What to do if your Vehicle Fails its Emissions Test in CT

You’ve failed your Connecticut state emissions test. Now what?

  • Vehicles that fail need to be repaired and retested within sixty (60) calendar days from the date of the initial test.
  • Vehicles that fail their initial test are eligible to one free re-test at a test center per test cycle (not paid test).
  • Your test certificate will identify what area is deficient but not the cause.
  • You can choose where to have your vehicle repaired, or do it yourself. The CT State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recommends choosing a Certified Emissions Repair Facility as they employ trained professionals who have specialist knowledge in emissions failures and repairs.

Re-test waivers

There are three types of waivers for the retest fee: Cost waver, economic hardship and functional diagnosis. Only repairs performed at a CERF are eligible to be applied towards a cost waiver.

Cost waiver

To be eligible for the cost waiver you need to meet the minimum expenditure requirement with your required emissions repairs. This figure can change each year. You can review it here. Your repairs must be performed by a Certified Emissions Repair Facility (CERF) to qualify.

Economic hardship

To be eligible for the economic hardship waiver you must submit a document to the DMV proving your annual income is at or below the state and federal poverty legal guidelines. You must also prove that you have no other assets that you can use to pay for the required repairs.

Functional diagnosis

If diagnosis fails to reveal any problem, or there is no evidence to suggest emissions repairs are needed, you may then apply for a functional diagnosis and inspection performed by DMV personnel. You may be granted this type of waiver if the DMV inspector validates that no additional repairs are required.

What happens if my vehicle fails its rerest?

If you fail the free retest then you will be required to pay a $20 test fee for each additional test thereafter. When the 60 day free retest period expires your vehicle will be without compliance.

Do test centers place failed stickers?

Not anymore. In Connecticut the emissions program does not use windshield stickers for compliance; instead this is linked to your vehicle’s registration. If your vehicle is not compliant then you will not be able to register or renew your vehicle registration.