Requirements for Obtaining an Emission Waiver in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has an emissions inspection program to help reduce air pollution and protect the environment. It is implementation is based on population density and Federal Road Tax dollars are also tied to this program. If your check engine light is on and your vehicle fails the emissions test, you may be eligible for an emission waiver.

An emission waiver exempts a vehicle from the requirement of passing an emissions test. To qualify for a waiver, a vehicle must have failed two OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) checks and made at least $450* worth of repairs that address the cause of failure. The Repair data sheet must also be filled out and receipts showing the $450* worth of repairs must be shown to the Certified Repair Technician performing the waiver.

UPDATE 7/29/2023

*Adjustment of Minimum Waiver Expenditure for Emission Inspection PennDot Bulletin: EB23-01

Effective September 1, 2023, the minimum waiver expenditure for an emission inspection will increase to $450. Additionally, the minimum waiver expenditure will be adjusted annually thereafter in accordance with 67 Pa. Code § 177.282.

As a reminder, an emissions waiver is available if a vehicle has failed an initial emission inspection, qualifying repairs have been completed and the subject vehicle has failed a retest. For a vehicle to receive a “waiver”, the following requirements must be met:

1. Repair work must be approved by a certified repair technician or other Commonwealth approved inspector.

2. Emissions related repair expenditures must meet or exceed the minimum dollar threshold. Beginning September 1, 2023, minimum waiver expenditure will be $450.

3. Copies of the repair receipts for emissions related repairs must be provided to the inspection station.

4. Repairs were performed no earlier than 60 days prior to the initial inspection.

5. Repairs must be appropriate and related to the cause of failure

Applying for an Emission Waiver

To apply for an emission waiver in Pennsylvania, you will need to visit your local certified inspection station with your vehicle registration card. You will need to find one that can perform an emissions waiver. Not all emissions inspection stations can perform the waiver process. You will also need to provide evidence that you have spent at least $450 on repairs that address the cause of failure. After submitting all required documents, the Certified Repair Technician will inspect your paperwork and issue a Waiver.

The cost of the Waiver can vary because the station can set their own price to perform the waiver.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Q: What are the requirements for obtaining an emission waiver?

A: To qualify for a waiver, a vehicle must have failed two OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) checks and made at least $450 worth of repairs that address the cause of failure. Waivers will not be issued to vehicles that do not pass the Visual Anti-Tampering Check.

Q: How much does it cost to get an emission waiver?

A: The fee for obtaining an emission waiver varies. The state does not regulate the amount the emissions inspection station can charge to perform a waiver.

Q: What cost count towards an emissions waiver?

A:  Costs that count towards the $450 are:

• Diagnosis fees charged by a recognized repair facility

• Parts installed and labor performed at a recognized repair location

• Costs of parts installed by vehicle owner/operator. No labor can be claimed towards the 450 if the owner/operator installs the parts.

Q:  Can I get a waiver if my vehicle fails a Visual Anti-Tampering Check?

A:  No. The cost of installing removed emissions equipment can not be counted towards the $450 waiver threshold.

Q: Does King's Auto Repair Inc. perform Pennsylvania Emissions Waivers?

A: No we do not perform Waivers. We only perform emissions testing here.

Q: Since King's Auto Repair does not perform Emissions Waivers, who can do them?

A: We are unsure what stations can perform them. A list of all current emissions inspection stations can be found at this website:

Q: Is my vehicle Exempt from Pennsylvania Emissions testing?

A: It is exempt from testing when you have owned it longer than 365 days and have driven less than 5,000 miles in 365 days. Check out our other blog post on Pennsylvania Emission Exemptions.