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Vehicle Emissions Testing

Learn about the Vehicle Pollution Management Division (VPMD) and how to get your vehicle's emissions tested at an Air Care Inspection Station.

Check Your Vehicle's Emission Status

Find an Emissions Testing Station

View Vehicle Registration Information and MVD Locations

Vehicle Pollution Management Division

The Air Quality Program is committed to motor vehicle pollution management. The Vehicle Pollution Management Division (VPMD) oversees vehicle emissions testing throughout Albuquerque-Bernalillo County, maintains the Air Care Database, provides free training and certification for Air Care Inspectors, and provides resources and support to over 130 Air Care Inspection Stations.

Air Care Station Locations and Cost

There are more than 130 Air Care Stations located throughout Albuquerque-Bernalillo County. Air Care Stations are required to clearly post their test fees on their official sign. Fees are set by individual test stations and usually range from $15 to $25 plus tax.


Vehicle Emissions Testing

Motor vehicles are a major contributor to ground-level ozone in the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County area. The emissions testing program was started in 1983 to reduce pollutants from motor vehicles that contribute to ground-level ozone.

Emissions testing is required for motor vehicles, including gas-electric hybrid vehicles, registered or commuting in Albuquerque-Bernalillo County. All 1990-and-newer vehicles under 10,001 lbs must pass an emissions test. Passing test results are good for 1 or 2 years, depending on the type of vehicle. Gas-electric hybrid vehicles are required to be tested every 2 years, and any certified Air Care Station can test a hybrid vehicle.

An emissions test is also required at change of ownership.

Learn about what to do if your vehicle is out of state or unavailable for an emissions test.

Vehicles That Do Not Require an Emissions Test

  • New vehicles purchased from a dealership or manufacturer, in the original owner’s possession, for 4 years following initial registration with the MVD
  • Dedicated electric vehicles
  • Diesel vehicles
  • Vehicles that are only used for legally sanctioned competition
  • Farm equipment
  • Vehicles that are not operated on public streets and highways
  • Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 lbs. or more

Emissions Testing Criteria

Depending on the age of your vehicle, certified Air Care Inspectors conduct the following:

  • Pollution control equipment test to verify that the vehicle’s catalytic converter components are connected
  • Visible emissions test to verify that there is no burning oil or poor fuel combustion resulting in toxic particulate emissions
  • Gas cap pressure test to ensure there are no vapor leaks
  • Diagnostic test to measure the functionality of the vehicle’s emissions control components
  • Tailpipe exhaust test to measure the carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions released form the tailpipe

VPMD Headquarters and Failed Emissions Test Resource Center

VPMD offers one free retest for vehicles that do not pass an emissions test within 90 days of the failed test date. Bring your failed test and vehicle to VPMD Headquarters for a free retest. Email [email protected] or call 505-764-1110 for questions.

Out-of-State Vehicles

Compliance and Enforcement oversees asbestos removal in Albuquerque.

Learn more about what to do if your vehicle is unavailable for an emissions test.

Report a Smoking Vehicle

Compliance and Enforcement helps minimize fugitive dust in Albuquerque.

VPMD will send a letter to the registered owner of the vehicle informing them of a possible problem with the vehicle and encouraging them to have it inspected.

Own an Air Care Inspection Station

Compliance and Enforcement helps minimize open burning in Albuquerque.

Only Air Care Inspection Stations certified by VPMD are authorized to conduct emissions testing in Albuquerque-Bernalillo County.

Air Care Inspectors

Compliance and Enforcement regulate stationary source polutants in Albuquerque.

There are currently over 500 active inspectors working at 130 certified Air Care Stations. VPMD trains and certifies over 180 new Air Care Inspectors each year. A two-part training course is required for new inspectors, and inspectors must complete annual re-certification.

Download the Air Care Facts Brochure