After 38 years, Washington’s emission check program ended Jan. 1, 2020. With the end of the program, vehicle owners are no longer required to have their vehicle’s emissions tested before renewing their registration.
Why did Washington end the emission check program?
In 2005, the Legislature phased out emission testing based on Ecology’s projection that the program wouldn't be needed by 2020 (RCW 70.120.170).
Air quality in Washington is much cleaner now than when the program began in 1982. Every community currently meets all federal air quality standards. The combination of the vehicle emission testing program and advances in vehicle technology led to reduced transportation-related air pollution. We think air quality will continue to improve as newer, cleaner vehicles replace older, less-efficient models.
Ecology and our local clean air agency partners will continue to monitor, protect, and improve air quality. We continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles — the largest source of carbon pollution in Washington.
Frequently asked questions
Washington Department of Licensing
Vehicle emission check hotlines
Western Washington: 800-272-3780
Eastern Washington: 509-329-3491