Frequently Asked Questions:

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    Complaints

  • How can I submit a complaint?

    Comments and complaints can be submitted online on Comment Form Link.

  • Notices

  • Will I get a notice in the mail when my vehicle is due for testing?

    Yes, motorists will be sent no less than two notices to complete an emissions test or received an approved waiver, exemption or extension for their applicable vehicle before the registration is subject to revocation.

    • The Initial Notice will detail what vehicle needs testing and list available testing stations in Canyon County. Motorists will have until the end of the designated month to complete the required emissions test.
    • The Final Notice will be sent at the end of the 30 day testing period reminding the motorist that they failed to complete the test and if they do not complete the test within the next 35 days from the date of the notice, their vehicle registration will be revoked by ITD. This notice will also detail what vehicle needs testing and list available testing stations in Canyon County.

    Notices will be sent to the address on record with Idaho Department of Transportation. Make sure the Idaho Department of Transportation has your correct address, notices are mailed to the address on record with ITD.
  • How can I be sure I will be notified when my emissions test is due?

    Keep your vehicle registration information up-to-date with ITD. State law requires that you notify ITD of any address change within 30 days of relocation. ITD supplies DEQ with the addresses to which emissions test notifications are sent. If your address of record is correct with ITD, notice(s) will be sent to the correct address. If not, notice(s) may be delayed or fail to reach you.

  • Do I have to wait to get my notice before I have my vehicle tested?

    No. You can have your vehicle tested at any time for informational purposes. However, for a test to count towards program compliance, the test may only be conducted up to 90 days prior to the required testing due date. To determine the testing due date, go to www.idahovip.org, Testing Information then enter your License plate or VIN.

  • I received a final notice but not a first. Has my registration been revoked?

    Your registration has not been revoked. Since you have received your Final Notice, you still have plenty of time to have your vehicle tested. Upon receiving the Final Notice you have 35 days from the date on that notice to complete an emissions test.
    If you fail to comply with either a passing test or an approved waiver (extension, exemption, etc.) during that period, your registration will be subject to revocation.

  • I sold or traded the vehicle for which I just received a notice. What should I do?

    a. To have your name removed from the emissions testing requirements for a vehicle you have sold or traded, you must obtain a copy of the receipt from the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) or the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) stating that a “Notice of Release of Liability” has been filed as proof that the vehicle has been sold or traded. Once the DMV and ITD records are updated DEQ will be notified that your vehicle is no longer registered in Canyon County or the City of Kuna. If ITD records show an active registration your will continue to receive notices even though the vehicle may have been sold or traded.

    • Idaho Code §49-526 requires a seller to complete and submit a “Release of Liability” within 5 days of selling or trading a vehicle.
    • ITD’s “Notice of Release of Liability” form can be found on ITD’s website at the following address: http://itd.idaho.gov/dmv/vehicleservices/documents/3858.pdf

  • Program Rules

  • Why Canyon County and Kuna?

    In 2008, a law was passed requiring a vehicle inspection and maintenance program (or equivalent strategy) in any area of the state classified as a metropolitan statistical area where ozone concentrations are at or above 85% of the federal standard and motor vehicle emissions constitute one of the top two contributing sources.

    Currently, the Treasure Valley is the only airshed in the state that meets these conditions. Ada and Canyon Counties share the same airshed. Most of Ada County has had a vehicle emissions testing program in operation since 1984. In June 2010, a vehicle emissions testing program was implemented in Canyon County and the city of Kuna.

  • How often must I have my vehicle tested?

    Testing is required every other year. Motorists are notified of their testing month by mail. (The testing year interval starts from when the vehicle was last due to test, not when it is tested.)

  • I am new to Canyon County and or city of Kuna. What do I need to do to fulfill the emissions testing requirements?

