Gas/Alt. Emissions Requirements

Appointments now required for in-person visits. Additionally, registration renewals need to be completed out of office. Options include online, by mail or drop box, or at a self-service kiosk. Read about these changes (including benefits, and FAQs). Información en español.

Gas/Alt. Emissions Requirements

Emissions Banner: Car Exhaust

Registration Renewal

Obtain an emissions test if the statement “Emissions Test is Required” appears on your vehicle registration renewal notice.Self Service MV Express Kiosk for vehicle renewals

Test Information: Air Care Colorado

Gas-fueled vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and some alternative-fueled vehicles can obtain an emissions test from Air Care Colorado.

  • Open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday
  • Locations and Map
    • Local Testing Locations:
      • Boulder: 5655 Airport Boulevard
      • Longmont: 4040 Rogers Road
      • Broomfield: 11609 Teller Street
      • Dacono: 5222 Silver Peak Avenue
  • Phone: 303-456-7090
  • Cost: $25 for vehicle model years 1982 and newer. $15 for vehicle model years 1981 and older. Cash, personal checks, debit or credit cards are accepted

Air Care Colorado does not test diesel vehicles. Diesel vehicles have different requirements.

Emissions Exemptions

The following vehicles are exempt from emissions requirements:

  • Gas/Hybrid/Alt. Fuel vehicles are exempt for the first seven model years. (In 2023, this means vehicles that are 2017 or newer are exempt).
    • Exception: If vehicle ownership is being transferred in the last year of the seven-year exemption, an emissions test will be required. (In 2023, this means that a 2017 vehicle will require an emissions test if there is a transfer of ownership.)
  • Vehicles 1975 and older with collector plates
  • Vehicles 1976 or newer that have been grandfathered (i.e. registered as a “collector’s item” prior to September 1, 2009 and registration has never lapsed/expired/or had a change of ownership)
  • The following vehicle types are exempt: kit cars, all-electric vehicles, motorcycles, horseless carriages, and vehicles registered as street rods

Emissions Requirements

Unless a vehicle is exempt (see above), the following requirements apply:

  • Gas/Hybrid/Alt. Fuel vehicles require an emissions test. Starting in their 8th model year (2017 vehicles or older in 2023), vehicles must pass an emissions inspection in order to be registered in Boulder County. Testing is required when a vehicle changes ownership in their 7th model year or later (even if there is time left on the previous test, 2017 vehicles in 2023) and for registration renewal, if indicated on the renewal notice. Additionally, this is the frequency of testing:
    • 1982 and newer require an emissions test every two years.
    • 1981 and older require a test annually.
    • 1976-1989 with collector plates require a test every 5 years.
  • Hybrid Vehicles are required to obtain an Onboard Diagnostic (OBD) emissions inspection.
  • Alternative Fuel Vehicles require a test. The following single/dual alternative fuel types can be tested at Air Care Colorado:
    • Ethanol
    • Natural Gas
    • Propane
    • Methanol
    • Bio-diesel
    • Propane/gas
    • Methanol/gas
    • Natural gas/diesel
    • Natural gas/gas
    • Ethanol/gas

New Purchases – Sellers & Dealers Must Provide Emissions

  • A private seller is required to provide the buyer with a passing emissions test at the time of sale (if the vehicle requires emissions testing). An emissions test that has been used previously for the purpose of vehicle registration/renewal cannot be transferred to the buyer.
  • Colorado dealers are required to provide a passing emissions test or a voucher good for one emissions test at the time of sale (if the vehicle requires an emissions test). These vouchers are typically only good for the first three days after purchase, so the buyer has a short window of time in which to get the vehicle tested (and return it if it does not pass).

Contact Us

Motor Vehicle Division

7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Fridays
Online Motor Vehicle Contact Us Form
Contáctenos - Formulario en línea

Phone: 303-413-7710
Fax: 303-413-7706


Boulder: 1750 33rd St.
Map and Directions Boulder Location

Longmont: 529 Coffman St.
Map and Directions Longmont Location

Lafayette: 1755 S. Public Road
Map and Directions Lafayette Location

Mailing Address

1750 33rd St., Suite 100
Boulder, CO 80301