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Wilson's Auto Restoration Blog

Classic Car Emission Laws: Everything You Need to Know

In Texas, vehicles with antique registration and plates or vehicles 25 years old or older are exempt from annual emissions inspections.  Many other states are not as lucky as we are.

Arizona passed a new law back in 2019 that allows qualified collectible vehicles to be exempt from mandatory emissions inspection and maintenance. Again, this is great news for classic car and truck owners in Arizona, but what about the rest of America?

The laws are constantly changing.  Take Arkansas for example, we wrote an article about a new law, Act 368, that re-defines what is considered to be a classic car.  Prior to March 7, 2019 cars and trucks that were at least 25 years old were considered classics.  The new bill now states that a vehicle must be at least 45 years old to be considered for Arkansas’ $7 Antique Motor Vehicle tag.

Fortunately for Arkansas residents, there are no vehicle emission requirements, but what about your state?  Do you know what the classic car emission laws are in your state?  More than half of the states in America have emission laws.  They may only cover certain counties, or only pertain to vehicles of a certain age, but it is best to know what is expected of classic car owners when it pertains to registering a vehicle.

The laws may also state how and when a vehicle can be used to avoid emissions regulations.  Some states require cars to be driven no more than a certain number of miles per year.  Others state they can only be driven to events or to and from a service garage like Wilson Auto Repair.  And don’t be surprised to show proof of a second daily driver in order to register your collector as a classic or antique to avoid emissions testing.

If you are still wondering what the laws are in your state, you are in luck!  The SEMA Action Network (SAN) helps you keep track of smog check requirements in each state and the laws that exempt certain specialty vehicles.  Check out this list of states that shows each of their emission laws and requirements.

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