Georgia Car Inspection

Georgia has no statewide vehicle inspection requirements, but 13 counties require annual emissions inspections for most vehicles.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
There are no statewide car inspection requirements in
, but vehicles in 13 counties must get annual emissions inspections.
  • The state of Georgia has no statewide vehicle inspection requirements.
  • Annual emissions inspections for all gasoline-powered cars 3 to 25 model years old are required in 13 Atlanta metro counties.
  • Any law enforcement officer may conduct a safety inspection for a motor vehicle they believe is being operated unsafely.

Georgia vehicle inspection requirements

Georgia has no statewide vehicle inspection requirements. However, annual emissions inspections are required for vehicle owners in the following counties:
  • Cherokee
  • Clayton
  • Cobb
  • Coweta
  • DeKalb
  • Douglas
  • Fayette
  • Forsyth
  • Fulton
  • Gwinnett
  • Henry
  • Paulding
  • Rockdale 
Georgia’s annual emissions testing is managed by the
Georgia Clean Air Force (GCAF)
to improve the air quality of the Atlanta metropolitan area. The GCAF recommends getting an emissions test 4 to 6 weeks before the vehicle’s registration renewal date. 
All gasoline-powered vehicles 3 to 25 model years old (8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight rating or less) are required to undergo an emissions inspection each year. For registration in 2021, you must get an emissions test if your car is a 1997 to 2018 model year vehicle that operates partially or entirely on gasoline. 

Exemptions from the state requirements

Not every vehicle in the Atlanta metro area needs an annual vehicle emissions test. Your car does not need to be tested if
  • It has a gross weight of more than 8,500 pounds
  • It operates exclusively on alternative fuels such as diesel, natural gas, or propane
  • It is less than three model years old
  • It is an antique or collector vehicle more than 25 model years old
  • It is a motorcycle, motor home, or recreational vehicle (RV)

Where to get a car inspection in Georgia

Georgia drivers can get their cars inspected at any service station with a sign indicating that they perform vehicle inspections. The GCAF maintains an
online guide to emissions testing locations
Georgia residents do not need to get their cars inspected in the same county where it’s registered. 
If you are trying to find an inspection station, look for a service station with an “All Vehicles Welcome” sign.

How often to get a car inspection in Georgia

If you live in one of the thirteen counties listed above that require emissions inspections, you must get an emissions inspection once a year. GCAF recommends getting your vehicle inspected four to six weeks before the registration is due for renewal.
If you do not live in one of the above counties, you do not need a car inspection unless a law enforcement officer conducts it. 
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If you live in Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, or Rockdale County, you must ensure that your car has a valid Georgia emissions inspection at the time of sale.
An emissions inspection in Georgia costs up to $25. You’ll find the exact price posted at the service station where you get your car inspected.
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