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

The state of Idaho does not require motor vehicles to pass a vehicle safety inspection, or an emissions test, except in Ada County, Canyon County, and the city of Kuna. Many mechanics seeking an automotive technician job may attempt to become a certified inspector to improve their resume; however, in the state of Idaho, inspectors are not certified. Instead, the repair facility, dealership, or garage that they work in can become a certified testing facility, which would allow them to inspect vehicles.

Idaho vehicle inspection requirements

Vehicles newer than 1981, but older than five years old, with a GVWR of less than 14,000 pounds, must be tested in these specific areas of Idaho. The vehicles that are exempt from inspection include:

  • Electric or hybrid motor vehicles
  • Classic automobiles, defined by Idaho law
  • Any motorized vehicle with a gross weight of less than 1,500 pounds
  • Motorized farm equipment, or vehicles used solely for agricultural business
  • Motor homes

Idaho certified emissions test stations

There are currently more than 20 certified emissions test stations in Idaho. These facilities must have purchased all required equipment, and be licensed by the Air Quality Board in order for their employees to perform inspections. If a mechanic wishes to become an emissions inspector in the state of Idaho, they must work in one of these stations.

Idaho emissions test process

During the emissions test process, several tests will be performed. The technician will begin with a two-speed idle test, which analyzes the emissions the vehicle produces in both idle and during operation. The technician will also perform an OBD test for vehicles newer than 1996. Diesel vehicles will also be visually inspected at the tailpipe, to observe the smoke opacity.

Emissions inspection mechanic salary

Getting the experience to perform emissions inspection through an Idaho testing facility 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 Idaho is $21,614. In contrast, the average annual salary for a Idaho mobile mechanic, like our team at YourMechanic, is $43,914.

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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