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Emissions Testing in Arizona

Emissions Testing in Arizona

If you have ever lived in Arizona and owned a vehicle, you have most likely already gone through the emissions testing process at least once. However, if you are new to Arizona, here is some information that will help you understand and comply with the emissions rules and regulations.

Emission testing is required in the state of Arizona in the greater metro Phoenix and Tucson areas. However, a vehicle may qualify for an Arizona Vehicle Emissions Testing exemption if:

  • The model year is within the past 5 model years. This does not apply if a vehicle is rebuilt or specially built
  • A vehicle is registered outside of an Arizona vehicle control area. The vehicle owner’s zip code determines if the vehicle qualifies
  • Vehicles with model years older than 1966
  • Motorcycles
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Golf carts and small electrically operated carts
  • Registered outside of Arizona

Why require emissions testing?

Vehicle emissions contribute to increased levels of air pollution which impacts our air quality and the health and safety of our community. A press release from the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2021 report ranks the Phoenix metropolitan area at 5th in the nation for unhealthy ozone days. Gila, Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, and Yuma counties each received an “F” for the number of high ozone days. It also ranked the Phoenix metropolitan area the 5th most polluted in the country for ozone and the 8th most polluted for small particulate matter (PM2.5). Particulate matter pollution is made up of tiny pieces of solids or liquids suspended in the air and vehicles contribute to this type of pollution, as well as ozone pollution.

What to expect when you go to an emissions testing center:

Emission testing centers are typically open from 8am-5pm, Monday through Saturday, with or without an appointment. When you arrive, you pull your car into the station, put it in park and apply your emergency brake. If your vehicle is a manual transmission, place it in neutral.

  • You may wait in the waiting booth, waiting area, or outside
  • While you are waiting the inspector performs the On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) test. The inspector will reach into your vehicle to connect the OBD cord to the data link connector (DLC)
  • Once that step is complete, you may return to your vehicle to turn the ignition key to the accessory position, so the inspector can verify the check engine light is functioning
  • You will then start your vehicle to allow the inspector to observe that the check engine light turns off
  • After the OBD test is complete, you will turn off the vehicle and exit to the waiting area of your choice (waiting booth, waiting area, or outside)
  • Testing is now complete and you can pay with cash, credit card, or check
  • Return to your vehicle and the inspector will finish the test process and deliver your vehicle information report
  • Emissions test results are immediately sent electronically to MVD and you will be able to renew your registration online

Do not attempt to get your emissions test if a check engine light is illuminated or you had a recent battery change. Both of these issues will disqualify your vehicle from being tested.

If you have questions about emissions testing or are having trouble getting your vehicle to pass its emissions test, please give us a call today and we can help! All of our services carry a 3-year/ 36,000-mile warranty. Feel free to schedule an appointment online on our website www.primarilyjapanese.com or give us a call at (520) 629-8828. Primarily Japanese is conveniently located near downtown at 600 N. Stone Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705.

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