    Idaho state law requires model year 1981 and newer gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles older than five years to be tested every other year. State law requires that you register your vehicle in the county in which you have your principal residence or domicile and update that registration record whenever that residence changes. After your vehicle has been registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles your vehicle will be assigned a testing due date, you will receive a testing notice mailed to the address on the vehicle’s registration prior to your testing due date. Unless the vehicle is being tested for informational purposes, motorist should wait for an emissions testing notice to be received before testing.

  • How much does testing cost?

    An emissions test costs $11 per vehicle test; the fee is due at the time of testing. A motorist is allowed one free re-test, if completed within 30 days of the original test and at the same station.

  • What vehicles need to be tested?

    Model year 1981 and newer gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles older than five years with a GVWR less than 14,001 must be tested.

  • What vehicles do not need to be tested?

    • Electric or hybrid motor vehicles
    • Motor vehicles with a model year less than five years old
    • Motor vehicles with a model year older than 1981
    • Classic automobiles as defined by Idaho Code
    • Motor vehicles with a maximum vehicle gross weight of less than 1,500 pounds
    • Motor vehicles with GVWR of 14,001 or greater
    • Motor vehicles registered as motor homes as defined by Idaho Code
    • Motorized farm equipment
    • Registered motor vehicles engaged solely in the business of agriculture

  • What happens if I don’t have my vehicle tested?

    Your vehicle registration will be revoked by ITD. If that occurs, before you could legally drive the vehicle again, you would need to comply with a passing test or approved waiver (extension or exemption etc.). Registrations will be reinstated within three (3) business days at no charge after receipt of a passing emissions test.

  • How are emissions tested?

    Gasoline-powered vehicles are tested by one of two methods—two-speed idle (TSI) or on-board diagnostic (OBD)—depending on the age of the vehicle.

    • The TSI method used on model year 1981-1995 gas-powered vehicles, samples a vehicle’s exhaust to see if it is above or below standards.
    • The OBD system, used on model year vehicles 1996 and newer, looks for broken or malfunctioning emissions control components.

    Diesel-powered vehicles are inspected by a snap acceleration test that uses a smoke meter at the end of the exhaust pipe or the OBD system depending on the vehicle model year.

    Additional Testing

    • Gas caps are inspected for leaks. On model year 1995 and older gas-powered vehicles, gas caps are removed and tested to ensure they seal properly. On model year 1996 and newer vehicles, the OBD system automatically performs the test.
    • All vehicles are subject to a visual inspections of emissions control equipment

  • Am I required to have my vehicle’s emissions tested?

    If your vehicle is registered in Canyon County or the city of Kuna, state law requires that you have it tested under the provisions of the Idaho Vehicle Inspection Program. Model year 1981 and newer gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles older than five years must be tested. State law also requires that you register your vehicle in the county in which you have your principal residence or domicile. A principal residence or domicile cannot be a person's workplace, vacation, or part-time residence.

  • I sold or traded the vehicle for which I just received a notice. What should I do?

    a. To have your name removed from the emissions testing requirements for a vehicle you have sold or traded, you must obtain a copy of the receipt from the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) or the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) stating that a “Notice of Release of Liability” has been filed as proof that the vehicle has been sold or traded. Once the DMV and ITD records are updated DEQ will be notified that your vehicle is no longer registered in Canyon County or the City of Kuna. If ITD records show an active registration your will continue to receive notices even though the vehicle may have been sold or traded.

    • Idaho Code §49-526 requires a seller to complete and submit a “Release of Liability” within 5 days of selling or trading a vehicle.
    • ITD’s “Notice of Release of Liability” form can be found on ITD’s website at the following address: http://itd.idaho.gov/dmv/vehicleservices/documents/3858.pdf

  • Why does your program check for emissions control devices?

    This program was established based on EPA standards, which state that a visual inspection shall be conducted on all applicable model years. The purpose of the visual inspection is to ensure the vehicle has all the emissions control devices originally required by the manufacturer pursuant to the requirements of the Clean Air Act and they appear to be in good working order. To remove or render inoperative any emissions control device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or its engine in compliance with federal regulations is prohibited and constitutes “tampering.”

