For more than three decades, Washington drivers have been required to have their vehicle’s emissions tested before renewing their registration. On Jan. 1, 2020, that requirement will come to an end.
The state’s emission check program will run for a total of 38 years, and after that, will no longer be necessary, according to the state’s Department of Ecology.
“Air quality in Washington is much cleaner than when the program began in 1982, and every community in our state currently meets all federal air quality standards,” the department states on its website.
The program, combined with increased fuel efficiency and better technology in vehicles, has succeeded in reducing air pollution caused by transportation. Even after emission checks cease, the Department of Ecology states that it expects air quality to continue to improve as older vehicles are replaced by newer, cleaner ones.
Testing is still required in 2019 for personal vehicles from the following years: 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008. Government and privately-owned fleet vehicles are required to be tested every other year. Those made before 2009 are required to have their emissions tested annually.