How to Get Smog Technician Certified in Virginia | YourMechanic Advice

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 $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.


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Robert

11 years of experience
62 reviews
Robert
11 years of experience
Infiniti FX35 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Springfield, Virginia
Early arrival....great work....Thank you so much for your services...will be using and recommend you for sure to family n friends!!!! God bless you
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Derwood, Maryland
Showed up on time (actually early!l Answered any questions I had. Completed service quicker than expected! Even helped with tire that had a slow leak.

Augustine

11 years of experience
37 reviews
Augustine
11 years of experience
Hyundai Accent - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
I had an appointment to have brakes/rotors done. Augustine is a very nice guy. Personable and polite! He came 30 minutes early for the appointment, and asked me if he could come early before he came. Top quality, will use him again for rear brakes/rotors in a few weeks.
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Augustine was amazing. He was the perfect example of customer service all around. While he was working, I was recommending him to my neighbors. Next time I need work, I will be requesting Augustine specifically!!!!! Please give him a raise or bonus!!!

Chris

21 years of experience
1786 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Mission Viejo, California
Chris is outstanding in all aspects. We always select him to service our vehicles. He's always prompt, friendly, and more importantly HE KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING! Thanks Chris!
Lexus SC430 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Laguna Niguel, California
Chris's delivered excellent service and arrived ahead of schedule. I would want to book Chriss for my next service appointment.

Christopher

9 years of experience
20 reviews
Christopher
9 years of experience
Kia Rondo - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Houston, Texas
Christopher is very knowledgeable about diagnosing the problem, repairing it, and discussing why it is important to fix it. I appreciate him letting me know what future maintenance is necessary. Christopher is very professional while having the ability to making the customer feel at ease. I am satisfied with his work.

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