

518-474-8943

North Carolina

Only 1996 model years and newer (OBD II test)

Counties of Alamance, Brunswick, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Carteret, Catawba, Chatham, Cleveland, Cumberland, Craven, Davidson, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Granville, Guilford, Harnett, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Johnston, Lee, Kenoir, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pitt, Randolph, Robeson, Rockingham, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Union, Wake, Wayne, Wilkes, and Wilson

(919) 707-8400

Oregon

Portland -Metro Area & Rogue Valley

1-877-476-0583

Pennsylvania

Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, and Westmoreland counties: 25 model years old and newer

Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, and York counties: 1996 model year and newer

1-800-265-0921

Rhode Island

Statewide

(401) 222-2983

Tennessee

Davidson, Hamilton, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties

Nashville: (615) 340-5656

All others: (866) 329-9632 or 1-877-477-0800

Texas***

Brazoria, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Johnson, Kaufman, Montgomery, Parker, Rockwall, Travis, Tarrant, and Williamson Counties

(512) 424-7293

Utah

Davis, Salt Lake, Utah, &

Weber Counties

Davis Co.  (801) 546-8860

Salt Lake Co.  (801) 313-6720

Utah Co. (801) 343-4601

Weber Co.  (801) 399-7141

Vermont

Statewide, Only 1996 model years and newer 

(802) 828-2067

Virginia

Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford Counties

(703) 583-3900

1-800-275-3844 (VA only)

Washington

Seattle-Tacoma, Spokane, and Vancouver areas

(800) 272-3780

Wisconsin

Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Racine, Washington and Waukesha Counties

(800) 242-7510

Ontario Canada

Southern Ontario

1-888-758-2999

British Columbia Canada

Vancouver metro area

(604) 930-5633

 Chilliwack, Rosedale, Sardis, Agassiz and Harrison:  (604) 795-4546

Mission and Abbotsford:  (604) 820-2226

 

   * Ohio motorists will need a "reciprocal emissions inspection."  If the station operator has questions, the station should call (866) 941-6277 for assistance.

     ** Ohio vehicles will need to be tested at a Private Inspection Center.  Make sure the vehicle receives a complete test.  Tune-up tests will NOT be accepted.  Call the number provided to arrange an appointment.

 *** Ohio motorists will need to request a "Voluntary Emissions Test" so that the vehicle will not be subject to a complete safety and emissions test.


If my vehicle does not pass the test, will the test center make necessary repairs?

No, the test centers do not make repairs. You may take your vehicle to a service facility of your choice to have necessary repairs made.


Do I have to pay if my vehicle fails the test?

In accordance with House Bill (H.B.) 119, a motorist may receive up to 3 free tests within a 365 day period.  The fourth test, and all thereafter, the motorist will be charged $18 for the test. Only one free passing test is permitted per 365 day period.


Are there specific repair facilities licensed by Ohio EPA to make emissions repairs?

Ohio EPA licenses repair shops and certifies repair technicians within the 7 E-Check counties. Technicians are trained and certified in areas of emission diagnosis and repairs. The technicians must complete a high-quality training program developed by the Training Repair Industry Advisory Group (TRIAG) and Ohio EPA to become Ohio certified E-Check repair technicians. Licensed E-Check repair facilities must employ at least one certified E-Check repair technician and maintain the following equipment:

 

Reference Materials
DVOM or Digital Multi-Meter
Vacuum Gauge
Fuel Pressure Test Kit
Carbon Cleaner System
3.5 or 5 Gas Analyzer
Scan Tool
Basic Ignition Scope with DIS capabilities

 

If a vehicle fails the test, the motorist will be given a complete list of all licensed repair stations in the area.


What if my vehicle continues to fail the test?

Motorists are eligible to receive one of two types of waivers, depending on the results of repairs performed on failing vehicles. For information on these waivers, please go to our page on Waivers, Extensions and Exemptions.

 


My vehicle failed at one test station and I drove to another station and it passed. Is there something wrong with your equipment at the first station (tailpipe test only)?

