Vehicle Emissions Testing Program

NOTE: Illinois EPA has 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 (motorists 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.

See the Vehicle Emissions Test Notice FAQs for more information.

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.

Find a test station location
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We find that the lines at testing facilities are the longest at the end of the month, so “Don't Delay – Test Today!” Keep in mind that many motorists choose Saturdays to go to the testing facilities, so if you can, plan your test for a weekday. Remember, neglecting to test your vehicle can result in registration denial. See Test Day Tips below for ways to make your test go smoothly.

Full Service and OBD-only Testing Station Hours

Chicago Metro Area

Monday through Friday 8 AM to 6 PM and Saturday 8 AM to 1 PM .

Metro-East St. Louis Area

Station hours vary by location.

  • Pontoon Beach - Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri 8 AM to 6 PM, Sat 8 AM to 1 PM
  • Wood River - Mon, Wed and Fri 8 AM to 6 PM
  • Swansea - Mon through Fri 8 AM to 6 PM, Sat 8 A to 1 PM

Stations are closed Sundays and State Holidays

Illinois EPA Vehicle Emissions Testing Program Changes

The Illinois EPA is modifying the Vehicle Emissions Testing Program to have one standardized test at all Illinois Inspection and Maintenance testing facilities. This improvement to the program is expected to result in more efficient and quicker testing, since only the computer-based, On-Board Diagnostics test will be used for the vast majority of testing performed.

This change is due to the Governor signing legislation that eliminates the idle exhaust and gas cap tests after January 31, 2012. As part of this legislative change, the following vehicles will be exempt from the emissions test requirement:

  • Pre-2007 model year gasoline-powered vehicles with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) between 8,501 and 14,000 pounds.
  • All gasoline-powered vehicles with a manufacturer's GVWR greater than 14,000 pounds (regardless of model year).

Only two percent of the vehicles currently tested receive an idle and gas cap test which were designed primarily for older, carbureted vehicles. Air quality modeling performed by the Agency demonstrates that dropping these older tests, currently performed on very few vehicles, will have little effect on air quality.

Tips for a successful test:

  • Have your vehicle timely tested. 
  • Avoid testing at the end of the month and on Saturdays, since these are the busiest testing times.
  • Check this web site for station locations, maps, and operating hours. Stations are closed on Sundays and State Holidays. 
  • Make sure the vehicle brought in for testing is due for testing. The Illinois Secretary of State has an online tool to determine whether a vehicle is due for emissions testing.
  • Ensure your vehicle is safe to operate so that your emissions test may be safely conducted.
  • Please drive your vehicle for at least 15 minutes prior to entering the test station to ensure that your vehicle is adequately warmed-up for the inspection.
  • If your 1996 or newer OBD-equipped vehicle has a covered or otherwise obstructed diagnostic link connector (DLC), please open or remove the cover (consult owner's manual for location and instructions), or remove the obstruction prior to arriving at the test station.
  • If your 1996 or newer OBD-equipped vehicle has recently been serviced, or if the battery has been disconnected, please drive the vehicle for several days before bringing it in for inspection.
  • When arriving at a test station, leave the engine running unless directed otherwise.

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