Waivers Q&A

Can I get an exemption or waiver from the emissions testing requirement?

Exemptions and waivers are available under certain conditions. They include electric or hybrid motor vehicles, motor vehicles with a model year less than four years old, motor vehicles with a model year older than 1981, and classic automobiles.

Waivers may be granted for economic hardship and in the event a vehicle fails, appropriate repairs are conducted, and the vehicle still does not pass the emissions test.

How can I get a hardship or repair waiver?

To qualify for a waiver, you must follow the instructions carefully and submit all of the required documentation and information for your situation. Please send request to aqb.emissiontest.org. Repair and hardship waivers last for one year from the date the vehicle was due to test. Afterward, the vehicle must be repaired, regardless of cost, and pass an emissions test.

What is a Repair Waiver?

Individuals who have attempted to repair their vehicle may qualify for a repair waiver. To qualify for this waiver, you must:

1. Have an initial emissions test,

2. Spend at least $300 on repairs related to the emissions test failure and,

3. Have a second failed emissions test after the repairs have been performed.

What is a Financial Hardship Waiver?

Individuals who are experiencing financial difficulties may qualify for a hardship waiver. Hardship Waiver forms are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. To qualify for this waiver, you must provide information on your income and expenses.

Hardship waivers can only be issued twice consecutively, and the vehicle must be tested at the end of the year before being eligible for another hardship waiver. At the conclusion of the second hardship waiver period, the vehicle must be tested and either passes the emissions test or the vehicle owner must spend at least $300 on repairs appropriate for the emissions test failure and then apply for a repair waiver.

I can’t afford expensive repairs. What should I do?

Check to see if you qualify for a one-year repair or hardship waiver.

How long do waivers last?

Repair and hardship waivers last for one (1) year from the date the vehicle was due to test. Afterward, the vehicle must complete an emissions test before being eligible for additional waivers.

What is an Extension?

A one-time extension may be granted if a vehicle is nonoperational, if a vehicle cannot easily be brought to an area where emissions testing is conducted, or if a vehicle owner is located outside of the testing area. The following people often qualify for an extension:

  • Active-duty military members, with orders, who are stationed out of the area
  • Students who are currently registered at an out-of-area college or university
  • Workers who are on a corporate assignment in another area
  • Individuals with vacation homes or seasonal residences
  • Individuals with nonoperational vehicles (stored in compliance with local ordinances)
  • Business owners with a principal address in Ada County with vehicles operating in another area
  • Individuals serving on religious or humanitarian missions

An extension will not be granted for a vehicle that is in an area where emissions testing is being conducted.

My child has a vehicle away at school. Is he/she still required to test?

If your vehicle is registered in Ada County state law requires that you have it tested under the provisions of the Idaho Vehicle Inspection Program.

If emissions testing are being conducted in the area where the student is located, an emissions test should be performed in that jurisdiction and submitted here. An emissions test from another jurisdiction will be accepted as a reciprocal test. For more information on the locations where emissions testing is currently being conducted, please see the “Reciprocity Waiver Application Form”. Once the test is complete, please fax, mail, or e-mail us a copy of your passing test certificate so we can give you credit for passing an emissions test. If emissions testing is not being conducted in the area where the student is located, he/she may qualify for an extension for no more than six (6) months from the date the vehicle was due to test.

My vehicle is not operating right now. Can I get an extension?

An extension is available for nonoperational vehicles for a maximum of six (6) months from the date the first notice was issued.

What is an Exemption?

The following types of vehicles are exempt from emissions testing requirements according to Idaho Code §39-116B as specified in IDAPA 58.01.01.517.05:

  • Electric or hybrid vehicles
  • Motor vehicles with a model year less than 4 years old
  • Motor vehicles with a model year older than 1981
  • Classic automobiles as defined by section §49-406A, Idaho Code
  • Motor vehicles with a maximum gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of less than 1,500 pounds
  • Motor vehicles registered as motor homes as defined by Section §49-114, Idaho Code
  • Motorized farm tractors

What are my options when I cannot find the emissions control part(s) needed to get my vehicle to pass the emissions testing?

As vehicles age parts do become harder to find, typically that means resorting to auto yards or online sources to find the parts. If you have exhausted all sources and cannot locate a needed emission control part for your vehicle, you will need to have two auto repair shops provide proof that a part can’t be found and submit that documentation to the program office. Included in the proof must be the name of the part and the applicable part number(s). The program will review this information and determine if an exemption for that particular part can be granted.