One of the things that I hated most about moving from Arkansas to Tennessee was changing my car tags. Why? Because I had to take a day off work to complete emissions testing due to Tennessee requirements. After I did a little research on emissions standards in Tennessee, I realized that the emissions testing required could depend on where you live.
Emissions Testing in Tennessee: Emission Standards in Shelby County
When I first moved to Tennessee, I lived in an apartment that was within the city of Memphis limits. If you live within the city of Memphis, you have to pass a vehicle emissions test before obtaining tags.
Anyone with a vehicle less than 26,000 pounds that lives in the city of Memphis needs to submit their vehicle to an emissions test and safety inspection. A computer controlled exhaust analyzer will measure the emissions from your tailpipe and compare that to the EPA standards. Vehicles over 26,000 pounds, electric powered vehicles, and farm equipment are exempt from emissions testing.
If you live in areas of unincorporated Shelby county or live near municipality lines, you may or may not need vehicle emissions testing in order to receive your tags. Click HERE to enter your address to see if you need to have a vehicle emissions test before obtaining tags.
If you pay property taxes to Germantown, Arlington, Millington, or Bartlett, it is very unlikely that you will need to submit your vehicle for an emissions test.
Visit the City of Memphis Motor Vehicle Inspection Bureau on the web by clicking HERE.
Emissions Testing in Tennessee: Counties Requiring Emissions Testing
According to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Division of Air Pollution Control, several counties must submit their vehicles to emissions testing. These counties include Hamilton, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties.
Vehicles required to pass an emissions test before tags are issued include gasoline and diesel vehicles weighing up to 10,500 pounds. Motorcycles are exempt as are vehicles older than those made in 1975.
Emissions Testing in Tennessee: Other Emission Testing Facts
Cost of emissions testing : In Tennessee the cost of emissions testing is $10 and can be paid in cash only using bills smaller than $20.
What happens if my car fails the emissions test? There is good news if your vehicle fails the Tennessee emissions test. A free diagnostic test by an ASE certified mechanic will tell you what is causing your emissions problem.
What is the current emissions testing standard? If your check engine light is on, you will most likely fail your emissions testing. The emissions standard used to judge your emissions test depends on the age of your vehicle. You can visit rule 1200-03-29-.05 of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Bureau of Environment Division of Air Pollution Control.
Most people own vehicles that were produced after 1996. Per the Tennessee Code, these vehicles will submit to an OBD inspection. This inspection is part of emissions testing and includes two parts: checking to see if the check engine light is on and making sure that you haven’t just disconnected the fuse to your check engine light.
Emissions testing is rather simple. If you need an emissions test due to where you live, relax and know you will most likely pass. If you do not pass, you need to fix your vehicle. This will save you money in the long run, and help make our world a better place.
http://www.tn.gov/sos/rules/1200/1200-03/1200-03.htm (particular attention paid to 1200-03-29)