Exemptions and Extensions
Motorists may be eligible for an extension if there is a legitimate need for additional time to meet the testing requirements. An extension only postpones the testing requirements. A vehicle that receives an extension MUST be tested prior to registration renewal the following year. An Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application must be completed and either taken to or mailed to the Ohio EPA E-Check field office, mailed to Ohio EPA E-Check, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or taken to one of the 23 full-service testing stations.
Motorists attempting to make major repairs to a vehicle at the time of initial registration or registration renewal may apply for a four-month extension. However, a 30-day temporary tag may be your only option depending on your situation. Keep repair orders, parts orders, receipts, and other evidence that a vehicle is undergoing repairs at the time of registration or registration renewal. This documentation must be submitted along with a completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application and a copy of the vehicle registration or title.
Motorists with a vehicle registered in Ohio but temporarily located out-of-state and not in another state's emissions testing area may be eligible for a four-month extension. A completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application and a copy of the vehicle registration must be submitted to Ohio EPA. Click here for out-of-state testing options.
There may be other circumstances under which you may qualify for a four-month extension. If you have questions, contact the Mobile Sources Section at (614) 644-3059.
Motorists may be eligible for a six-month hardship extension for vehicles that fail the Ohio E-Check test if the household's income falls within the income guidelines. To qualify for a hardship extension, the motorist must provide a completed Hardship Extension Application, a failed E-Check test, a written estimate for emission-related vehicle repairs, including diagnostic fees, in the amount of $75 or more, and meet the income guidelines below:
- 1 person up to $16,245
- 2 persons up to $21,855
- 3 persons up to $27,465
- 4 persons up to $33,075
- 5 persons up to $38,685
- 6 persons up to $44,295
- 7 persons up to $49,905
- 8 persons up to $55,515
For households with more than eight members, add $5,610 for each individual member.
Tax dependent college students who are absent from the household solely because of college attendance must be included on your application for the determination of eligibility and may not apply as separate households. Household income is defined as the gross income of all household members, except wage or salary income earned by dependent minors under 18 years of age. Head of household and spouse may never be considered as minors. Gross income includes wages, interest, annuities, pensions, social security retirement, disability, public assistance, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), alimony, spousal support, child support, unemployment benefits, workers' compensation and any other indirect income such as utility allowances.
Owners of vehicles failing for gas cap only do not qualify for an extension and the gas cap must be repaired or replaced. The hardship extension is available one time per vehicle.
An exemption establishes compliance for a vehicle for one test cycle (two years) as long as ownership does not change. An exemption allows the motorist to register a vehicle. A motorist may apply for any exemption repeatedly throughout several testing cycles. An exemption may be TEMPORARY or PERMANENT. New vehicles are exempt from testing for the first four model years.
Active duty military personnel stationed outside Ohio and their spouses qualify for a military exemption. You will need to provide a copy of the vehicle registration, a copy of your military ID, and one of the following: a copy of current orders dated within three years of vehicle registration renewal date, or official documentation on military letterhead confirming your current duty and station location. Only vehicles owned or operated by military personnel stationed outside Ohio or their spouses are eligible. An Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application form must be completed.
Student not in another state's testing area
An out-of-state student attending college in a state where testing is not required at the time of renewal will need to provide a dated statement from the registrar of the school attesting to the student's registration and the effective dates of that registration. Current grades and current billing statements are acceptable but must be on school letterhead, and show effective dates of enrollment. Computer printouts will not be accepted without the school's seal and original signature of the registrar. An Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application must also be completed and sent to Ohio EPA along with a copy of the vehicle registration.
Student within another state's testing area
An out-of-state student attending college in another state's test area must have a vehicle emissions test performed at a U.S. EPA-approved program. See instructions for out-of-state motorists below.
Out-of-state within another state's testing area
Motorists who are out-of-state and in another state's testing area must have a vehicle emissions test performed at a U.S. EPA-approved program. Original test results must then be mailed to Ohio EPA, along with a completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application and a copy of the vehicle registration.
See our page for out-of-state testing options.
Exemption for vehicle PERMANENTLY LOCATED out-of-state
If a vehicle registered in an E-Check county is permanently located outside Ohio and the owner or operator does not reside in another state's emissions testing program area, that vehicle may be eligible for a non-permanent exemption. The owner must provide a completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application and a copy of the Ohio registration or Ohio title.
A surviving spouse or other immediate family members may qualify for a temporary exemption due to the death of a vehicle owner if the vehicle is not due for testing as part of its normal testing cycle. A copy of the title in the survivor's name and a copy of the death certificate should be submitted to Ohio EPA, E-Check. An Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application form must be completed. Vehicles that are required to test for registration purposes that year (e.g., even model year vehicles in even-numbered years and odd model year vehicles in odd-numbered years) are not eligible for a temporary exemption.
If a vehicle is transferred from the owner into a trust, that vehicle may be eligible for a non-permanent exemption. The owner must provide a completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application, a copy of the title, and paperwork showing establishment of a trust.
1. Electrically powered vehicles (one-time verification inspection by Ohio EPA Mobile Sources Section required)
2. Vehicles operating on alternative fuel, such as propane, butane, alcohol or natural gas (one-time verification inspection by Ohio EPA Mobile Sources Section required)
3. Non-commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating
Several types of vehicles are PERMANENTLY EXEMPT from the E-Check test requirement and do not need a visual inspection. A complete list with a detailed explanation may be found in Ohio Administrative Code, Section 3745-26-12(c). It is not necessary for vehicle owners who are permanently exempt to be issued an exemption certificate.
The most common types are listed below.
1. Vehicles more than 25 years old, as determined by vehicle model year
2. Commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating
3. Historical and collector's vehicles – contact Ohio BMV for details
4. Parade and exhibition vehicles – contact Ohio BMV for details
5. Motorcycles, recreational vehicles and motor homes – contact Ohio BMV for details
There may be other circumstances under which you may qualify for an exemption or an extension. If you have questions, contact an Ohio EPA E-Check field office or the Ohio EPA Mobile Sources Section, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, phone: (614) 644-3059.
No, hybrid vehicles are required to be tested. Prior to January 5, 2004, temporary exemptions were issued to owners of these vehicles due to problems encountered testing these vehicles with the tailpipe test. With OBD II testing available after January 5, 2004, hybrid vehicles must be tested.
For more information on how you can get exemptions and extensions at any of the 23 Full-Service E-Check stations, click here.