Colorado Car Inspection and Emissions Laws

There’s a lot to consider when deciding to purchase a vehicle. Whether you’re going new or used, understanding Colorado’s inspection laws are important to know before you buy. In your excitement, you could easily overlook some crucial details. With that in mind, below are some ways you can ensure you’re in compliance. 

Colorado’s Rules for Vehicle Emissions Testing

Vehicles That Need to Be Inspected

  • Any vehicle that more than seven model years old
  • A light-duty gasoline-powered vehicle, defined as weighing 8,500 pounds or fewer
  • A heavy-duty vehicle defined as weighing more than 8,500 pounds
  • Any vehicle changing ownership automatically triggers a requirement for a new vehicle inspection

Vehicles That Don’t Require an Inspection

  • All vehicles that are seven model years old and newer
  • All-electric vehicles
  • Any collector vehicle (model year 1975 and older)
  • Horseless carriages, street rods, farm vehicles, kit cars, and motorcycles

How Often Does Your Vehicle Need to Be Inspected

Any car that is eight model years older or later, dating back to the 1982 model year, must be inspected every two years. Vehicles that are model year 1982 or older must be inspected every year. New hybrid-electric vehicles require inspection after seven years.

Cost and Additional Testing

Emissions inspections for gas-powered vehicles model year 1982 and newer cost $25. Emissions inspections $15 for gasoline-powered vehicles model year 1981 and older, and are required annually.

RapidScreen is Air Care Colorado’s roadside emissions testing program. It’s an alternative to standard testing at emissions testing stations that allows you to have your vehicle’s emissions screened by driving past a RapidScreen emissions testing system. Air Care Colorado provides location information online. Anyone seeking additional information should contact their local county clerk or find resources online with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Insurance Requirements for Automobiles in Colorado

In addition to state-mandated car inspections, Coloradans are required to carry auto insurance. Get a fast, free quote on high-quality car insurance from Farm Bureau Insurance®.