    “Tampering” is defined by the Clean Air Act of 1970 (revised in 1977) to be the removal or rendering inoperative of any emissions control device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or its engine in compliance with federal regulations prior to its sale and delivery to the ultimate purchaser, or for any person knowingly to remove or render inoperative any emissions control device or element of design after such sale and delivery to the ultimate purchaser (Clean Air Act Section 203(a)(3)(A)).

    For the purposes of the Canyon County and City of Kuna I/M vehicle emissions testing program, vehicles that are found without emissions control devices will fail the emissions test until the vehicle is brought back into compliance with manufacturer emissions control device specifications. Consumers should be aware that if the emissions control device is not working properly and is still intact on the vehicle and the vehicle is under eight (8) years old and under 80,000 miles, they may qualify for a manufacturer warranty for emissions control devices.

    Waivers and extensions will not be granted for vehicles with tampering-related emissions test failures in accordance with federal guidelines (40 CFR 51.360(a) (3)).

  • The original engine within my vehicle has been removed and replaced, what emission control equipment is now required?

    Per the Clean Air Act there are limits to what modifications can be made to a vehicle’s configuration and its emissions control equipment. The removal of emissions control equipment is considered tampering. In general, in order to pass an emissions test, the vehicle must meet all applicable emissions control equipment requirements of the engine or chassis whichever is newer. Please call the Applus program office (208-461-1232) for more information on a particular removal and replacement (engine swap) scenario.

  • I want to swap my engine out, what are some of the requirements that my vehicle must meet in order to stay within emissions standards?

    Yes. If you change the engine in your vehicle, you must have the emissions control equipment that was required for the chassis year or engine year, whichever is newer. Contract the Applus program office at (208 461-1232) for any questions regarding these requirements.

  • Can I install a used catalytic converter?

    It is considered a violation to sell or install a used catalytic converter unless it has been properly tested and certified. The seller, installer, and owner can all be held liable for tampering if an uncertified catalytic converter is installed.

  • Readiness

  • What is a readiness monitor?

    The readiness monitors identify whether the vehicle’s computer has completed a series of required emissions tests while the vehicle is being driven.

    Vehicles can perform up to 11 system tests, depending on the year, make and model. All cars 1996 and newer are equipped with this type of monitoring system. If a test has been completed, the system status will be reported as “ready.” An uncompleted test will be reported as “not ready.”

  • What could cause my vehicle to be not ready?

    Vehicles that are not ready do not always have something wrong with them. The following situations may cause the vehicle to be not ready.

    • Recent vehicle repairs or maintenance in which Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) have been cleared with an OBD scan tool.
    • A recently disconnected or replaced battery.

  • How do I set my readiness monitor to be ready?

    If the only reason that your vehicle failed inspection is because of a “not ready” monitor reading, you will most likely need to complete what is called a “drive cycle” which may take several weeks and up to 1,000 miles depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

    The monitors will be reset when a “drive cycle” is completed. The specific drive cycle depends on the make and model of the vehicle, and the requirements are sometimes discussed in the owner’s manual. If this information is not available, the generic drive cycle may reset the monitors.

    *Consult your owner’s manual for specific drive cycle information.

  • How many monitors have to be ready?

    Program requirements allow up to two (2) monitors to be “not ready” for model years 1996 through 2000. Vehicles 2001 and newer allow only one monitor to be “not ready.”

  • How do I perform a Generic Drive Cycle?

    Generic Drive Cycle Instructions

    Important! If you choose to use this generic drive cycle, you must obey all traffic laws and drive in a safe manner.

