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

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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.


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Pardeep

20 years of experience
648 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Jose, California
If I could give 6 stars out of 5 I would. Very friendly and accomodating. Please retain and take care of Pardeep.
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Jose, California
Great service. Timely, efficient, and friendly. Also gave good advice on services I actually needed.

Andrew

14 years of experience
236 reviews
Andrew
14 years of experience
Ford Escape - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Portland, Oregon
Andrew has come to fix my car on two occasions and both times he was on time for the appointment, professional , and extremely thorough in his examination of my car and diagnosis. He is honest and straightforward as to what my vehicle actually needs done immediately, and what I can hold off on for awhile. Money can be tight sometimes, so I do appreciate that. I highly recommend this mechanic!

Christopher

19 years of experience
152 reviews
Christopher
19 years of experience
Honda Pilot - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Land O Lakes, Florida
Would book again. On time, knowledgeable and friendly. Will definitely have him on my next appointment.

Theodore

15 years of experience
1132 reviews
Theodore
15 years of experience
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Renton, Washington
We have had previous work done by Theodore. Really appreciate his thoroughness and professionalism!

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