Emission check program ending in 2020

After 38 years, Washington’s emission check program will end Jan. 1, 2020. After this time, vehicle owners will no longer be required to have their vehicle’s emissions tested before renewing their registration. Vehicles scheduled for testing in 2019 still need an emission test before they can renew their tabs.
 
A technician testing emissions on a car.

Why is the program ending?

Air quality in Washington is much cleaner than when the program began in 1982, and every community in our state currently meets all federal air quality standards. The combination of the testing program, advances in vehicle technology, and improved motor fuels have led to significant reductions in transportation-related air pollution.

In 2005, the Legislature passed a plan to phase out emission testing based on Ecology’s projection that we would no longer need the program by 2020 (RCW 70.120.170). Despite the end of mandatory emission testing, we believe air quality will continue to improve in the years ahead as newer, cleaner vehicles replace older, less-efficient models. 

Even after the emission check program ends, Ecology and our local clean air agency partners will continue to monitor, protect, and improve air quality. We are also continuing to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles - the largest source of carbon pollution in Washington. 

Vehicles requiring testing in 2019

See if your personal or fleet vehicle is scheduled for testing in 2019.

Frequently asked questions

Could the program have ended sooner? Does everyone need to get their car tested in the final year? If the program is ending, why do I still need to get my car tested in 2019? Once the program ends, will people have any incentive to fix emission problems? Will ending the program lead to more air pollution? Will ending the program affect Washington's efforts to fight climate change? Without the program, will there be enforcement to prevent emissions tampering? What else can I do to protect the air?