    1. The generic drive cycle begins with a cold start. Coolant temperatures must be below 122 °F and the difference between coolant and air temperatures read by the sensors must be within 11 degrees.
    2. The ignition key must not be left on prior to the cold start; otherwise the heated oxygen sensor may not run.
    3. As soon as the engine starts, idle the engine in drive for 2 1/2 minutes with the air conditioning and the rear defrost on.
    4. Turn the air conditioning and the rear defrost off and accelerate to 55 mph under moderate and constant acceleration. Hold at a steady 55 mph for at least three (3) minutes.
    5. Decelerate to 20 mph without braking or depressing the clutch.
    6. Accelerate back to 55 to 60 mph. Hold for five (5) minutes. Decelerate to a stop without braking.

    *Consult your owner’s manual for specific drive cycle information.

  • If I fail due to readiness monitors, can I still qualify for a waiver?

    No. Readiness monitors detect and report problems by displaying Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs). These DTCs are essential to determine which repairs should be performed.

  • I failed my emissions test because of "Readiness. Monitors?

    Readiness monitors are programs that monitor the performance of a vehicle’s emissions control devices while the vehicle is being driven. During an emissions test, the emissions testing analyzer checks the status of the readiness monitors. The status of a completed readiness monitor will be ready. The status of an uncompleted readiness monitor will be not ready. If too many readiness monitors are not ready, your vehicle will fail an emissions test.

  • Revocations

  • My registration has been revoked, what do I need to do now?

    In the event that the motorist fails to complete the required emissions test or receives an approved waiver, exemption or extension within the required time – the Idaho Department of Transportation will revoke the vehicle's registration.

    After revocation, if the motorist completes a passing emissions test or receives an approved waiver, exemption or extension, the registration will be reinstated at no additional cost to the motorist.

    If the registration is revoked and expired, then the motorist will need to complete a passing emissions test or receive an approved waiver, exemption or extension in order to purchase a new or renew a registration from the Idaho Department of Transportation.

  • I just paid for my registration for two years. How can you revoke my registration?

    Although it is true that your registration will be revoked if you fail to have your vehicle’s emissions tested, your registration will be reinstated within one to three business days of passing an emissions test or receiving an approved waiver, extension, or exemption, without additional expense.

  • Tampering

  • What is tampering?

    Tampering includes removing, bypassing, defeating, disconnecting, damaging, or in any way rendering ineffective any emissions control device—catalytic converter, air pump, and EGR valve—or element of design that has been installed on a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle engine, or having someone else do it for you. Tampering includes:

    • disconnecting vacuum lines and electric or mechanical parts of the pollution control system, such as electrical solenoids, sensors, all or parts of the data link connector or vacuum-activated valves
    • adjusting any element of a car or truck’s emissions control design so that it no longer meets the manufacturer’s specifications
    • installing a replacement part that is not the same in design and function as the part that was originally on the vehicle, such as an incorrect exhaust part

  • Whom does the prohibition of tampering with emissions controls apply to?

    The federal Clean Air Act amendments of 1977 (Section 203(a)(3)), prohibits anyone from removing or rendering inoperative any emissions control device or element of design that is installed on a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle engine.

    The prohibition against tampering applies to everyone, including car owners, automobile repair facilities, commercial mechanics, and fleet operators. It is also illegal for mechanics to advise customers on how to disconnect emissions controls.

  • Why is tampering prohibited?

    Tampering with emissions controls is bad for air quality and public health. Motor vehicles contribute nearly half the total amount of manmade air pollution in the U.S. today. For example in the Treasure Valley 65% of the oxides of nitrogen are emitted from motor vehicles.

  • What impact does tampering with emission controls have on a vehicle?

    Contrary to what you may have heard, tampering does not improve gas mileage, performance or drivability, and it sometimes makes them worse. Cars with catalytic converters get the same or better mileage than cars manufactured before catalytic converters were required. Tampering can also shorten an engine’s life and cause performance problems. In addition, tampering can void a vehicles warranty.

  • Are mechanics required to use manufacturer-made replacement parts?

    No. Replacement parts may be rebuilt parts or equipment made by independent aftermarket parts manufacturers. Replacement parts must be at least equivalent in design and function to the parts that were originally on the car when it was certified. They must not have a negative effect on emissions control. To ensure replacement parts are acceptable, it is advisable to obtain written verification from the parts manufacturer that the part conforms in design and function with the original part.

  • Tests

  • When is my vehicle due for testing?

    If you have Internet access, you can visit www.idahovip.org Testing Information and enter your plate number with the county designator or the VIN under the link "Testing Information."

    Otherwise, please call 208-461-1232 for assistance.

  • How do I know when to get my vehicle’s emissions tested?

    You will receive a notice in the mail from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Two notices are sent to the address of record on file with the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) for your vehicle. You can also find out the date your vehicle is scheduled to be tested by visiting www.idahoVIP.org and entering your license plate number or VIN under the “Testing Information” option.

  • I tested my vehicle last year, why am I getting a notice to test again now, aren’t the tests good for two-years?

    Notices are sent based on when the vehicle was last required to have been tested, not when the vehicle was actually tested.

  • How much does an emissions test cost?

    An emissions test costs $11 per vehicle test, the fee is due at the time of testing. A motorist is allowed one free re-test, if completed within 30 days of the previous and at the same station.

  • Do I have to have my emissions tested every year?

    No. Vehicles will be tested every two years.

  • What happens if I don’t have my vehicle tested?

    Your vehicle registration will be revoked by the Idaho Transportation Department. Before you may legally drive the vehicle again, you must have it tested and it must pass the emissions test or be granted a waiver or extension. Once you have fulfilled the emissions testing requirement, your vehicle’s registration will be automatically reinstated in one to three business days.

  • Where can I get my vehicle tested in Canyon County and Kuna?

    Take your vehicle to any one of more than 20 conveniently located testing locations at small businesses throughout Canyon County and Kuna. For specific testing locations, visit the program’s website at www.idahovip.org, or click here on Stations.

  • What if my vehicle fails?

    If your vehicle fails, you will receive an inspection report with the reasons why. To get the vehicle repaired, be sure to take it to a qualified technician who is experienced in diagnosing and repairing vehicle emissions systems.

    After appropriate repairs are made to the vehicle, you are entitled to one free retest within thirty (30) days of the initial inspection at the station that conducted the initial test.

    When returning for a retest, 1981 - 1995 gasoline vehicles and all diesel vehicles will be subject to the entire anti-tampering and appropriate emissions test. 1996 and newer gasoline and diesel vehicles will only be subject to the portion of the inspection for which the vehicle originally failed.

    If the vehicle fails the retest, a vehicle inspection report will be provided indicating the reason(s) for failure. The vehicle must have the necessary repairs made in order to pass the vehicle inspection. In order to prevent the vehicle's registration from being revoked the vehicle must comply with a passing test or approved waiver.

  • What vehicles are exempt from testing?

    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 5 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 equipment
    • Vehicles solely engaged in the business of agriculture (defined as “Farm Vehicle” pursuant to Idaho Code §49-123(2)(d))
    • GVWR of 14,001 or greater

  • What is an on-board diagnostic (OBD-II) system?

    An OBD-II system monitors the performance of emissions control devices while the vehicle is being driven. An OBD-II system consists of software and hardware that make these self-checks possible. OBD-II is designed to detect any emissions faults, especially those that could cause emissions to exceed the federal emissions standard by 50 percent. When an OBD-II test is performed during a vehicle emissions test, an inspector downloads emissions information stored by a vehicle’s OBD-II system.

  • How does an OBD-II test evaluate emissions?

    An OBD-II test procedure downloads three pieces of information from the OBD-II system.

