How Long Does An Emissions Test Take (And Why)?

How Long Does An Emissions Test Take (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 30 minutes

The emission test would take 20 to 30 minutes depending on the type of vehicle. There are many emissions testing requirements that are set by the state. The requirements may vary for all the states. The age of the vehicles may also affect the emission test timings.

The states with higher air pollution rates may ask for a compulsory emission test every 2 to 3 years. There are some states giving exemptions to some vehicles. The vehicles such as motorcycles and alternative fuel vehicles may not require the emissions test in some states.

The person should check all the state rules and regulations for the emissions test. In many states, the validity of the emissions test would be for 90 days, but some states may have it for 120 days.

How Long Does An Emissions Test Take

How Long Does An Emissions Test Take?

Emissions TestTime
In minutes30 minutes
In seconds1800 seconds

People need to register for the emission test before the expiry of the validity. Some vehicles may not pass the emission test very easily. The emission test is done to check the chemical or carbon emissions produced by the vehicles. The engine of the vehicles would affect the emissions made by the vehicle.

The performance of the car may influence the emissions test time length. The emission time would not be the same for all the models of vehicles. The internal computer of the vehicles would get checked during the emission test. The engine is properly examined during the emissions test. There are certain emission limits for all vehicles.

If the vehicle would produce emissions more than the limit, then there is a chance that the vehicle may not pass the test. During the emission test, the fuel cap of the vehicle would get properly checked. If the vehicle has a loose fuel cap, then it may not pass the emission test.

The treadmill test may take some time as the vehicle would be placed on the rollers for the emission checks. The idling test is also done on the vehicle to check the emissions made by the vehicles when the engine is running and vehicles idle.

Why Does An Emissions Test Take This Long?

If the vehicle passes the emission test then it would meet the standard emission requirement of the state. The results of the emission test would come out immediately after the vehicle completes the test. A Vehicle Inspection Report would be provided to the vehicle owner that would show the performance of the vehicle.

The Vehicle Inspection Report would be sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles for keeping the record of the emission test of the vehicle. After your vehicle completes and passes the emission test, then the Department of Motor Vehicles would inform you about the next emission test.

It’s always better to keep your vehicle ready for the emission test. If the vehicle fails in the emission test, then the person would have to go for an emission test retake. The vehicle owners should repair all the defective parts to prepare the vehicle to pass the emission test in one go.

A waiver may be given to the vehicle that fails the emission test twice. There are many states that would allow the vehicle to appear for the emission test without any extra fees. There are a few documents that the vehicle owner should keep with them.

The vehicle owner should keep a prior inspection report, certificate of vehicle registration, and renewal notice. The person should check the guidelines given by the state to know any extra documents required for the emission test.

The newly bought vehicles may pass the emission test before the old vehicles. As the old vehicle’s part may not work as efficiently as the new vehicles.


The emission test would not take more than 20 to 30 minutes if you book an appointment before one day. Sometimes, the emission test may get delayed if there are many vehicles to get tested. Everyone should carry all the documents required for the test to avoid unnecessary delay.

Getting a license plate for the vehicle would not be possible if the person fails in the emission test. The person should try to do all the necessary arrangements to make the vehicle pass the emission test as a retake of the emission test may be quite expensive for the vehicle owners.


dot 1
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Avatar of Nidhi


Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *