How to Get Smog Technician Certified in New Jersey

Within the state of New Jersey, registered motor vehicles are required to pass a smog check, or emissions test, every two years. Only technicians who are certified by the state may perform these inspections. When a vehicle fails a smog test, it must be repaired by a licensed smog technician.

Smog technician certifications and smog inspector certificates are awarded by the state, and can offer those seeking an automotive technician job an excellent way to build their resume.

New Jersey smog inspector qualifications

In order to become a smog inspector in the state of New Jersey, a mechanic must complete the same training course from a state-approved training provider required to receive the standard vehicle safety inspection license. There are 13 approved inspector training providers in the state, located in the following cities:

  • Mahwah
  • Bridgewater
  • Marlboro
  • Middletown
  • Dayton
  • Somerset
  • Bayville
  • Marlton
  • Mount Holly
  • Blackwood
  • Maplewood
  • Pleasantville
  • Springfield

Mechanics must complete 8-16 hours of training at any of these approved locations. After completing this training, they must submit an application for examination to the Motor Vehicle Commission, pass a written exam with at least an 80%, and also pass a hands-on emissions test demonstration.

Each particular training provider dictates their own fees. The inspector licensing fee is $50. Each licensed training course much cover the following training objectives:

  • Causes and effects of air pollution
  • Regulations and procedures of emissions inspections
  • Function, configuration, and inspection of emissions system
  • Operation and maintenance of emissions components
  • Safety procedures when performing an inspection
  • Quality control when performing an inspection
  • Customer service

An inspector’s license is valid for two years, and must be renewed with the Motor Vehicle Commission when it expires. Applications for new or renewing licenses can be found online.

Smog repair technician certificate

There are three steps to becoming certified in New Jersey to repair emissions systems. These are:

  • The technician must register for an ERT (Emissions Repair Technician) identification number.

  • The technician must meet all the requirements laid out in the New Jersey Emissions Repair Technician Initial Certifications Requirements. There are two routes towards meeting these requirements. The first is a testing option for those with ASE certifications and experience; the second is an education option for those who lack other certifications and experience.

  • The technician must provide any ASE certification status to the New Jersey DEP if applicable.

After these three steps have been completed, and all testing and/or education is passed, the technician will receive their smog repair technician certificate.

New Jersey smog inspection requirements

The following types of vehicles must pass the smog check every year:

  • Gasoline or bi-fueled vehicles newer than the year 1996, with a GVWR of 8,500 pounds or less, excluding all buses.

  • Gasoline or bi-fueled vehicles newer than the year 2014 with a GVWR of 14,000 pounds or more, excluding all buses.

  • Diesel-powered vehicles newer than the year 1997, rated 8,500 pounds or more, excluding all buses.

In addition, these vehicles are required to be inspected annually:

  • Ambulances
  • Hotel buses
  • Jitneys
  • Mobility assistance vans
  • Limousines
  • Omnibuses
  • Paratransit
  • Taxis
  • Any commercially plated gasoline-powered vehicle
  • Any commercially plated diesel-powered vehicle rated less than 8,500 pounds

New Jersey smog check process

During a smog check, a New Jersey automotive service technician will perform all the appropriate emissions tests on a vehicle based on its year, make, and model. This will include ensuring that the gas cap is stable, the OBD-II emissions test is completed, and that all other procedures are followed.

A smog check is valid for two years or one year, depending on the type of vehicle being inspected.

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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