    1. The check engine light on/off status:
    The check engine light turns on when the same emissions fault has been detected more than once. This light alerts the driver that the vehicle needs to be repaired.
    2. Diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs):
    When emissions faults are detected, DTCs (fault codes) are recorded. These codes indicate which component might be causing an emissions problem and can help mechanics make appropriate repairs.
    3. The status of OBD-II system readiness monitors:
    Readiness monitors are OBD-II programs that monitor a specific set of emissions control devices under different driving conditions. Only monitors that are “ready” can determine if emissions control devices are functioning properly.

    *An OBD-II test can also detect tampering—the removal or alteration of essential emissions control devices.

  • What does the “Check Engine” light mean?

    The “Check Engine” light indicates a problem with the vehicle’s emissions. In vehicles with an on-board diagnostic (OBD-II) system, the system has detected an emissions problem and recorded a fault code. The check engine light comes on only for emissions-related malfunctions, according to federal regulations. Most 1996 and newer vehicles have OBD-II systems.

  • How does the "Check Engine Light" relate to OBD-II?

    The Check Engine light will illuminate when the same emissions Diagnostic Trouble Code has been detected more than once. This light alerts the driver that the vehicle needs to be repaired. Federal regulations require that the check engine light only be illuminated for emissions-related malfunctions.

  • How is an OBD-II test conducted?

    Idaho’s OBD-II inspection involves three steps:

    1. The inspector visually checks the vehicle for required emissions control devices.
    2. The inspector verifies the “Check Engine” light bulb is working and does not stay on when the engine is started.
    3. The inspector plugs the analyzer into the vehicle’s OBD-II diagnostic link connector to access the on-board computer, which then reports the status of the OBD-II system.

  • Why do you use the OBD-II instead of testing emissions from the tailpipe?

    An OBD-II emissions test is faster and more thorough than a tailpipe emissions test. It is also widely accepted, nationwide, as the standard for testing emissions of 1996 and newer vehicles. Idaho uses the OBD-II system to verify emissions compliance. The simple "plug-in" test asks the vehicle’s OBD-II system if it has it found any problems. If the check engine light is not illuminated and the OBD II system does not detect diagnostic trouble codes, the vehicle is assumed to be in emissions compliance and passes the test.

  • I have a 1996 or newer vehicle and my check engine light is on, but the emissions from my tailpipe are below the standard.
    How can I fail the emissions test?

    Vehicles that were manufactured in 1996 or later (and were manufactured more than five years ago) are required to have an onboard diagnostic (OBD-II) emissions test.

    The federal government has mandated that 1996 and newer vehicles be equipped with an OBD-II system. The OBD-II system monitors the performance of emissions control devices while the vehicle is being driven. If the check engine light is illuminated, the OBD II system has detected a diagnostic trouble code(s). The vehicle is not operating as designed and this will result in a failed emissions test.

  • Why can’t I have a tailpipe test instead of an OBD-II test?

    An OBD-II test is more thorough than the two-speed idle (tailpipe) test and can check both emissions from a tailpipe and evaporative emissions. It is also less time-consuming. If possible, an OBD-II test would be a component of all emissions tests. However, older vehicles are not equipped with the technology that makes OBD-II testing possible.

  • I failed my emissions test due to a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) specific to the transmission. How does the transmission
    affect emissions?

    The efficiency of the transmission directly correlates to how hard the engine is running. If the engine is working harder than it normally would, there is an increase in emissions because the vehicle is not operating as efficiently as designed.

  • Are OBD-II repairs covered by my warranty?

    Federal law requires emissions control systems on vehicles be warranted for two (2) years or 24,000 miles. Many auto manufacturers provide extended warranty coverage. Federal law also stipulates that catalytic converters be covered for eight (8) years or 80,000 miles. Consult the owner’s/warranty manual to find out about your vehicle’s coverage.

  • My check engine light is on so I know my vehicle will fail an emissions test. What good will it do to have the test?

    OBD-II tests often reveal DTCs that can help an individual to determine what is wrong with a vehicle.