In accordance with the contract documents, the E-Check contractor is required to verify calibration of each test lane on a daily basis before system startup. The contractor is required to perform other daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly tests or calibrations to ensure the system is operating properly. In addition, the gas analyzer readings are compared regularly with others in the system to determine the uniformity of the test equipment and to ensure motorists receive a fair test regardless of the location of the test facility. Not only does Ohio EPA field staff regularly verify these calibration records, but they conduct field testing of lane equipment for proper operation.

Many failing vehicles experience inconsistent operating conditions due to intermittent failure of various emissions parts. The inconsistent operating condition of an engine will cause emissions readings to vary and may cause a vehicle to fail the E-Check tailpipe test one minute and pass several minutes later with no repairs having been performed between tests. A vehicle not fully warmed up may emit more pollutants than a vehicle operating at normal temperatures. In order to minimize problems associated with intermittent failures, Ohio EPA recommends motorists have routine maintenance items checked and operate the vehicles at least 15 minutes prior to being tested. 


 

 

Additional questions about the Ohio E-Check Program?
Call 1-800-CAR-TEST or 1-614-644-3059.

 

 
 
 

On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) II

Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

 

Important: If your "check engine" light is on, your vehicle will automatically fail the test.


 
 

 

 


What is OBD II?

 

On-board diagnostics (OBD II) is a complex computer package installed on 1996 and newer cars
and light trucks, and 1997 and newer diesel vehicles. This sophisticated system serves as an
advanced warning to alert vehicle owners and auto technicians of potentially high emissions.
OBD II is now being used by auto emissions testing facilities.

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What does my Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) mean?

Each DTC indicates the type of fault and the area of the OBD and power train/emission control system where the fault is located.. When a problem occurs which may cause the vehicles emissions to exceed applicable standards, the OBD system identifies the failure with a specific DTC, illuminates the malfunction indication light (MIL) and records a record of what has occurred. The link provided below contains a reference list of codes associated with OBD, specifically related to emission system repairs.

Link: OBD DTC Reference List for emission repairs

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Why is Ohio changing the E-Check test?

Federal regulations require Ohio to implement the OBD II test for most 1996 and newer vehicles
in place of the current tailpipe emissions test. The OBD II test will improve the testing process by
detecting problems in a vehicle's emission control systems before they cause costly repairs and
allow more harmful pollutants into Ohio's air.
 

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How does OBD II work?

The computer continuously tracks and stores information about the vehicle"s performance. The on-board computer turns on the "check engine" or "service engine soon" light if it finds a problem with the vehicle's emission control system.

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What vehicles are tested using the OBD II test?

Most 1996 or newer gasoline-powered cars and trucks up to 10,000 lbs (and 1997 and newer
diesel-powered vehicles) can be tested using OBD II. If the vehicle's computer is found to be not ready after communicating with the test equipment during the initial test, a tailpipe emissions test may be conducted.

**NOTE: BMW Series 7 owners must provide accessibility to the OBD computer by removing the cover plate prior to inspection. BMW dealers can complete this task.  We regret any inconvenience this may cause.

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What are the advantages of using the OBD II test?

OBD II identifies the causes for a vehicle to fail its emissions test. By issuing specific diagnostic
codes, OBD II pinpoints the problem, allowing repair technicians to make quicker, more effective
repairs. This saves time and money. OBD II is an early warning system that alerts vehicle owners
to emissions problems at a stage where repairs are less costly and perhaps even under warranty.
OBD II inspections also are quicker than previous tests.
 

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What does OBD II have to do with clean air?

While we have made significant achievements in improving air quality in Ohio over the last 20 years,
air pollution from automobiles remains a challenge. The number of registered vehicles in Ohio has
increased 125 percent since 1970, and vehicle miles traveled have steadily increased as well.
Newer vehicles operate cleaner due to improved technology and sophisticated emission control
systems, but these systems must be in proper working order for the vehicle emissions to remain
low. When an engine is not running as designed, performance is lost, fuel is wasted and air
pollution increases. OBD II can detect problems drivers do not. By detecting emissions control
deterioration and/or failures, and alerting the driver to the need for attention, vehicles can be
properly serviced before more serious problems develop.
 

