For drivers, living in a small community has its advantages. Often there is less traffic, lower insurance rates and fewer required vehicle checkups. Now, most Idaho residents will enjoy the latter perk, as emission testing in Idaho is becoming a thing of the past. Effective July 1, 2023, inspections will no longer be required in the state, with the exception of Ada County.


When you buy a vehicle from a private owner, you’ll need to register it yourself. And if you live in Ada County, you must also have an emission inspection done. Anyone moving into that county must have their vehicles tested, as well.

Emission Inspections are required for all gasoline powered vehicles that were manufactured after 1981 and are at least five years old. Idaho emission testing is $14 and can be done at any certified station. If the vehicle fails, you may have one free re-test within 30 days at the same station.


Some vehicles are exempt from emission testing.

  • Electric and hybrid vehicles
  • Classic vehicles, defined by Idaho Code 49-406A.
  • Vehicles less than 1,500 pounds

If your vehicle is no longer being driven primarily in Ada County, you may defer the test up to six months. For example, if your college student is using the car in another state, you may have it inspected when they come home for spring break.

Inspection appeal

Ada County — the most populous in the state — requires emissions testing for now, due to federal regulations. However, Idaho is appealing to regulators to end it. If the Environmental Protection Agency approves the change, local jurisdictions will then decide whether or not to continue conducting the biennial test.

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