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Air quality is important to everyone!  Colorado has a long history of taking proactive measures to protect the quality of the air we all breathe. The regular inspection of emissions and the maintenance of our vehicles has been a key part of protecting air quality in parts of Colorado since 1981. The current emissions inspection program began in 1995 and applies to most vehicles and locales in the Denver-metropolitan area and the North Front Range of the state.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Other Emissions Alerts

View Tampering of Emissions Controlled Systems

View Grey Market Vehicles

To view the 2022 emissions requirements for a gasoline vehicle

To view the 2022 emissions requirements for a diesel vehicle

A waiver is a certificate of emission control that allows you to register a vehicle without complying with emissions standards. If an emissions waiver is granted, it is valid for one emissions cycle.  There are three types of waivers; repair, diagnostic and economic hardship.  Waivers cannot be issued for vehicles that smoke or have missing or tampered emission components. Also, waivers cannot be issued to vehicles that failed the emissions test due to a gas cap failure.

Only labor charged by a professional mechanic (someone who performs work as part of a licensed business and conforms to the Garage Repair Act) will be counted towards repair waiver limits. Emission control components include: oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, thermal reactor, EGR valve, fuel filler cap, evaporative canister, PCV valve, air pump, distributor, ignition wires, coil, and spark plugs. The cost of any hoses, gaskets, belts, clamps, brackets or other accessories directly associated with these components may also be applied to the waiver limit. In addition, certain repairs to fuel injection systems, carburetors and internal engine components may apply.   Repairs to replace emission components that were tampered or missing does not count toward the waiver limit. An unable to test form is not a failing inspection.  You will need to address the issue stated on the unable to test form in order to complete an inspection. 

  • At the time of sale the seller is required to provide the buyer with a passing emissions test that has not been used previously to register a vehicle or renew a vehicle registration.
  • Colorado dealers are required to provide a passing emissions test or a voucher good for one emissions test at the time of sale.
  • C.R.S. 42-4-310

You will need to bring the vehicle to be inspected and payment for the inspection (cash, check, VISA, Mastercard, or Discover). Please wear a mask. Thank you.

An inoperable vehicle may legally be transferred or sold in the emissions area if certain criteria is met. Please contact us at 303-205-5603 for assistance in determining if your vehicle may qualify.

Vehicles are currently exempt from the emission inspection for the first seven (7) model years after which, vehicles are inspected on a biennial basis. Please contact us at 303-205-5603 for assistance in determining if your vehicle needs an inspection.

There is no need for a new sticker, if you need to replace your windshield.

You may. Please contact us at 303-205-5603 for more information.

Contact your County Motor Vehicle Office before the registration expires for assistance on obtaining an extension.

Gasoline vehicles are exempt from an emissions test for the first seven model years. Diesel vehicles are exempt from an emissions test for first four model years. However, there is an exception.

If the ownership of a gasoline vehicle is being transferred in the last year of the seven year exemption, an emissions test will be required. For example, in 2022, an emissions test will be required if the ownership of a model year 2016, is transferred.

If the ownership of a diesel vehicle is being transferred in the last year of the four year exemption, an emissions test will be required. For example, in 2022, an emissions test will be required if the ownership of a model year 2019, is transferred.

Additionally, the following vehicle are exempt from an emissions inspections:

  • kit cars,
  • all-electric vehicles,
  • motorcycles,
  • horseless carriage,
  • vehicles registered as street rods
  • farm vehicles

If you see a vehicle emitting excessive smoke, please report its license plate number (and, if possible, whether it is gasoline- or diesel-powered) to Colorado's Smoking Vehicle Hotline: 303-692-3211 / cdphe.smokeline@state.co.us.

If an emissions inspection is required for a vehicle that is temporarily out of state, provide the following to the your Colorado County Motor Vehicle Division:

  • Completed emissions extension form (DR 2376). You may also go online at mydmv.colorado.gov. Select Vehicle Services and then select, "Apply for out-of-state emissions extension". You will still have to provide the following documentation:
  • If the County in which the vehicle is currently located, does emissions testing, provide proof of a passing emissions test.*
  • Provide a copy of current insurance.
  • Renewal reminder postcard, if available.
  • Registration payment.
  • Registrant's contact information including a phone number and email address.

*If emissions testing is not performed in the county where the vehicle is located, a VIN verification form (DR 2698) must be completed by a law enforcement officer or out of state DMV office and submitted. The vehicle must also be emissions tested within 15 days of returning to Colorado.

For questions or concerns regarding the out of state emissions extension process, please call the Colorado Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Emissions Program at 303-205-5603 or apply online at: mydmv.colorado.gov/

**The following states do not have emissions testing: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

For states that do not have emissions testing, form DR 2698 Verification of Vehicle Identification Number, completed by Law Enforcement only is required in place of a passing emissions test.
States not listed above require testing for some vehicles in some areas.  Please check with your local out of state motor vehicle office to find out if emissions testing is required for your vehicle.