Idaho Car Inspection

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Idaho requires all cars in Ada and Canyon Counties to undergo emissions testing every two years. The state also requires a one-time VIN inspection for out-of-state vehicle registrations. 
The Clean Air Act of 1963, one of the United States’ first major environmental protection laws, works to improve the quality of air across the nation. Since the amendment of the law in 1977, most states have instituted emissions inspection programs for gas-powered vehicles, but the regulations vary from state to state. 
It’s important to understand your state’s laws so that you can keep your vehicle in compliance and help protect the environment.  
In this article, car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry will walk you through everything you need to know about car inspection requirements in Idaho.
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What are the vehicle inspection requirements in Idaho?

Idaho requires all cars in Ada and Canyon Counties to get emissions inspections every two years. These counties are located in the Treasure Valley, which has been recognized by the federal government as being non-compliant with the Clean Air Act. 
Vehicles in highly populated Ada and Canyon Counties significantly contribute to the total air pollution in Idaho. All vehicle owners living in or moving to this area must get an emissions check every two years unless their car is under five years old
You’ll get a notification in the mail when your car is due for an emissions inspection, and you’ll have until the end of the month to complete the inspection. If you fail to complete the test, you’ll receive another notice. You must get your car inspected within 35 days of the final notice, or your vehicle’s registration will be revoked. 
Idaho also requires a one-time VIN inspection for anyone registering a car from out of state. 

Exceptions to the state requirements

Idaho’s emissions inspection requirements apply to most passenger vehicles in Ada and Canyon Counties, but there are a few exceptions. The following vehicles do not need an emissions inspection: 
  • Electric or hybrid vehicles
  • Vehicles with a model year less than five years old
  • Vehicles with a model year older than 1981
  • Classic cars as defined by Idaho Code
  • Vehicles that weigh under 1,500 pounds
  • Vehicles that weigh over 14,000 pounds
  • Motor homes as defined by Idaho Code
  • Motorized farm equipment or any vehicles used solely for agricultural purposes

Where to get a car inspection in Idaho

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality maintains a list of emissions test stations in Canyon County and the city of Kuna, while the Ada County Air Quality Board maintains a list of emissions test stations in Ada County.
You can take your car to any of these stations for an emissions inspection. The test will cost between $14 and $20

How often do you need a car inspection?

All cars in Ada and Canyon Counties need an emissions inspection every two years. You’ll receive two notices from the Idaho Department of Transportation reminding you when your inspection is due. 

Finding affordable car insurance 

Whether or not you live in a county where emissions inspections are required, you can find a great rate on car insurance in Idaho by using the Jerry app. A licensed insurance broker, Jerry is also an expert in Idaho insurance law and a genius at comparison shopping. With Jerry, you can be sure you’re getting the best coverage at the lowest price available. 
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Idaho doesn’t require an inspection before selling a car, but it’s always a good idea to let your buyer take the vehicle to a mechanic before you sell it to them.
An emissions inspection in Idaho costs between $14 and $20.

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