Who Needs a Smog Check in Nevada?

A smog check is needed for most vehicles before registration in Clark and Washoe counties, Nevada. Check this guide to see if you need one.
Written by Tiffany Leung
Edited by Jessica Barrett
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
, smog checks, also known as emissions inspections, are required annually for most vehicles on their fourth registration in urban areas of Clark and Washoe counties
Desert landscapes, vibrant nightlife, and large casinos are some things that Nevada is known for, but air quality is certainly not one of them. Although air pollution has decreased over the past several years, the Silver State has the second-worst air pollution in the nation—especially in mountainous areas. 
In an effort to reduce the air pollution caused by vehicle emissions, the Nevada Emission Control Program was put in place. Most vehicles are required to pass the emissions test before initial registration and at each annual renewal.

Is a smog check required in Nevada?

A smog check is required in Nevada for all vehicles with the model year 1968 or newer registered in urban areas of Clark and Washoe counties. However, new gas-powered vehicles are exempt from testing until their fourth registration. Hybrids are exempt for five model years.
Diesel-powered vehicles registered in the mentioned counties are only required to get a smog test if their manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating is 14,000 pounds or less. This also applies to drivers whose cars are based in these counties.
For example, if you drive a car with a model year later than 1968 and live or work in Clark or Washoe County, you most likely will need to get an emissions inspection every year to renew your registration. Your registration renewal notice
In other words, if you drive a car manufactured before 2015 and live or work in the Denver metropolitan area or the northern Front Range, there’s a good chance that you’re required to get an emissions inspection every one to two years. Your vehicle registration renewal notice will also indicate if your vehicle needs a smog check. 
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Emissions testing requirements and exemptions

To summarize the smog check requirements, if you live or work in the counties listed above, you will likely need an inspection. However, the schedule, fees, and requirements can vary based on your vehicle’s age and type
You are exempt from Nevada’s smog check requirements if your vehicle falls into one of the following categories: 
  • New motor vehicles registering for the first three registration cycle
  • Hybrid-electric vehicles five model years or newer
  • Vehicles 1967 or older
  • Motorcycles or mopeds
  • Diesel-powered vehicles over 14,000 pounds
  • Strictly Propane, CNG, and electric-powered vehicles
  • Vehicles registered as Classic Rod, Classic Vehicle, or Old Timer with an annual driving range of 5,000 miles or less
  • Vehicles registered as a Replica Vehicle
  • Vehicles based head to the DMV’s website in some remote areas of Clark and Washoe County and all other Nevada counties
  • Transfer of ownership/registration if the last test was conducted within 90 days before the transfer (180 days on a Nevada dealer sale)
  • Transfer of ownership/registration between husband and wife
  • Transfer of ownership/registration between vehicle leasing companies if there is no change in the lessee or vehicle operator
If your vehicle doesn’t fall into these categories, you will need to get an emissions test every year. You are responsible for getting any car you purchase from a private sale tested, and the results are valid for 90 days. Dealers are responsible for testing any used vehicles they sell and providing the results.

How to get out of your Nevada smog check: Emissions waivers

While you can’t get out of getting an emissions inspection required by the state, the Nevada Department of Revenue’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may issue smog check waivers under specific circumstances after a failed test
Gas or diesel emissions waivers are available to those who have spent a certain amount on repairs but still fail the emissions test. For details on those waivers,
visit the DMV’s website
. If you don’t qualify for a waiver and your registration has expired, you can apply for a movement permit through
or at a DMV office. This will allow you to continue with repairs without getting charged for driving with an expired license. 
MORE: Nevada car inspection requirements

What is a Nevada vehicle emissions test?

All emissions tests must be done at a Department Licensed Emission Station. There are three types of stations:
  • 1-G stations: Authorized to perform emissions tests but cannot perform emissions-related repairs
  • 2-G stations: Authorized to perform emissions tests and complete emissions-related repairs
  • Diesel stations: Authorized to perform diesel vehicle emissions tests
Nevada emissions testing centers use On-Board Diagnostics (OBDII) testing for light-duty gasoline-powered vehicles with the model year 1996 or later. The data from your vehicle’s OBDII system will indicate whether the emission control systems are functioning within the set parameters. 
Light-duty gas vehicles older than 1996 and heavy-duty gas vehicles of 1968 or later must pass a two-speed idle test—at approximately 2,500 rpm and at idle speed. These vehicles will also go through a visual inspection to check for
smoke from the exhaust
and crankcase blow-by. Expect that the following emission devices will be visually inspected:
  • Gas cap
  • Air injection system
  • Exhaust gas recirculation system
  • Catalytic converter
  • Fuel inlet restrictor
For light-duty diesel vehicles, testing is done with a dynamometer. An opacity test and visual inspection are also done. If you have a 4WD diesel vehicle, keep in mind that not all diesel stations are equipped to do a smog check on your car. 
You will need to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles Emission Control Lab if you need help finding an appropriate testing station.
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What do I need for a smog check in Nevada? 

All you need to bring to the testing station is yourself, your vehicle, and a valid form of payment. Find a list of emissions testing centers and their contact details on the
DMV Department Licensed Businesses list

How much is a smog check in Nevada?

The cost of a smog check in the state of Nevada will depend on your location and vehicle type. This can range from $50.50 to $78. Here’s a more detailed breakdown: 
Vehicle Type
Clark County
Washoe County
Light-duty gasoline (up to 8,500 lbs)
Heavy-duty gasoline (over 8,500 lbs)
Diesel (up to 14,000 lbs)

How to save on Nevada car insurance costs

A smog check can be costly in Nevada, which adds to the already-expensive car ownership costs. Thankfully, Nevada drivers have
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