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How is OBD II technology used to test for emissions?

OBD II testing uses a hand-held tool that plugs into the vehicle's computer and determines whether
the emissions system and components are working properly. The test downloads information stored
in the vehicle's computer to identify malfunctioning emission systems or components. Information
can be downloaded only to the E-Check computer system; no information can be altered or added
to the vehicle's computer.
 

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How sophisticated is the OBD II system?

OBD II can detect malfunctioning components and systems before more serious failures occur and even before the driver of the vehicle becomes aware of a problem. The OBD II system enables a vehicle owner to make cost-effective repairs before costly damage is done to the vehicle.

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What is the difference between the OBD II and the existing treadmill tests?

The treadmill test measures the concentration of gases coming from the vehicle's exhaust pipe.
The OBD II test is an electronic test that uses a hand-held reader device plugged into the vehicle's
computer through a port mounted under the dash. The vehicle's computer will communicate if there
are any components that are deteriorating or failing that may cause the vehicle to exceed allowable
emissions limits.
 

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Does this mean vehicles won't be tested on the dynamometer anymore?

No. Vehicles that are not equipped with the OBD II system or have an OBD II system that is not
"ready" during the initial test will continue to receive the treadmill test.
 

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How does the OBD II system notify the driver of a problem?

When an emissions control malfunction is detected, a dashboard light illuminates with the message
"check engine" or "service engine soon." If the OBD II system detects a problem, the on-board
computer stores a diagnostic trouble code that identifies the malfunction. Using an OBD II scan
tool, a repair technician can quickly retrieve the diagnostic codes and make necessary repairs,
often before a more serious problem develops.
 

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My "check engine" light is on, but my vehicle is running fine. What should I do?

If the "check engine" light is flashing, take the vehicle to a repair facility as soon as possible to prevent
major damage to your vehicle. If the light is not flashing, and you do not notice any changes to
the engine's performance, drive the vehicle in a normal manner for one week to see if the problem
corrects itself and turns the light off. If the light remains illuminated after a week of normal driving,
take the vehicle to a dealership or repair facility to fix the problem. Read your owner's manual for
further information on your vehicle's OBD II system. Your vehicle will fail the E-Check test if the "check engine" light is on.

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What does "not ready" mean?

A service technician will turn off the dashboard "check engine" light after most repairs. This resets the vehicle's emission system components to "not ready". The status remains "not ready" until the vehicle's computer has had adequate time to review the repaired component. This happens after the vehicle is driven for a period of time established by the manufacturer.

If the vehicle's emissions system status is "not ready" when it is presented at the E-Check station during the initial test cycle, a tailpipe emissions test may be conducted.  Vehicles six years old or newer at the time of the test cannot downgrade to the tailpipe test. 

If the vehicle is transferred to another test type, the vehicle must remain on the different test track until the vehicle passes the emissions test or receives a waiver. For example, if the vehicle undergoes an OBD II test and fails, it cannot be downgraded to a tailpipe test on a re-test; the vehicle must pass the OBD II test.

For initial and subsequent tests, if a dashboard light is on when the vehicle is presented at the E-Check station, the vehicle will fail the test.
 

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How can the vehicle status be made ready?

When a vehicle is driven through its normal drive cycle, the computer reviews the emission control
system and if the vehicle was properly repaired, the system resets itself to ready. A normal drive
cycle includes operation at both cruising speeds and in stop-and-go traffic for up to a couple
weeks. This process should be followed before bringing the vehicle in to be tested.
 

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How can the dashboard light be turned off?

After fixing the problems, the service technician may turn off the dashboard light. There are also
situations under which the vehicle's OBD II system can turn off the dashboard light automatically if
the conditions that caused a problem are no longer present. If the OBD II system evaluates a
component or system three consecutive times and no longer detects the initial problem, the
dashboard light will turn off automatically. This could happen if the gas cap is not properly tightened
after refueling. The OBD II system will detect the vapor leak and turn on the dashboard light. If the
cap is properly tightened, the situation will correct itself and the light will turn off.
 

