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How to Get Smog Technician Certified in New York

How to Get Smog Technician Certified

The state of New York requires that most vehicles, with a few exceptions, must get a smog check, or an emissions test, at the same time as the regular safety inspection during the registration process. Only certified inspectors, working at state licensed inspection stations, may perform smog checks. Certifications are awarded by the state, and can offer those seeking an automotive technician job an excellent way to build their resume.

New York smog check inspector qualifications

The certification for providing smog checks is the same as the certification required to perform standard safety inspections. In order to provide smog checks in the state of New York, an applicant who is at least 17 years of age must submit an application to the Department of Motor Vehicles. This applicant must meet one of the following qualifications:

  • They must have a high school, vocational school, or college certificate from an automotive technician study program. This can be a diploma in vocational automotive trades, or a certificate of completion showing at least one year completed in an associate’s degree.


  • They must have at least one year of experience repairing motor vehicles; this one year must have occurred within the past five years, and must have taken place in an approved study program through an auto mechanic school, or a firm in the automotive industry.

There is an application fee of $25, which covers both the non-refundable $10 fee, and the $15 three-year certification fee. All applicants must pass a written exam and score at least a 70%.

Licensed vehicle inspectors may inspect vehicles at any state licensed inspection station, which may include garages, transportation companies, or dealerships, for both safety and emissions.

New York smog check exam

The exam given for smog checks is the same as the standard inspection exam, and is made up of three groups of questions, which each cover different parts of the vehicle inspection process. Each part contains all that is necessary to perform smog checks on vehicles in all classes, including motorcycles, passenger vehicles and trailers rated under 18,000 pounds, and vehicles and semi-trailers rated over 18,000 pounds.

New York vehicle inspection requirements

Only the following vehicles are exempt from emissions tests:

  • Motorcycles
  • Vehicles with historical plates
  • Vehicles less than two years old or more than 25 years’ old
  • Electric-powered vehicles
  • Diesel powered vehicles that are older than 1997 and have a GVRW of more than 8,500 pounds
  • Vehicles that are subject to the heavy vehicle safety inspection

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