How to Get Smog Technician Certified in Virginia

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The state of Virginia does not require statewide smog checks be performed on vehicles on a regular basis; only the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park, as well as the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Safford, require emissions testing to be performed on certain vehicles regularly. For Virginia mechanics seeking an automotive technician job, seeking out the smog technician’s certification is a great way to enhance a resume and increase opportunities to find mechanic jobs.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality smog technician certification

In Virginia, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) offers the training and certification necessary to become a smog technician.

All smog technicians are required to attend a DEQ-sponsored course at the Northern Virginia Community College every three years in order to qualify for and maintain their certification. Any technician with an ASE L1 certification does not have to repeat the course to maintain their smog technician certification.

Smog check technicians may only inspect vehicles in a certified repair facility.

Smog technician salary

Becoming a licensed smog technician can help a mechanic build experience in their career and have a well-rounded resume. One of the things that many mechanics want to know is how a smog technician certification may change or enhance their auto mechanic salary. According to Salary Expert, smog technicians for the DEQ receive an average annual salary of $22,849 in Virginia.

Virginia smog inspection exemptions

The following types of vehicles are exempt from smog checks in any area in Virginia:

  • Motorcycles

  • Autocycles

  • Gasoline-powered vehicles more than 25 years old

  • Gasoline-powered vehicles rated higher than 10,000 pounds

  • Diesel powered vehicles that are older than 1996, or have a GVWR more than 8,500 pounds

  • Exclusively clean-fuel-powered vehicles

  • New vehicles are exempt from smog checks for four years after being titled for the first time.

  • Used vehicles that are newer than four years old are exempt for up to four years.

  • Vehicles that were previously smog checked in another state within the last 12 months, and are being registered for the first time in Virginia. These vehicles must be smog checked again according to the standard schedule when the out-of-state smog check expires.

All other vehicles are required to have smog checks performed every two years. This can be done either by visiting a certified emissions inspection station or by driving through a RAPIDPASS on-road emissions testing site.

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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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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