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Why would a vehicle fail an OBD II test?

  • Malfunctioning catalytic converter
  • Faulty gas cap
  • Fuel system malfunction
  • Incorrect ignition timing
  • Malfunctioning air injection system
  • Misrouted vacuum lines
  • Contaminated engine oil
  • Faulty positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system or exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR) system

 


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Can anyone service an OBD II-related problem?

E-Check recommends that motorists utilize qualified, trained technicians equipped with the
appropriate diagnostic and repair equipment to conduct OBD II-related service. E-Check lane
inspectors can provide a list of Ohio E-Check licensed repair facilities.
 

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If my "check engine" light is not on, will I automatically pass the OBD II test?

No. A vehicle may fail the OBD II test even when the "check engine" light is not on.

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Why must I take the OBD II test if my "check engine" light is not on?

The complete test is performed to ensure that the light is working properly and that all required
OBD II monitors have tested the emissions systems and components.

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How do I know if my vehicle is covered by warranty?

Federal law requires that the emission control systems on 1995 and newer model year vehicles
be warranted for a minimum of two years or 24,000 miles. Warranty coverage for the on-board
computer and catalytic converter (only) is extended to eight years or 80,000 miles for these same
vehicles. Many automakers provide extended warranty coverage beyond that required by law.
Depending on the model year, emission system repairs may be covered by the manufacturer.
Consult your vehicle's warranty documents or your auto dealer for more information.

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Additional questions about the Ohio E-Check Program?
Call 1-800-CAR-TEST or 1-614-644-3059.

 

HARDSHIP EXTENSIONS

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 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 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.

  1. Vehicles more than 25 years old, as determined by vehicle model year;
  2. Commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating;
  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, 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 

 (614) 644-3059

OR

 Stop by or call the Ohio EPA Field Office


What to bring to the test           *Anyone can bring the vehicle in to be tested.

 

Out of state residents moving into an Ohio E-Check County If moving into an Ohio E-Check county one of the following processes must be followed in order to have an emissions test done, which will permit you to register a vehicle in Ohio:

  • The owner of the vehicle must go to the title bureau and request the VIN verification inspection only.  The owner will pay $3.50 for the inspection.
    • After the VIN inspection has been completed, the owner will take the vehicle to an E-Check station for testing. The owner will need to present the VIN Inspection Certificate to receive a free test.  If the VIN Inspection Certificate is not presented, one of the following must be presented:
      • Ohio title,
      • Ohio memorandum of title,
      • Ohio lease agreement with the VIN your Ohio address listed on it; or
      • Ohio temporary registration
    • After passing the emissions test, the owner of the vehicle should return to the title bureau and obtain an Ohio title.  The owner can also obtain the required registration from the registrar.
  • Purchase a voucher for $18 at the station or from Envirotest Systems.  After completing the registration process, the motorist will be eligible for a refund.  For more information on the voucher process, click here.

Ohio residents moving into an E-Check county must bring one of the following:

*Please note that Ohio residents are only required to test if the current year corresponds with your vehicle's normal testing year.  Check here to determine if your vehicle needs a test.

  • Purchase a voucher at the station or from Envirotest Systems.
    • The voucher must be presented at the time of the test.
    • After your vehicle has passed inspection, you may obtain your new registration and receive a refund for the cost of the inspection. For refund information contact Envirotest Systems Corporation at(330) 963-4464 x1234 or (800) 218-9247 x1234.
  • New temporary registration showing your new address (30-day temporary tag)

Vehicles from outside Ohio. If your vehicle is titled and registered in another state you must obtain a voucher from Envirotest Systems. The vehicle cannot be tested without a voucher.  For voucher information please go to Voucher Information.

 

If you have unanswered questions at the station, please ask for the station manager.

