After political controversy in the mid-1990s, the state of Connecticut effectively scrapped its auto emissions testing program and instituted an entirely new system. Today, car owners are still required to have a regular emission test, but are able to do so at auto repair shops, service stations and car dealers around the state.
Here are the basic facts to keep in mind regarding Connecticut’s emission testing program.
Each state has set auto emissions standards based on requirements by the federal government. The goal is to help meet federal clean air standards by reducing the pollutants out into the air by cars in disrepair.
All vehicles registered in the state of Connecticut are required to pass an emission test. New and used cars bought from dealers are required to meet emission standards at the time of sale. Used cars that have a valid emission test do not need to be retested until the normal cycle date.
The frequency of required tests varies depending on the age and model of the vehicle. For existing car owners, the state mails a notice that an emission test is due at least 90 days before the previous test expires. Used cars that have not passed a valid emission test must do so within 30 days of sale. If your vehicle meets the emissions standards, it passes the emission test and does not need to be retested, in most cases, for two years.
Vehicle owners take their cars to one of the many authorized emissions testing facilities across the state. Vehicles manufactured before 1995 will undergo a test that includes a probe inserted in the tailpipe to check emissions standards. Cars manufactured after 1995 have an emission test that includes a check of the on-board diagnostic computer system. There is a $20 fee for each emission test. The test typically takes less than 30 minutes.
Vehicles that are tested and meet Connecticut state emissions standards are given a Vehicle Inspection Report, which should remain in the car at all times. Connecticut no longer uses a window sticker program for emissions testing. Vehicles that do not pass emissions testing must be repaired within 30 days and returned for a free re-test. Car owners whose vehicle fails a test will be given an Emissions Repair Data form – which must be completed by whoever completes the repairs and must be returned to qualify for a free re-test – a list of certified emissions repair stations, and a brochure on what steps to take with a vehicle that fails an inspection.