    *A failed emissions test is necessary to qualify for a waiver

  • My car didn’t pass the OBD-II test. What should I do?

    • If the check engine light will not illuminate when the engine is off and the key is on, the bulb and/or circuitry must be repaired.
    • If the check engine light stays illuminated when the engine is turned on, the OBD-II system has found an emissions control problem that needs to be repaired.
    • If readiness monitors are not set, it may be because the battery has been disconnected or replaced, or the car has had recent maintenance in which the DTCs have been cleared with an OBD scan tool. In most cases, driving normally for an additional one (1) –two (2) weeks (up to 1,000 miles) will reset the readiness monitors.

    *Consult your vehicle owner’s manual for specific drive cycle information.

  • How many monitors have to be ready?

    If any monitors are not ready, they can mask emissions problems with the vehicle—even if there are emissions problems, they won’t be detected because the monitor is not ready to allow detection. However, some of the monitors can be difficult to set, so it is sometimes possible to test, therefore the program requirements allow up to two monitors “not ready” for model years 1996–2000. Vehicles 2001 and newer allow only one monitor to be “not ready”.

  • How are emissions tested on vehicles?

    For vehicles manufactured from 1981-1995, emissions are tested using a two-speed idle (TSI) test.

    • During a TSI test, an analyzer measures exhaust emissions directly from the vehicle’s tailpipe.
    • The TSI test determines the level of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide in tailpipe emissions. Hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide are pollutants made up of unburned and partially burned gasoline molecules.
    For vehicles manufactured from 1996 and newer model year the OBDII system is used. For information about emissions testing for 1996 and newer vehicles, see the Check Engine Light 1996 and Newer) brochure at www.idahovip.org.

  • How is a TSI test conducted?

    The TSI test involves the following steps:

    1. The inspector visually checks the vehicle for required emissions control devices and performs a pressurized gas cap test.
    2. The inspector places a probe in the tailpipe that measures hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. A tachometer lead is attached as applicable to monitor proper revolutions per minute (rpm) at test intervals.
    3. The analyzer samples the emissions at two different stages a high idle and a low idle if at any time within the two stages of testing the vehicle meets the criteria the test is complete and the overall test result is a pass.

    If the vehicle’s sample fails stage one it is tested at stage two, if it fails both stages the overall test result is a fail. At the conclusion of the test the analyzer tells the inspector the results of the emissions test.

  • What can cause my vehicle to fail a TSI test?

    Several common conditions can cause a vehicle to fail an emissions test. Such as:

    • Levels of hydrocarbons are too high in the vehicle’s tailpipe emissions.
    • Levels of carbon monoxide are too high in the vehicle’s tailpipe emissions.
    • An emissions control device is missing or not functioning properly.
    • The vehicle’s exhaust has too many holes, preventing a constant, testable flow.
    • The vehicle is not safe for testing.

  • My car didn’t pass the TSI test. What should I do?

    In most cases, the vehicle needs to be repaired. If you take the vehicle to a repair shop, bring the vehicle inspection report (VIR) you received from the testing station. Various mechanical issues can lead to emissions problems:

    • Excessive amounts of hydrocarbons and/or carbon monoxide can be caused by problems with the ignition system, the air/fuel mixture, or other engine issues.
    • Missing or defective emissions control devices will need to be repaired or replaced.
    • Blue smoke can indicate that engine oil is being burned in the combustion chamber. Black smoke can indicate that the fuel mixture is overly rich.

  • I think my vehicle will fail, so what good will a test do?

    TSI tests can provide clues about what’s wrong with a vehicle. Early repairs of minor problems can prevent more significant problems from developing.

    *A failed emissions test is necessary to qualify for a waiver.

  • Do Diesel vehicles require testing?

    Yes - Model year 1981 and newer gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles older than five years with a GVWR less than 14,001 must be tested. Diesel-powered vehicles are inspected by a snap acceleration test that uses a smoke meter at the end of the exhaust pipe or the OBD system depending on the vehicle model year.

