Is your car eligible for an Emissions Exemption in Pennsylvania?

If you're bringing your car in for an emissions inspection, you may be wondering if it qualifies for a PA emissions exemption. The answer is, that it's possible. Today, we'll provide you with the information you need.

Do you need to have your car emissions inspected in Pennsylvania?

Many people mistakenly believe that if they live in a county in Pennsylvania that doesn't require an official emissions sticker on the windshield, they don't need to have their emissions equipment checked. However, in counties where vehicles are exempt from emissions testing or have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 9,001 lbs or higher, the Safety Inspection Mechanic is still required to perform a visual anti-tampering check. This means they will check if any emissions equipment has been removed. Vehicles meeting these conditions can pass inspection even with malfunctioning emissions equipment, as long as the equipment is still present.

I live in a county that requires an emissions sticker. How can I qualify for a Pennsylvania emissions exemption?

The best way to qualify for an emissions exemption is to drive your car under 5,000 miles within a 365-day period, and have owned it for 365 days. When you schedule your emissions inspection appointment, make sure to ask for an exemption. The emissions inspection mechanic won't automatically exempt your car if it qualifies.

I drive an electric car. Does it need an emissions inspection?

No, it does not. Electric cars are exempt from emissions testing in Pennsylvania, and do not require an emissions sticker.

I drive a diesel vehicle. Does it need to be emissions inspected?

No, diesel vehicles are not currently subject to emissions inspections in Pennsylvania. However, it's important to note that removing emissions equipment can still result in a fine if you are pulled over by a Pennsylvania State Trooper.

If I have an Antique License Plate on my car, does it need to be emissions tested?

Cars with Antique License plates that are over 25 years old are exempt from emissions testing. No sticker will be affixed to the windshield for this exemption. However, if the car has a regular license plate and is a 1975 or newer vehicle, it would be required to have an emissions inspection. It would then need to meet the less than 5,000-mile rule to qualify for a PA emissions exemption.

I have a classic plate on my car. Do I need an emissions inspection?

No, you do not. Cars with classic license plates that are over 15 years old do not require an emissions inspection. However, they do require yearly safety inspections, which include a visual anti-tampering check of the emissions equipment.

Are there any other ways to get an emissions exemption in PA?

There is one more way to have a vehicle exempt from emissions testing in PA. The vehicle must have never been registered before and have less than 5,000 miles. In Pennsylvania, this type of vehicle is considered new and exempt from testing.

Pennsylvania divides the emissions testing counties into different regions, so testing requirements may vary. For more information about testing in your area, please visit

If you live in Reading, West Reading, Wyomissing, West Lawn, or surrounding areas, we would love to be your go-to shop for your safety and emissions inspection needs. Please give us a call and see how we can assist you.