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 2002 vehicle must be tested in 2010, 2012, etc.).  All odd model year vehicles must be tested during the odd-numbered years (e.g. a 2001 vehicle must be tested in 2011, 2013, 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 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.

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, 2010 to 2013 model year vehicles are exempt from testing in 2013.

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 Web site 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 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.

  1. Vehicles more than 25 years old, as determined by vehicle model year;
  2. Commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating;
  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, Ohio 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 call 1-800-CAR-TEST to obtain this information. Please have the vehicle identification number (VIN) available.

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 $18.00 each.  Credit cards are not accepted.

Waivers, Extensions, and Exemptions

  • What is a waiver?
  • What is an extension?
  • How does a vehicle qualify for an extension?
  • What is an exemption?
  • Who qualifies for a temporary exemption?
  • Are hybrid vehicles exempt from testing?
  • What is the difference between a PERMANENT EXEMPTION and owning a vehicle that is PERMANENTLY EXEMPT?
  • Whom may I contact for additional information?

 

Download an exemption/extension application [PDF]


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?

REPAIRS

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.

HARDSHIP EXTENSIONS

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?

MILITARY

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.

SURVIVING SPOUSE 

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.

TRUST 

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:

  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 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.

  1. Vehicles more than 25 years old, as determined by vehicle model year;
  2. Commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating;
  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, 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 

 (614) 644-3059

OR

 Stop by or call the Ohio EPA Field Office


Ohio ECheck Annual Reports

The annual reports for the Ohio E-Check Program present an overview of E-Check activities conducted and highlight program contributions toward improving Ohio's air quality.

Ohio E-Check 2012 Annual Report

Ohio E-Check 2012 Annual Report Supporting Documentation

Ohio E-Check 2011-2012 Biennial Report

Ohio E-Check 2011 Annual Report

Ohio E-Check 2011 Annual Report Supporting Documentation

Ohio E-Check 2010 Annual Report

Ohio E-Check 2010 Annual Report Supporting Documentation

Ohio E-Check 2009 - 2010 Biennial Report

Ohio E-Check 2009 Annual Report

Ohio E-Check 2009 Annual Report Supporting Documentation

Ohio E-Check 2007 - 2008 Biennial Report

Ohio E-Check 2008 Annual Report

Ohio E-Check 2008 Annual Report Supporting Documentation

Ohio E-Check 2007 Annual Report

Ohio E-Check 2007 Annual Report Supporting Documentation

Ohio E-Check 2005 - 2006 Biennial Report

Ohio E-Check 2006 Annual Report

Ohio E-Check 2006 Annual Report Supporting Documentation

Ohio E-Check 2005 Annual Report

Ohio E-Check 2004 Annual Report

Ohio E-Check 2003 Annual Report

Ohio E-Check 2002 Annual Report

Ohio E-Check 2001 Annual Report

Ohio E-Check 2000 Annual Report

Ohio EPA personnel would be more than happy to visit your organization to present the findings of the report and answer any questions you may have about the E-Check program.  Please fill out a feedback form requesting a visit, or call (614) 644-3059.

News Releases

Modified Vehicles and Auto Emissions Testing

Engine-switch, rebuilt, gray-market, self-assembled and kit cars


Engine-switched vehicles

In an engine-switched vehicle, the original engine has been replaced with a different engine. This different engine may have been offered in the same model year as that vehicle or it may be from another year or manufacturer.

Engine-switched vehicles are tested by the model year in which the vehicle was titled because the vehicle was certified to meet emission requirements for that year.

These vehicles must meet the inspection requirements for the titled model year, including the tampering portion of the test. If older, less clean technology is put into a vehicle, it decertifies the vehicle, promotes poor performance, and violates the Clean Air Act.

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Establishment of engine-switching procedures

U.S.EPA established engine-switching procedures to comply with the federal Clean Air Act. The following is an excerpt from U.S. EPA's Engine-Switching Fact Sheet:

 "A 'certified configuration' is an engine or engine-chassis design which has been 'certified' (approved) by EPA prior to the production of vehicles with that design. Generally, the manufacturer submits an application for certification of the designs of each engine or vehicle it proposes to manufacture prior to production. The application includes design requirements for all emission related parts, engine calibrations, and other design parameters for each different type of engine (in heavy-duty vehicles), or engine-chassis combination (in light-duty vehicles). EPA then 'certifies' each acceptable design for use in vehicles of the upcoming model year.