  • What repairs are common after a failed emissions test?

    The following are the most common emissions control devices that often need to be repaired or replaced.

    • Catalytic converter—reduces the amount of pollutants in the exhaust stream by converting them to a safer form.
    • Oxygen sensor—measures the proportion of oxygen in the exhaust stream. The electronic control module then uses this information to ensure that the fuel/air ratio is ideal for combustion.
    • Hoses and gaskets—prevent vacuum leaks when properly maintained. Vacuum leaks cause the gasoline/air mixture to run lean (too much air, not enough fuel), which causes incomplete burning of gasoline. Vacuum leaks often decrease fuel efficiency.

    *Consult a certified mechanic for additional information.

  • Why must my vehicle test back to back, when it has already passed one emissions test this cycle?

    Vehicles that are greater than two years past due on emission testing will be required to complete two consecutive emission tests in order to get a vehicle reinstated. A message will be provided on the first passing test stating an additional test will be required.

    The message below will be displayed on the first passing test stating an additional test will be required:
    This test brings you into compliance with your prior testing requirement, however an additional test is still required for reinstatement of your vehicle. Please call 208-461-1232 for additional information.

  • I have a passing emissions test, but have an unable to reinstate on my report, what does this mean?

    It is important to check with the emission testing station or Applus program office at (208 461-1232) when you have this message on your vehicle inspection report. Some of the common reasons this is populated on the report is an error in the vehicle information that was entered at the time of the emission test or your vehicle could have been greater than two years past due for its emissions test, in which case an additional test would be required.

  • Testing Locations

  • Where can I get my emissions tested?

    Testing can be completed at approximately 20 different testing locations listed online at www.idahoVIP.org on the "Test Stations".

    We also have a reciprocity agreement that allows us to accept emissions tests performed in other jurisdictions within the United States. The "Reciprocity Agreement Form" can be found at www.idahoVIP.org. This document also contains a table that lists the jurisdictions that are currently conducting emissions tests throughout the United States. When you have your vehicle’s emissions tested in another jurisdiction, you must scan and email a copy of your passing test certificate to get credit for passing an emissions test to: waivers@idahovip.com or mail to Applus Technologies, Inc., 2216 Cortland Place, Nampa, ID 83687.

  • Waivers

  • 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 five years old, motor vehicles with a model year older than 1981, classic automobiles, and vehicles used solely for farming.

    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?

    Hardship and Repair - Waiver forms can be found at www.idahoVIP.org. To qualify for a waiver, you must follow the instructions carefully and submit all of the required documentation and information for your situation. 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?

    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 $200 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 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 $200 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. Waiver instructions and forms can be found at www.idahovip.org or at any emissions testing location.

  • How can I get a hardship or repair waiver?

    Hardship and Repair - Waiver forms can be found at www.idahoVIP.org. To qualify for a waiver, you must follow the instructions carefully and submit all of the required documentation and information for your situation. 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.

  • 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 Canyon County or the Kuna city limits 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 currently being conducted.

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

    If your vehicle is registered in Canyon County or the City of Kuna, 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” at www.idahovip.org. 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. An Extension Form is available at www.idahovip.org.

  • 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. An Extension Form is available at www.idahovip.org.

  • 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 5 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 equipment
    • Vehicles solely engaged in the business of agriculture (defined as “Farm Vehicle” pursuant to Idaho Code §49-123(2)(d))
    • GVWR of 14,001 or greater

  • Are OBD-II repairs covered by my warranty?

    Federal law requires emissions control systems on 1995-and-newer vehicles be warranted for two years or 24,000 miles. Many auto manufacturers provide extended warranty coverage. Federal law also stipulates that catalytic converters on 1995-and-newer vehicles be covered for eight (8) years or 80,000 miles. Consult the owner’s/warranty manual to find out about your vehicle’s coverage.

  • 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.