Frequently Asked Questions
vWhich vehicles in Louisiana are required to undergo an emissions inspection?
Vehicles subject to emission testing are model years 1980 or newer gasoline fueled passenger cars and gasoline fueled light and heavy-duty trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or less, which are registered in the 5-parish Baton Rouge ozone non-attainment area (Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, and West Baton Rouge parishes). These tests include the visual anti-tampering, gas cap integrity, and on-board diagnostics (OBDII). Approximately 470,000 vehicles are subject to emissions testing in the Baton Rouge area.
vWhat does a visual anti-tampering check of the emission system include?
This check will include a visual inspection of the following emission system components: catalytic converter system (catalyst), air injection system (including belts, hoses, and valves), positive crankcase ventilation system (PCV system including hoses and valves), evaporative emission control system (charcoal canister, hoses, wires, and control valves), and exhaust gas recirculation system (EGR valve and hoses).
vWhat is a gas cap integrity test?
This pressure test detects leaks in the vehicle's gas cap, ensuring a proper seal, thereby reducing harmful vapors.
vWhat is OBD II?
OBD II is the second generation of onboard diagnostic computer systems created as a requirement of the 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA) to alert the driver of any problems that may lead to abnormal emission levels being released from a vehicle. Technicians plug into a vehicle's OBD port to determine if there are any problems that need to be addressed. OBD II tests can save the consumer time and money in the long run because smaller problems are detected and solved early so major problems do not develop.
vWhat happens if a vehicle fails the emissions inspection?
Vehicles failing any component of emissions testing must be repaired before a valid inspection sticker can be issued for the vehicle. Vehicles failing an inspection will receive a 30-day temporary sticker.
vAre there any vehicles exempt from emissions inspections?
Beginning July 1, 2004, new vehicles will be exempt from computer diagnostic testing for two years from the year of the model of the vehicle (i.e. 2012 vehicles will be exempt until 2014). Exempted vehicles are still required to receive the visual anti-tampering check and the gas cap integrity test.
vWhy does my vehicle need an emissions inspection?
Emissions from motor vehicles contribute to the formation of ground level ozone. In Baton Rouge, to achieve the required air quality standards, OBD II testing is utilized to identify and reduce vehicle emission related problems. High pollution levels not only affect the health of local citizens, but also make it more difficult to attract new business and industry and create new jobs in our community.
vWhen, where, and how are emission inspections performed?
The emissions tests are performed as part of your annual safety inspection at any official Motor Vehicle Inspection (MVI) station in the Baton Rouge ozone non-attainment area during normal inspection hours. In addition to inspection of a vehicle's safety equipment, a visual anti-tampering check of your emissions system and a gas cap integrity test are performed. Vehicles that are model year 1996 or newer will be subject to an OBD II inspection as well.
vAre there any restrictions on where I can have my vehicle tested?
Vehicles registered within the 5-parish non-attainment area MUST be tested in the Baton Rouge testing area and cannot be tested elsewhere in the state. Vehicles registered outside of the Baton Rouge 5-parish area (except the municipalities of Kenner, Westwego, and New Orleans) can be tested within the 5-parish emissions testing area; however, the Baton Rouge area fees and testing procedures apply.
vHow much does an emissions inspection cost?
The emissions inspection is combined with the annual safety inspection, and the combined cost is $18.
vCan I receive a 2-year inspection sticker if my vehicle is required to undergo emissions testing?
The option for a motorist to receive an inspection sticker valid for a two year period is for safety only inspections. Emissions testing must be performed annually; therefore, a vehicle that requires an emissions inspection cannot receive a 2-year inspection sticker.
vDo I have to pay to get my vehicle retested if it fails?
The temporary sticker is valid for a period of thirty days. During that time, you are entitled to one free retest at the station where you received the initial inspection. After the vehicle is repaired or the problem has been resolved, you can return to the original inspection station within the thirty-day period and receive the free retest. If your vehicle fails again, you may have to pay for any subsequent inspections.
vWhat is OBD II readiness?
In order to accurately perform diagnostics on your vehicle, your vehicle's diagnostic system must first establish a "baseline" on which to compare readings. If this baseline has not been established then your vehicle's diagnostic system cannot perform its function correctly and cannot provide the inspection software with the necessary readings to determine if your vehicle is running efficiently.
vHow is vehicle compliance enforced?
Compliance with the I/M program requirements for motor vehicles is enforced through the use of windshield stickers. Citations are issued by local and state law enforcement agencies for missing or expired stickers.
vHow do inspection stations report inspection results to LDEQ?
All MVI stations in the Baton Rouge non-attainment area have computer systems and software that transmit testing data electronically to a host computer located at LDEQ headquarters. The data is analyzed by environmental scientists and periodically reported to the EPA.