Your Guide to Texas Emissions Testing

texas emissions testing

Texas emissions testing is not required for every vehicle on the road. This guide answers the most frequently asked questions regarding Texas emission testing, including which vehicles need Texas emissions testing, how much does Texas emissions testing costs, and where you can get Texas emissions testing done.

What is Texas emissions testing?

Texas emissions testing, also called smog testing, determines the level of air pollutants emitted from the exhaust of a motor vehicle. To protect the environment, Texas has implemented emissions requirements for certain vehicles to remain legal on the road.

What year of vehicle is exempt from emissions in TX?

Not every vehicle needs to pass an emissions test. For those asking, ”How old does a car have to be to pass emissions in Texas?” here’s all you need to know.

Your car is exempt from emissions testing if:

  • It is a new vehicle made in the last 2 model years
  • It is a vehicle manufactured over 24 years ago
  • You drive a diesel vehicle

In other words, if your car was made between 2 and 24 years, it needs to pass emissions testing. You cannot register your vehicle if it has not passed the inspection/emission test.

How do cops know if a vehicle has passed emissions testing?

An easy identifier for law enforcement to determine if a required vehicle has passed emissions testing is by checking to see if the vehicle has a current registration sticker.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) working alongside the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has implemented the Texas “Two – Step, One Sticker” Texas vehicle inspection. To receive a valid registration sticker in Texas, vehicles between 2 and 24 years old must be inspected on an annual basis.

For more information regarding Texas emissions testing costs and which lights will cause you to fail emissions testing, please read the following articles:

I just moved to Texas. Which counties in Texas require emission testing?

New Texas residents must have their vehicles pass a safety inspection and an emissions test within 30 days of moving to the state. Texas has 17 counties that require emission testing. If you live outside of these counties, you are not required to pass emissions testing, but you can still choose to have the testing done on your own.

Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Metro Area

  • Brazoria County
  • Fort Bend County
  • Galveston County
  • Harris County
  • Montgomery County

Austin-Round Rock Metro Area

  • Travis County
  • Williamson County

El Paso Metro Area

  • El Paso County

Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area

  • Collin County
  • Dallas County
  • Denton County
  • Ellis County
  • Johnson County
  • Kaufman County
  • Parker County
  • Rockwall County
  • Tarrant County

Texas emissions testing at Colony One Auto Center

Have more questions about Texas emissions testing? Colony One Auto Center can help. If you fail your emissions test, we are a State of Texas “Recognized Emission Repair Facility” and employ “Recognized Emission Repair Technicians” who can diagnose your emission failure and recommend the necessary repairs. After the repairs are made, the inspection can be completed and then you can get your registration.

Give us a call at 281-800-9209 or contact us online for quick emissions testing.

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