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Vehicle Emissions Testing Ends in 2019

 Vehicle Emissions Testing Building in Seattle

The Washington State Department of Ecology reports that the vehicle emissions testing program which started in 1982 will cease.  Effective January 1, 2020 you will no longer have to pass an emissions test to get your tabs.  We know, bummer!

In 2005 our state’s legislature predicted that Washington state’s air quality would be improved enough to stop vehicle testing in 2020 as per RCW 70.120.170.  Based on the Department of Ecology, our state’s air quality meets federal air quality standards.  Air quality should continue to improve as older cars are replaced with new, more efficient vehicles and the number of cars needing testing is declining.  Vehicles that never need testing per www.emissiontestwa.com:

  • Motorcycles
  • Vehicles 2009 and newer
  • Toyota Prius and Honda Insight
  • All diesel passenger vehicles less that 6,001 pounds
  • All diesel vehicles 2007 and newer

What Happens If I Fail the Test Before 2020?

Currently, if  you fail your emissions test which costs $15.00 you can spend $150.00 towards an emissions repair and receive a waiver to get your tabs.  You don’t spend $15.00 again if it’s within 365 days of initial testing.  You do have to get the emissions waiver done at an authorized emissions repair facility such as our shop or one of these others found on www.emissiontestwa.com.  Fixing the problem causing you to fail in the first place is ideal.  Recognizing that the cost of the repair will not be financially feasible for some people, the option of a waiver was created.

Why Should I Care About Passing?

If you pass your emissions test you know that you are keeping your car in good shape and running well.  This not only helps to keep your car running well but also the environment, the people around you and the air they breathe.  Ignoring a check engine light that comes on due to an emissions related problem will not allow you to know if another problem happens.  If your cars starts running poorly, leaking fluids or if you notice smoke coming out of the tail pipe (or anywhere), the right thing to do is get it checked out.  The hope is that people will continue to be responsible car owners after emissions testing ends to keep our air and environment healthy.

Who Needs Emissions Testing in 2019? What Vehicles?

If your tabs expire in 2019 and your vehicle year is 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 you will still have to get an emissions test this year. But you’ll get to say you were part of the last group to go through this 38 year old program!