The Nevada Emissions Control Program aims to reduce air pollution caused by vehicle emissions. If you bought a car in Nevada or recently moved to Nevada, you may be required to take your vehicle for an emissions test before registering it. Here are the answers to questions you may have about the Nevada emissions test.
Are All Vehicles Required to Undergo an Emissions Test?
No, you'll only need an emissions test if you live in the urban areas of Clark County and Washoe County and own a passenger car, truck, recreational vehicle (RV), or motorhome. If you live in other parts of the state, you won't need a test.
However, even if you live in the designated spots in Clark or Washoe County, there are some exemptions. These include:
Vehicle models after 1967.
Diesel vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 14,001 pounds or more.
Motorcycles and mopeds.
Alternative fuel vehicles.
Vehicles registered as a classic rod, classic vehicle, or old timer that are driven 5,000 miles or less per year.
Vehicles registered as a replica vehicle.
If you bought a vehicle in a private sale, you are responsible to have the car tested. If the vehicle passes the test, it is valid for 90 days. If you bought a vehicle from a dealer, the dealer will have it tested and the results are valid for 180 days.
How Often Should My Vehicle Be Inspected?
Emissions inspections are done on original vehicle registrations and at annual renewals. New gas-powered vehicles are exempt for the first three registrations, and new hybrid-electric vehicles are exempt for the first five years.
If you have moved to Nevada, you are required to register the vehicle within 30 days and take it for an emissions test. Out-of-state smog tests are not accepted by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Where Do I Go for an Emissions Test?
There are several DMV-approved testing stations in Clark and Washoe Counties. Visit the DMV licensed businesses page to find an emissions testing station near you, or call one of the DMV Emissions Labs:
Las Vegas: (702) 486-4981
Reno: (775) 684-3580
How Is an Emissions Test Performed?
There are two types of emissions tests in Nevada.
The On-Board Diagnostics (OBDII) Test. Most vehicles built from 1996 onward come with an onboard diagnostics (OBD) system. The technician connects a diagnostic analyzer to your vehicle’s OBD computer. It will read the data from your vehicle emissions system and indicate whether it is operating within the state’s emissions limits.
The Two-Speed Idle Test. This test is conducted on older vehicles built before 1996. The technician will first test your vehicle while it’s idling and then test it again when revving it at 2,500 RPMs.
Both tests take just a few minutes, and you will receive your results immediately.
What if My Vehicle Fails the Nevada Emissions Test?
Should your vehicle fail the emissions test, you will have to fix any problems with the emissions systems and take it to be retested. If the vehicle fails the second test, you may be eligible for a waiver if it failed on these two points:
The vehicle exceeds the standard carbon monoxide and/or hydrocarbon levels for light-duty vehicles (1968-1995 models) and all heavy-duty vehicles.
The “check engine” light on 1996 and newer light duty vehicles is illuminated.
In Clark County, you must use a 2G licensed authorized business for repairs to qualify for a waiver. 2G businesses are approved by the state to conduct both emissions testing and repairs, while 1G businesses are not approved to do repairs.
You will not be eligible for a waiver if your car is smoking, your vehicle is still under warranty, or there is evidence of emissions device tampering.
To improve your chances of passing the Nevada emissions test, make sure your vehicle is maintained throughout the year. If any problems in the emissions system show up, you can fix them before your annual emissions test.
How you drive can help reduce air pollution caused by gas emissions. Try not to let the engine idle for longer than 30 seconds, accelerate slowly, and don’t speed.
For more advanced driving tips, sign up for the Nevada online drivers ed course with DriversEd.com.
Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details directly with the NV DMV. You can visit the NV DMV website or call in for general drivers license and registration information.
DriversEd.com is a privately held company and is in no way associated with the Department of Motor Vehicles, any other government agency, or the driving schools listed in this website. All external hyperlinks are provided for your information and for the benefit of the general public. DriversEd.com does not testify to, sponsor or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on externally linked pages.