Illinois Car Inspection

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In Illinois, emissions inspections are required in certain counties every two years for vehicles over four years old. You’ll also need a VIN inspection to register your vehicle in Illinois. 
The 1977 amendment to the Clean Air Act required states to establish emissions inspection programs in metropolitan areas where the quality of air failed to meet federal standards. Today, the requirements for vehicle emissions inspections vary from state to state. 
You can stay compliant with Illinois’s requirements by studying this guide to Illinois car inspection laws compiled by car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry.
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What are the vehicle inspection requirements in Illinois?

In certain Illinois zip codes, on-board diagnostic (OBD) tests are required every two years for vehicles that are at least four years old and were manufactured after 1996. This inspection helps to protect air quality by ensuring that your vehicle is not exceeding federal emissions standards.
OBD tests are required in Cook, Dupage, and Lake Counties, as well as in certain zip codes in Kane, Kendall, McHenry, Madison, Monroe, St. Clair, and Will Counties
The Illinois Air Team Vehicle Emissions Testing Program maintains an online eligibility check tool that you can use to determine if your car is due for an emissions inspection. 

Exceptions to the state requirements

Some vehicles are exempt from the emissions testing program in Illinois. You do not need to get an inspection if:
  • Your vehicle is not subject to registration
  • Your vehicle runs on diesel or electricity
  • Your vehicle is an antique, expanded-use antique, or custom car, or if its model year is 1967 or older
  • Your vehicle is a motorcycle or motorized pedal-cycle
  • Your vehicle was manufactured in or before 1995 and was in compliance with the Illinois Vehicle Emissions Inspection Law as of February 1, 2007
  • Your vehicle is a farm vehicle or used exclusively for agricultural purposes
  • Your vehicle is registered in and in compliance with the emissions inspection requirements of another state
  • Your vehicle is an implement of warfare owned by the government
  • Your vehicle has a model year of 2006 or earlier and has a manufacturer gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) between 8,501 and 14,000 pounds
  • Your vehicle has a GVWR greater than 14,000 pounds

Where to get a car inspection in Illinois

You will need to visit one of the Illinois Vehicle Emissions Program’s testing stations in order to receive an emissions inspection. Use the Air Team’s online testing station locator to find a location close to you. 

How often do you need a car inspection?

Illinois requires emissions inspections every two years for vehicles that qualify in Cook, Dupage, and Lake counties, as well as other zip codes in the Chicago and East St. Louis metropolitan areas. 

Finding affordable car insurance 

Any time you get a vehicle inspection, it’s a good idea to revisit your car insurance policy and make sure you aren’t overpaying. Car insurance comparison expert Jerry can help you determine if you’re due for savings. 
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It’s always a good idea to get an inspection before you sell your car, but in Illinois, emissions checks are only required when you renew or change a car’s registration.
Mandatory emissions inspections are free of charge for Illinois residents. A voluntary smog check costs $20.

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