How to Become a Certified Mobile Vehicle Inspector (State Car Inspector Certified) in Colorado

Colorado does not require any state-wide safety or emissions inspections; however, the counties of Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson, as well as parts of Adams, Arapahoe, Larimer, and Weld counties, do require emissions inspections during the registration process. Seeking out an inspection certification can offer those in search of an automotive technician job an excellent way to build their resume.

Becoming a Colorado emissions inspector

In order to enquire about receiving a certification in emissions testing, a facility or technician must contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at 303-692-3120, or one of the six Emissions Technical Centers located around the state.

Technicians may also apply directly with Air Care Colorado, who do not have any specific prerequisites to become a certified emissions inspector in Colorado. Applicants must only meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18
  • Have a valid Colorado driver’s license
  • Be able to operate a manual transmission vehicle
  • Be able to pass a background check and a drug test

Colorado motor vehicle inspection process

Only a licensed inspection facility may perform inspections in the state of Colorado. Inspections are required every two years for vehicles newer than 1982, and every year for vehicles older than 1982; inspections are also required when a vehicle changes hands.

The following exemptions are the only scenarios in which a vehicle does not have to undergo emissions testing in one of the applicable counties in the state of Colorado:

  • During the first seven years from the date the vehicle’s manufacturing, unless the vehicle is changing ownership and is less than 12 months away from being at least seven years old.

  • Motorcycles, horseless carriages, kit cars, all-electric cars, and any vehicle registered as a street rod.

  • Vehicles that are older than 1975, and are registered as collector’s items, are exempt from emissions testing.

There are several types of tests that may be done at a Colorado emissions inspection. The technician may perform an I/m 240 Dynamometer test, which involves moving the vehicle along a slowly moving track and measuring emissions. They may also perform an Idle Test or an OBD Test. All inspections should end with a gas cap check, where the technician ensures that the gas cap is on securely.

Emissions inspector salary

Becoming a certified vehicle inspector can be a great way to build an automotive service technician career, but one of the things that many mechanics wish to know is how a certification may change their auto mechanic salary options. According to Salary Expert, the average annual salary for a smog technician in Colorado is $23,901. In contrast, the average annual salary for a Colorado mobile mechanic, like our team at YourMechanic, is $48,435.

If you’re already a certified mechanic and you’re interested in working with YourMechanic, submit an online application for an opportunity to become a mobile mechanic.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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