Emissions Inspections in Georgia

Georgia emissions testing must be completed by car owners who want to register vehicles or renew registration for vehicles in specific counties. A smog check should be performed by a car owner at least four to six weeks prior to vehicle registration or registration renewal. If the vehicle inspection is not passed, the car owner has enough time to make necessary repairs and attempt a re-inspection. The GA smog test is mandatory in many counties for most vehicles to ensure the air quality of the state maintains acceptability. Vehicle emissions testing results are electronically sent to the Department of Revenue (DOR) from the inspection site once completed by the car owner. Recording the smog check history electronically makes the process easy for residents who need to register or renew registration for vehicles. Learn about how to schedule emissions tests by downloading our free guide. To find out more about the Georgia emissions inspection and how to complete an emissions check, read through the following sections.

The Purpose of Georgia Emissions Testing

Georgia smog checks are now mandatory for many vehicle models in many of the state’s counties to improve the air quality in Atlanta and its surrounding areas. Car owners can look for “emissions testing near me” through the Georgia’s Clean Air Force (GCAF) website. The GCAF administers vehicle emissions testing throughout the state. When searching for “car inspection near me,” car owners should ensure they only choose GCAF-approved inspection sites that will electronically send test results to the DOR. Emissions testing locations that are GCAF-approved follow all guidelines set by the program to ensure the vehicles tested maintain the DOR’s standards before vehicle registration is issued. The GA vehicle inspections are helpful, because significant improvements to the state’s air quality have already been made since the program’s inception in 1996. Air quality is continually improving throughout the state due to the strict guidelines of the program. Review more information about smog checks and emissions testing by downloading our complimentary guide.

Vehicles That Need a Smog Check in Georgia

Georgia emissions testing must be completed by car owners who live in the following counties: Forsyth, Paulding, Gwinnett, Fulton, Douglas, Cowetta, Clayton, Rockdale, Fayette, Cherokee, DeKalb, Henry and Cobb. However, not all vehicles must complete a smog check before renewing car registration. Smog vehicle inspections must be performed on cars and light-duty trucks that are gas-powered and were manufactured in model years 1993 through 2014.

When a car owner researches whether or not vehicle emissions testing must be completed on a car, he or she should look to the county where the vehicle is registered. The model year of a vehicle is defined by the manufacturer, not the dealership or the purchase year. If the car meets the year and make criteria and is registered in one of the listed counties, an emissions test must be completed for registration or renewal. The smog check history of a vehicle should be on file with the Georgia DOR for potential car buyers or car owners who need to review past inspections. Cars that need vehicle inspection must have it performed each year before renewing registration, unless an out-of-area extension applies. To find out more about emissions inspections in GA, download our comprehensive guide.

Who is exempt from a Georgia smog test?

There are several smog test exemptions for which car owners or vehicles may qualify with the GCAF. Vehicles that do not require emissions testing in Georgia include:

  • Motorcycles, recreational vehicles and motor homes.
  • Diesel vehicles.
  • Cars that operate solely on alternative fuel.
  • Vehicles that were manufactured in the three most recent model years.
  • Vehicles that are 25 model years or older.

Alternative fuel vehicles that do not require GA vehicle emissions testing may operate solely on battery electricity, hydrogen, natural gas or propane. Vehicles that are hybrids and are bi-fueled still require smog tests in GA for registration or registration renewal. Additional exemptions from vehicle inspections include senior car owners who are 65 years of age and older who meet the state’s additional exemption requirements.

How to Complete Vehicle Emissions Testing in Georgia

Before registration or registration renewal, a car owner should locate “emissions testing near me in Georgia” through the GCAF to complete a smog inspection. When emissions testing locations are found by car owners, they can contact the sites to make appointments for the inspections. To complete a smog check in Georgia, a car owner must take the vehicle to a certified inspection site to complete a thorough and GCAF-approved inspection. The smog check history and inspection results are electronically sent to the DOR. Smog test standards take into consideration the age of the vehicle and a regular maintenance schedule. If the vehicle has passed the GA emissions inspection, the car owner can move forward with registering the vehicle or renewing the registration. However, if a vehicle fails the smog check, the inspector will notify the car owner. Before performing another vehicle inspection, the car owner may need to make repairs or alterations to the vehicle so it can pass the next check. After failing a car inspection, a vehicle owner can take the car back for a free retest within 30 days with the failed vehicle inspection report and completed Emissions Report Form in hand. To learn more about Georgia emissions inspection procedures, download our detailed guide.