"For light-duty vehicles, installation of a light-duty engine into a different light-duty vehicle by any person would be considered tampering unless the resulting vehicle is identical (with regards to all emission related parts, engine design parameters, and engine calibrations) to a certified configuration of the same or newer model year as the vehicle chassis, or if there is a reasonable basis for knowing that the emissions are not adversely affected as described in Memo 1A*. The appropriate source for technical information regarding the certified configuration of a vehicle of a particular model year is the vehicle manufacturer.

"For heavy-duty vehicles, the resulting vehicle must contain a heavy-duty engine which is identical to a certified configuration of a heavy-duty engine of the same model year or newer as the year of the installed engine. Under no circumstances, however, may a heavy-duty engine ever be installed in a light-duty vehicle."

*Memo 1A is a federal document that allows the use of after-market parts on vehicle emission systems.

Despite these clear guidelines, proper engine switches are uncommon. Usually, a 1980's vehicle has had a 1970's motor installed because of availability and cost. Such a vehicle has been decertified and will likely fail an emissions test.

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Rebuilt Vehicles

 A rebuilt vehicle was given a salvage certificate of title and has since been refurbished and passed the Ohio State Highway Patrol Inspection. This vehicle type can be titled in the model year that the majority of the parts are from or that matches the outward appearance of the vehicle. This vehicle type can also be titled with the original year and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) but will have a notation that is was salvaged.

Rebuilt vehicles are tested according to their titled model year because they were certified to meet emission requirements for that year (if the vehicle is assigned a new VIN by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, it will be treated as a self-assembled vehicle). These vehicles met emissions standards when manufactured but were later salvaged. When an individual makes a rebuilt vehicle roadworthy, it also needs to be emissions-worthy.

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Gray-Market Vehicles

 A gray-market vehicle was built for sale and use in another country and later imported into the United States. There may or may not be a U.S. EPA certified version of the vehicle. These vehicles either receive an "Import Waiver" from U.S. EPA and U.S. Customs or were retrofitted with emissions equipment to meet emissions standards for that model year. Even if a vehicle has been issued a U.S. EPA Import Waiver, the vehicle is not exempt from applicable state or local emission requirements. These conditions are stated directly on most import waivers (usually the third paragraph).

Gray-market vehicles are tested by their model year because the importer chose to either bring the vehicle into compliance with U.S. standards or to receive waivers and accept the stipulated conditions when the vehicle was brought to the U.S. Gray-market vehicles are required to meet the same emissions standards as a U.S. certified version of the vehicle from the same year. If the U.S. EPA certified version of this vehicle has a catalytic converter, the gray-market vehicle will be required to have a catalytic converter (or sealing gas cap, air pump and air system, evaporative system, etc.). If there is no U.S. EPA certified version, the vehicle shall, at a minimum, have a catalytic converter and a sealing gas cap if the manufacturer used that strategy on a comparable, same-year U.S. EPA certified model that fits the same vehicle class. If the vehicle has no comparable U.S. version, the U.S. EPA shall be consulted as to whether a catalytic converter would have been installed on the vehicle upon importation to conformity with Federal emissions requirements.

 

For further information on Gray-Market Vehicles, please visit the folowing web sites:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Imports of Vehicles, Engines & Equipment

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - Vehicle Importation Regulations

The U.S. Customs & Border Protection - Prohibited and Restricted Items

 

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Self-Assembled Vehicles and Kit Cars

A self-assembled vehicle is made from parts of other automobiles or from after-market parts. A self-assembled vehicle is titled in the year in which it is brought to the Ohio State Highway Patrol for inspection. It is assigned a VIN by the patrol. The self-assembled vehicle can be considered "homemade" and some are titled that way.

