CDPHE Announces Auto Emissions Inspection Changes

Today, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced auto emissions inspection changes to increase convenience while protecting air quality.  Significant changes to the auto emissions inspection program in the Denver metro area and Northern Front Range debut in January 2015. The changes, approved by the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission in 2012, are designed to increase customer convenience while continuing to protect air quality.

CDPHE Press Release

The changes include:

  • Exemptions for new vehicles will increase from four (4) to seven (7) model years.
  • Vehicles that are eight (8) through eleven (11) years old will need their “On-Board Diagnostic (OBD)” computer systems checked.
    • If the “Check Engine” light is turned on, the vehicle will fail the inspection and need repairs.
    • Starting in 2015, this will apply to vehicles from model years 2005 through 2008.
  • Vehicles that are twelve (12) years and older will continue to get the “O/M 240” dynamometer (treadmill) test
    • Starting in 2015, this will apply to vehicles from model years 1982 through 2004.
  • Vehicles  that are model year 1981 and older will continue to get the (stationary) Two-Speed Idle test.
  • Hybrid vehicles that are eight (8) years and older will now require inspections.
    • Starting in 2015, model year 2008 and older hybrid vehicles will be inspected to make sure they are running clean.
  • By the middle of 2015, most inspection stations will have at least two (2) lanes dedicated to inspecting All Wheel Drive (AWD) vehicles.
  • Air Care Colorado inspection stations will now accept cash, checks and credit cards.
  • RapidScreen roadside inspection remains an important part of the program.
  • Diesel-powered vehicles are not affected by these changes.
  • No increase in inspection fees.

To learn more about the changes and find general information about the program, visit the Air Care Colorado website at or the CDPHE’s webpage at