Questions about Test Notices

NOTE: Illinois EPA resumed mailing vehicle emissions test notices beginning April 6, 2016. Test notices will be retroactive to the first motorists that did not receive a test notice (vehicle owners whose license plates expired at the end of March 2016). Motorists who have completed testing requirements will not receive one of the new test notices. 

**Effective April 2016, vehicle emissions test notices will be mailed on a postcard size form.

As a result, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced his office will resume regular vehicle registration procedures effective June 1, 2016. At that time, motorists subject to vehicle emissions testing will once again be required to comply with testing requirements prior to renewing their license plates.

When can I come in for an emissions test?

Illinois EPA urges motorists to have their vehicles tested several weeks prior to the license plate expiration to allow sufficient time to test the vehicle, and when necessary, perform repairs.

Find out if you need to test

Motorists can find out when their vehicle is due for an emissions test by entering the vehicle's VIN number or license plate number into this Vehicle Eligibility Check tool.

Please note:

  • Most 1996 and newer gasoline-powered passenger vehicles are subject to testing after they are four years old. (e.g. 2012 vehicles are being tested in 2016 for the first time)
  • The testing month coincides with the expiration date of the vehicle license plate.
  • Typically, even model-year vehicles are tested during even years and odd model-year vehicles are tested in odd years.  
  • If you have any questions, please call the Illinois EPA at (847) 758-3400 or (800) 635-2380.

The Illinois Secretary of State also has an online tool to determine whether a vehicle is due for emissions testing.

  • The online tool will ask you to enter the full VIN to check the status of the vehicle.
  • Once the full VIN is entered, click the Submit button.
  • On the bottom of the "Title Status Inquiry Result" page, select "Get the registration status of this vehicle."
    • If a vehicle is due for testing, red text will appear that states, Emissions test required for renewal. If this text does not appear, the vehicle is not required to test at this time.

Please note that while the vehicle may be tested up to four months prior to license plate expiration, the plate may only be renewed within three months of the expiration date.

License Plate Renewal-Based Enforcement of the Vehicle Emissions Test Program

Vehicles must pass an emissions test or otherwise comply with the Illinois Vehicle Emissions Inspection Law of 2005 (625 ILCS 5/13C) (“Inspection Law”) before the vehicle’ registration (license plates) can be renewed. 

The Secretary of State’s office does send paperless License Plate Renewal Notices via email to individuals who register at Electronic notices do include a statement as to whether compliance with the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Law is required before a vehicle's registration can be renewed. 

Do I need a notice to get my car tested?

No. Technicians at the station are able to test the vehicle without a notice. If you have receive a test notice, you may bring it to the station.

What should I do if my address is incorrect on my vehicle registration or I have moved?

State law requires that you notify the Secretary of State within 10 days of any change of address. As a convenience, change of address forms are available online or at emissions test stations.

After my vehicle has been tested, do I need to mail anything to the Illinois EPA or the Secretary of State?

No, the test event is automatically recorded on the Illinois EPA database and transmitted to the Secretary of State.

If you have any other questions, please visit the Customer Service Representative at any of the vehicle emissions testing stations, call the Illinois EPA at 800-635-2380, or check this website for updates.