A kit car also is titled in the model year in which it is inspected by the Ohio Highway Patrol. Kit cars often include dune buggies and fiberglass body replicas. Kit cars are like self-assembled vehicles except they are usually fiberglass bodies and come with instructions for assembly.

Kit cars and self-assembled vehicles are tested according to the titled year unless the engine year can be confirmed. This confirmation of engine year is the responsibility of the vehicle owner. The proof should be a letter from the dealer or manufacturer of the engine. Other forms of proof will be considered on a case by case basis.

Once the engine year is documented, schedule an appointment with the local Ohio EPA E-Check field office. Arrangements will be made for you to meet with an Ohio EPA representative at a designated location. You will need to bring your documentation and the vehicle with you. It is helpful if you can point out where the engine block casting number is located.

If your vehicle's engine year is within the scope of the emissions testing program, you will be given a form that allows the vehicle to be tested using the proper standards for that engine year. You will need to present this at the testing site each time the vehicle is tested.

If your vehicle's confirmed engine year is too old to fit into the scope of the emissions testing program, you will be given a permanent exemption.

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Additional questions? Please call: 1-614-644-3059

Government Fleets

Frequently Asked Questions


The following information applies only to government agencies

Download a blank 2013 Government Fleet Reporting Form [Word Document]

Download a blank 2013 Government Fleet Reporting Form [PDF]

Download the 2013 Government Fleet Reporting Form Instructions [PDF]


Which government fleet vehicles are affected?

Fleet inspections are required every two years by the end of each odd year. This means that, in 2013, both odd and even year models must be tested and the results reported to Ohio EPA by December 31, 2013. Each motor vehicle owned, leased or operated by the state, local government or any political subdivision whose office is located within a county that is part of a designated program area is subject to inspection, unless otherwise exempt. In addition, each motor vehicle that is owned or leased by the federal government or its employees and is operated on a federal installation within a county that is part of a designated program area is subject to inspection.  Ohio E-Check requires passenger cars and trucks 25 years old and newer with gross vehicle weight ratings up to 10,000 pounds to be tested. This can include some 1 to 5 ton heavy-duty trucks. In addition, covert (including police) vehicles are required to obtain a test. Vehicles are tested on a 25-year rolling window.  New vehicles are exempt for the first four model years.  For example, 2010 through 2013 model year vehicles are exempt from testing in 2013.

Diesel-powered cars and trucks also undergo inspection.  They receive an opacity test, which differs from the tailpipe test gasoline-powered vehicles receive (Diesel vehicles are not significant sources of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide, but they do emit large amounts of particulate matter, a documented respiratory irritant. So, diesel vehicles receive a special test relating to particulate matter).

Model year 1996 and newer gasoline-fueled vehicles and model year 1997 and newer diesel-fueled vehicles less than 10,001 lbs GVWR will undergo an OBD II test instead of the tailpipe test. For more information on OBD II, please see the OBD II FAQ.

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What model years are required to be inspected in 2013?

In 2013, vehicles of model years 1989 through 2009 are required to be inspected. Model years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 are exempt as "NEW" (see exemption codes).

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What is a Government Fleet Reporting Form?

The Government Fleet Reporting Form must be completed by your agency,  submitted to and received by Ohio EPA no later than December 31, 2013. The reporting form lists all vehicles your agency owns with their test results or exemption codes.

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How can I tell whether my vehicle is over the weight limit?

Vehicles whose gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is over 10,000 lbs are exempt as "OGVW" (see exemption codes).  The GVWR for your vehicle is printed on the manufacturer's certificate label, which is usually located either on the driver's side door jamb or the driver's side door.

Ohio EPA identifies the GVWR for each vehicle based on its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and in most cases, we are able to label those vehicles that are over the 10,000 pound limit as "OGVW" for you.

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What do I bring to the test and how much does it cost?

