Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How to Get Smog Technician Certified in Virginia

How to Get Smog Technician Certified in Virginia

How to Get Smog Technician Certified

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 $23,849 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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


More related articles

P0684 OBD-II Trouble Code: Glow Plug Control Module to PCM Communication Circuit Range/Performance
P0684 code means there is a failing connection within the Glow Plug Control Module often due too corroded wires and solenoid failures.
How to Service Parking Brake Shoes
The parking brake shoe fails when the emergency brake is engaged but the vehicle does not stay parked and moves position when the mechanism is active.
P0970 OBD-II Trouble Code: Pressure Control Solenoid “C” Control Circuit Low
P0970 means there is a discrepancy between the desired hydraulic pressure and the actual hydraulic pressure due to faulty solenoids.

Related questions

Q: Truck failed emissions test

If you want your Ford Ranger to pass its emissions test, diagnosing those five codes will be your start to correcting any problems that are currently preventing your Ranger from passing the test. Due to the information provided being a...

Q: Career exploration

Hello, thank you for writing in. I would be happy to share some information with you. As with most careers, this field requires constant updates and staying on top of the latest technologies. If you are interested in this career,...

Q: Engine misfired during smog check

If your engine has a misfire then that can occur for a number of reasons. If it suddenly occurred during a smog test then something may have been knocked loose during the inspection. It is not uncommon to have a...