Washington Vehicle Emission Check Program
An Applus+ Technologies, Inc. Website
Mt Rainier / Photo: Lewis County Convention & Visitor Bureau - Loren Lane
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is testing required?

Most of Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane counties.

Click here for a list of zip codes where testing is required.


Where can I get an emission test?

You may take your vehicle to any Washington Applus Test Station or Authorized Test Facility. Applus Test Stations charge $15 for the initial test and provide 1 free retest, within 365 days, for vehicles that fail, if initially tested at an Applus test station. Authorized Test Facilities determine their initial test fee and retests may require an additional retest fee. Applus Test Stations will charge a $15 fee for retesting a vehicle that failed at an Authorized Test Facility. Click here for locations and hours of operation for Applus test stations.


Which vehicles need an emission test?

Calendar Year
The Vehicle
License Expires

Vehicle Model Year
2015 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008
2016 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007
2017 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008

A test is also required to transfer the registered ownership between private parties for the vehicles listed above unless the vehicle has been tested within the last 365 days. A test is not required to transfer the registered ownership between parents, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, spouses, legal domestic partners, or present co-owners or to change the legal owner.

The following vehicles never need emission tests:
  • Motorcycles

  • 2009 and newer models

  • Toyota Prius and Honda Insight

  • All diesel powered passenger vehicles weighing less than 6,001 pounds

  • All diesel vehicles model year 2007 and newer, regardless of weight.

You may sign up to receive renewal notices by email at the Washington State Department of Licensing website.


What if my vehicle is out of the area?

Do not test in another state. Tests from other states are not accepted in Washington. Download and print the Out of Area Form or contact a vehicle licensing office.

In the future if you know you will be out of the area when a test is due, you can test up to 365 days before the tabs expire. Then you can buy the new tabs up to six months ahead of time.


What if the tabs have expired?

Get a temporary permit from any vehicle licensing office so your vehicle can be legally driven to a test station.


How much will it cost to get my vehicle tested?

If you have your vehicle tested at a Washington Applus test station:
(Authorized Test Facilities may have different charges)
1. Initial test—$15

2. Retest—free if the initial test failed within the last
    365 days and if initially tested at an Applus test station.
    $15 if initially tested at an Authorized Test Facility

3. All subsequent tests—$15

Accepted payment methods:

• Cash—no bills over $50

• Credit/Debit: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express credit and debit cards. No ATM cards (cards that need a PIN/code) will be accepted.

• Local Check: Made payable to Applus Technologies. Drafted on a local bank. Name and address must be preprinted on the check. Telephone number, either written or preprinted, must be on the check. Photo ID required that matches the name, address and signature on the check (In state business checks will require a photo ID of the driver, but the ID does not have to match the check information).

• Businesses that have a fleet of vehicles may get prepaid test coupons from Applus Technologies (253-395-1177) for no extra charge, which their drivers may use the same as cash.


What can I do to help my vehicle pass?

  • Be sure vehicle is fully warmed up (ideally 15 minutes of freeway driving).

  • Keep your vehicle running while you wait for the test.

  • Turn off your radio and air conditioning before the test.

  • If your vehicle has recently had a dead battery or the battery has been disconnected, drive it for at least a week before testing.

Please avoid making emission-related repairs before testing.


How do I make sure my vehicle will be tested?

• Bring the test fee. (photo ID with matching address required for checks).

• Make sure your vehicle’s exhaust system has no obvious holes or leaks.

• Make sure your vehicle is not leaking gasoline, oil, or coolant.

• Do not bring any pets or passengers.

• Do not bring a trailer.


Who may bring in my vehicle for a test?

Anyone can bring your vehicle in for testing.

If you are paying by check, the preprinted name and address on the check must match the driver’s photo ID.



When can I get a test or renew my tabs?

You can get an emission test any time up to 365 days before your tabs expire.
Once the vehicle has passed the test or has been waived, you can buy the tabs, online at http://www.dol.wa.gov or in person at any vehicle licensing office up to six months ahead of time.



Do I need a renewal notice to get a test or buy tabs?



Where can a large vehicle be tested?

All Washington test stations can test large vehicles. However, we recommend the stations with ++ on the station list.


Does my Prius or Insight need testing?

No. If you own a Toyota Prius or a Honda Insight and your renewal notice says you need an emission test, this is an error. Visit a vehicle licensing office to correct the licensing record.


What if my vehicle does not pass the test?

If your vehicle does not pass the test, the tester will give you a printout that shows where your vehicle failed. The tester will also give you an Authorized Emission Specialist List. These documents will assist you and your repair technician with the repair process.

After your vehicle is diagnosed and repaired, return to any Applus test station for 1 free retest (2nd test within 365 days of the first test).

If the vehicle failed at an Authorized Test Facility and is retested at an Applus Test Station, the 1 free retest does not apply and a  test fee of $15 will be charged.

If retested at an Authorized Test Facility the retest fee is determined by the Authorized Test Facility.


Who can repair my vehicle if it fails its emission test?

Anyone can repair your vehicle. However, repair costs will only apply toward a waiver when an Authorized Emission Specialist (AES) performs the repairs.

Because some repairs may be very costly, your vehicle could be eligible for a waiver if it fails a retest. 

Click here to find an AES shop in your area


What if my vehicle fails a retest?

A waiver may be obtained at any Applus Test Station if an Ecology Authorized Emission Specialist (AES) has repaired the vehicle after the initial test failure.

Vehicles with missing or tampered emission control equipment will not be waived.

Itemized receipts need to be provided that show that at least $150 was spent on emission diagnosis/repairs of the test failure. Refer to the brochure given to you when the vehicle failed for additional information.


Whom can I contact if I still have questions?

If you still have questions about vehicle repairs or testing, please contact the Department of Ecology’s office for your county.

Clark and Pierce Counties

King and Snohomish Counties

Spokane County

Please contact Applus+ Technologies for questions about:
• License Number or VIN errors
Unable to renew vehicle tabs
• Emission test station service/personnel
Note: Please allow up to five business days for a resolution

For questions about vehicle licensing:
Please call the Department of Licensing at 360-902-3770 or any vehicle licensing office.


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