After Dec. 31, you will no longer need to run your vehicle through emissions testing to renew its registration.
Nearly 40 years after Washington began checking vehicles’ emissions, the program is slated to end on Dec. 31 of this year.
As car technology has evolved and cleaner vehicles hit the road, Washington officials have been preparing for the expiration of the law establishing what had been mandatory testing in some of the most populous counties.
Starting in 2020, vehicle owners will no longer be required to have their vehicle’s emissions tested before renewing their registration.
Vehicles scheduled for testing in 2019 still need an emissions test before they can renew their tabs, according to the state Department of Ecology.
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“Air quality in Washington is much cleaner than when the program began in 1982, and every community in our state currently meets all federal air quality standards,” the state agency said in a statement on its website. “The combination of the testing program, advances in vehicle technology, and improved motor fuels have led to significant reductions in transportation-related air pollution.”
Four years ago, state lawmakers passed a plan to phase out emissions testing based on the Department of Ecology’s projection that the program would no longer be needed by 2020.
Even after the emissions-check program ends, Ecology will still partner with other agencies to monitor, protect and improve air quality, the department said in its statement.
“Actually, we expect air quality to continue to improve as older vehicles are replaced with newer, cleaner cars. Ecology will continue to monitor air quality conditions throughout Washington. If we see any reasons for concern, we will certainly take action,” the statement said.
The agency recommends that people continue to reduce harmful emissions by switching to electric or hybrid cars, carpooling, walking, riding a bike or using public transit, and by carefully maintaining older vehicles.