Air quality is important to everyone! Exposure to high levels of air pollution can aggravate heart disease, asthma and other respiratory diseases and conditions. Colorado has a long history of taking proactive measures - both mandatory and voluntary - to protect the quality of the air we all breathe. The regular inspection of emissions and the maintenance of our vehicles has been a key part of protecting air quality in parts of Colorado since 1981. The current emissions inspection program began in 1995 and applies to most vehicles and locales in the Denver-metropolitan area and the North Front Range of the state.


Inspection fees:

1982 & Newer  -  $25

1981 & Older  -  $15

VIN Verifications  -  $20

Air Care Colorado stations accept cash, checks and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Discover). Please make checks payable to Air Care Colorado.

Note: Vehicle sellers must provide either a new Certificate of Emissions Compliance or an emissions inspection voucher at the time of sale.


Monday thru Friday
8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Closed on Sundays and state holidays.

VIN Verification

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Verification

If your vehicle has never been registered in the state of Colorado, you must obtain a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verification prior to registration. VIN Verifications may be obtained at any Air Care Colorado inspection station. If your vehicle also requires an emissions inspection, simply let the inspector know that you need a VIN verification as well as an inspection. If your vehicle does not require an emissions inspection, do not drive into the testing lanes. Ask for a VIN verification inside the station office. The VIN verification fee is $20.

All Air Care Colorado emissions inspection stations offer VIN verification services. Additionally, a VIN verification may be obtained from:

  • * all licensed diesel emissions inspection stations
  • * some independent emissions inspection stations
  • * some motor vehicle dealerships
  • * some County Clerk and Recorder offices
  • * some law enforcement agencies

Important Note: Some county clerk and recorder offices and law enforcement agencies do not provide this service. Be sure to call ahead to make sure this service is available before going to any office or agency for a VIN verification. For more detailed information on the VIN verification requirement, contact the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles at 303-205-5603 or your county's motor vehicle office.

When does a "new to Colorado" vehicle NOT require an emissions inspection?

If the vehicle you are bringing into the program area has not yet reached the seventh model year, or is brand new and has never been registered in ANY state, it does not need an emissions inspection. If the vehicle has never been registered before anywhere in the state of Colorado, it will need a VIN verification.

Do not drive the vehicle into a testing lane for a VIN verification. Request a VIN verification at the station office.

Information for New Residents

If you are bringing a vehicle into the program area from another state or another part of Colorado, it must pass an emissions inspection before it can be registered in a new county. This process must be completed within 90 days of establishing residency. Be advised that a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verification may also be required.

Exceptions are made for vehicles brought into the program area that have not yet reached the seventh model year (based upon the Manufacturer Statement of Origin). Such vehicles do not require an emissions inspection at the time of registration. Vehicles require an emissions inspection once they reach the eighth model year.

Change of Ownership Requirements

By law, any used vehicle offered for sale is required to have another emissions inspection even if the current inspection report has not yet expired. Exceptions are made for USED vehicles that are offered for sale if they have at least one year (365 days) remaining on the original seven-model-year exemption.

It is the seller's responsibility to provide the updated emissions inspection paperwork to the buyer for vehicle registration purposes. This is a consumer protection for the buyer. The buyer must use this paperwork to register the vehicle within one year (365 days). Dealers selling vehicles may offer buyers free emissions inspection vouchers in lieu of an updated emissions inspection. However, it is the buyer's right to refuse a voucher and require the dealer to provide an updated emissions inspection.

If you purchased a vehicle from a dealer, used a dealer-provided voucher to obtain an emissions inspection and the vehicle subsequently failed an inspection, please visit the Dealer Information page.

Failed Inspection: Next Steps

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