 The lane inspector may ask for the vehicle registration to verify that the vehicle requries testing, however the vehicle can be tested without this item. In accordance with House Bill (H.B.) 119, a vehicle may receive up to 3 free tests within a 365 day period.  With the 4th test, and all thereafter, a voucher will need to be purchased for $18.00. Vouchers may be purchased at the station.  Only one free passing test is permitted within a 365 day period.

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Where are the E-Check test centers located?

All inspections are performed at high-efficiency, contractor-run test stations. The test stations are  conveniently located throughout the 7-county test area.

For locations of test centers in your area, call 1-800-CAR-TEST, or see our online information.

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How many vehicles should I bring to the  E-Check test center?

Ohio EPA recommends not taking all of your vehicles to the test center at the same time if your fleet size is large. Fleets with more than 25 vehicles should schedule appointments at test facilities by contacting Envirotest Systems at 1-800-CAR-TEST or writing to them at Envirotest Systems, 2180 Pinnacle Parkway, Twinsburg, OH, 44087-2366.

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What happens after I pass the test?

When a vehicle passes the inspection, you will receive a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR), which includes a detachable inspection certificate.

The certificate ID number needed to complete the Government Fleet Reporting Form is shown at the bottom of the VIR. Do not send the VIR to Ohio EPA, but keep it for your records.

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Will you accept handwritten reporting forms?

No.  Information must be typed onto reporting forms, using either a typewriter or computer printer.  Reporting forms that do not meet this requirement will be returned unprocessed.

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I submitted certificate IDs on my reporting form just for the vehicles we own, but left other vehicles blank.  Why was my form returned?

In addition to providing certificate IDs for vehicles in your fleet, you must also provide exemption codes for vehicles that you do not test (but that we list on your reporting form). Please see the exemption codes page for more information.

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Are diesel vehicles exempt from testing?

No.  There is no exemption for diesel vehicles.  Large diesel trucks may be exempt but only if they are older than 25 years old, or are over 10,000 lbs GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).

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Are flexible fuel vehicles exempt from testing?

No.  Only vehicles that run exclusively on 100% alternative fuel, such as CNG (compressed natural gas), propane, or electricity.

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What happens if the vehicle fails the test?

If a vehicle fails the test, you will be given an emissions report to assist a repair technician in diagnosing and correcting the problem. A list of licensed repair facilities that have the minimum equipment and specially certified technicians who have completed advanced emissions-repair training will also be provided. Vehicle repairs may be performed by a repair facility of your choice or may be performed in-house.

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 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 emission-related repairs performed within sixty days prior to the initial inspection or any time after the initial inspection.

 

The above type of waiver applies only to vehicles tested via the tailpipe test.


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. As with the base waiver (conditional pass), tampering-related repairs do not count towards this option. Receipts will only be accepted for emission-related repairs performed within sixty days prior to the initial inspection or any time after the initial inspection.

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Whom may I contact for additional information?

If you have questions regarding government fleets and the E-Check program please call (614) 644-3059 and ask to speak to the government fleet specialist.

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E-Check Certified Repair Technician Application for Renewal

Instructions:

1. Download the Application for Renewal [PDF].

2. Print the application.

3. Fill out the application.  Be sure to sign it!

4. Mail or fax the application to us at:

Ohio EPA, MSS

Attn: Repair Program

Lazarus Government Center

P.O. Box 1049

Columbus, OH 43216-1049

 

Fax: 614-644-3681

5. Wait for an E-Check representative to contact you about your application.  Provided that your ASE certifications are up to date and you have taken all the required training, you will receive a new certificate by US mail.

 

That's it!

 Questions? Please call: (614) 644-3059.

Application for Repair Facility Licensure

Instructions:

1. Download the Application for Approval or Renewal [PDF].

2. Print the application.

3. Fill out the application.  Be sure to sign it!

4. Mail or fax the application to us at:

Ohio EPA, MSS

Attn: Repair Program

Lazarus Government Center

P.O. Box 1049

Columbus, OH 43216-1049

 

Fax: 614-644-3681

5. Wait for an E-Check representative to contact you for the audit portion of the licensure process

 

That's it!

 
Questions? Please call: (614) 644-3059.