VA Emissions testing Requirement

Scott Harrison

"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional"
Staff member
Contributing Member
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#1
Since we frequently get questions from new Cobra builders/owners concerning emission testing requirements in VA, the following is the text from VA DMV WEB site.

DMV Virginia Vehicle Services: Emissions Inspections

If your vehicle is garaged in the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, or Stafford, or the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas or Manassas Park, your vehicle must meet the emissions inspection requirements. Inspections are valid for two years and may be obtained by having your vehicle inspected by a certified emissions inspection station.

If your vehicle is being registered for the first time in Virginia and has a current valid emissions certificate (performed in the last 12 months) from one of the following states, it may be titled and registered without a Virginia emissions inspection:

Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia,
Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin

No vehicle subject to an emissions inspection will be registered or reregistered by DMV until it has passed an emissions inspection or has been issued an emissions inspection waiver directly from DEQ for special circumstances.

When you have your vehicle inspected, the emissions station will update your vehicle record at DMV immediately. For emission inspection program fees and information or to find the location of the inspection station nearest to you, please visit the Department of Environmental Quality at (703) 583-3900 or toll free in Virginia at 1-800-275-3844.

Certain motor vehicles are exempted from emissions inspections. This includes:

Any gasoline powered passenger or property carrying vehicle with a model year that is more than 25 model years old before January 1 of the current calendar year and with a manufacturer's designated gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less (i.e. on January 1, 2001, vehicles with a model year of 1976 are exempt from emissions; on January 1, 2002, vehicles with a model year of 1977 are exempt from emissions).
These vehicles also fall within the definition of "Antique Motor Vehicles". However, a vehicle that is twenty-five or more model years old does not have to display antique license plates to be exempt from emissions requirements.
 
#2
I have a question regarding emissions in Fairfax Co. VA. Do they just plug in to the ODBII socket, or do they do a sniffer test and a undercar visual for cat's?
 
#3
I built a full smog motor with the air pump and cats, and then they tell me it's got to be registered as a '65. Inspections have been pretty easy. The dude asked me once if the horn works.
 

dcdoug

Doug Wheeler
Contributing Member
Member
#4
Funny, the DC DMV makes you test the horn, although I have been told there is actually an ordinance in DC against using your horn. :crazy2:
 

Scott Harrison

"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional"
Staff member
Contributing Member
Member
#5
DJB said:
I have a question regarding emissions in Fairfax Co. VA. Do they just plug in to the ODBII socket, or do they do a sniffer test and a undercar visual for cat's?
From


Gasoline-powered vehicles:

There are three types of tests: two-speed idle test, acceleration simulation mode test and an on-board diagnostic system test. 1980 and older model year vehicles, and all vehicles with a manufacturer's designated gross vehicle weight rating of 8,501 to 10,000 pounds, receive a two-speed idle test. This test measures hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide at 2,500 rpm and curb idle.

Most 1981 and newer vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating up to 8,500 pounds receive an acceleration simulation (ASM) mode test. The ASM test is performed on a dynamometer (also known as a treadmill) which allows the inspector to run the vehicle at only 15 mph and 25 mph. This type of test is performed to measure nitric oxide, as well as hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. Some vehicles may not be able to receive the dynamometer test due to mechanical features such as all-wheel drive, full-time four-wheel drive, or traction control that cannot be turned off. These vehicles will be tested using the two-speed idle test.

Newer vehicles may receive a test of the vehicle's on-board diagnostic computer system instead of or in addition to the regular tailpipe emissions test. Most vehicles receive an emissions control component inspection. The inspector will check for certain emissions control systems that were originally installed on the vehicle by the manufacturer. Most vehicles will also receive a gas cap pressure test, and a visible smoke inspection.[/img]
 
#6
Thanks for that Scott. Looks like I'll be bolting the cats on for my VA inspections.

Another thing, would be what's considered OEM equipment? My car is imported, and doesn't really have any 2002 emissions standards.
 

Scott Harrison

"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional"
Staff member
Contributing Member
Member
#7
Since it's a "specially constructed vehicle" and there isn't the under hood sticker displaying all the installed emissions devices, the inspector would not know what to look for. As long as it passed the sniff test or OBDII test, you should be OK.
 
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