What Counties In Illinois Do Not Require Emissions Testing

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Besedky Team

Which Counties in Illinois Are Exempt from Emissions Testing?:Are you a proud Illinois resident who wants to skip the hassle of emissions testing for your vehicle? Well, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we will explore which counties in Illinois do not require emissions testing, saving you time, money, and the headache of dealing with those dreaded emissions tests. Whether you’re driving an old clunker or a brand new ride, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need to know. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of emissions testing exemptions in Illinois!

Understanding Emissions Testing in Illinois

As a vehicle owner in Illinois, navigating the rules and requirements of emissions testing can be a bit perplexing. Emissions testing is designed to check the amount of pollutants that a vehicle releases into the environment. The state mandates such tests to help reduce air pollution and ensure that vehicles meet federal environmental standards.

Counties with No Emissions Testing Requirements

Not all counties in Illinois require emissions testing. The specified counties where emissions testing is not mandated include Kane, Kendall, McHenry, Will, Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair. For residents in these counties, this means one less periodic vehicle maintenance task to worry about. However, staying informed about changes in local regulations is crucial as policies can evolve.

Vehicle Exemptions from Emissions Testing

Illinois offers a variety of exemptions for emissions testing based on the type, age, and use of vehicles. These exemptions simplify the process for many vehicle owners and reflect the state’s commitment to reasonable regulations.

Vehicles That Bypass the Test

  • Vehicles with a model year of 1967 or older
  • Diesel-powered vehicles, which are not subject to the same emissions standards as gasoline-powered cars
  • Electric vehicles, as they produce zero emissions from tailpipes
  • Motorcycles and motorized bicycles, which are not included in the program
  • Antique and custom vehicles, which are often used sparingly and for specific occasions
  • Farming and husbandry equipment, acknowledging the rural needs and the nature of their usage
  • Vehicles used exclusively for non-profit parades and ceremonies

These exemptions are key to understanding whether your vehicle needs to be tested and can save you time and effort if you fall into one of these categories.

Senior Exemptions

For seniors aged 65 or older, the state provides a thoughtful exception. If the vehicle is driven 5,000 miles or less annually, and each owner is or will be 65 years of age or older on the scheduled date of the next inspection, the vehicle is exempt from emissions inspection. This policy considers the limited usage and the fixed income that many seniors live on.

Age of Vehicle and Emissions Testing

One of the primary considerations for emissions testing in Illinois is the age of the vehicle. The state provides clear guidelines on which vehicles are exempt based on their manufacturing year.

Classic Car Exemption

Owners of classic cars, specifically those built in 1967 or before, can rejoice in knowing that their prized possessions are exempt from emissions testing. This exemption recognizes the historical value of these vehicles and their typically infrequent use.

1995 Model Year Exemption

Vehicles built in 1995 or before are also exempt, as long as they were compliant with the Illinois Vehicle Emissions Inspection Law as of February 1, 2007. This exemption takes into account the advancements in vehicle emissions technologies over the years.

Troubleshooting and Passing the Emissions Test

Passing the emissions test is a common concern for many vehicle owners whose cars do not fall under the exempted categories. The Check Engine light is a critical indicator of whether your vehicle is ready for testing.

Dealing with the Check Engine Light

You Won’t Pass Inspection with Check Engine Light On: If the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL), more commonly known as the Check Engine light, is on, it’s an immediate fail for the emissions test. This light indicates that there’s an issue with the emissions control system or another related component in your vehicle.

Tips for Passing the Emissions Test

For those preparing for an emissions test, there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of passing:

  1. Ensure the Check Engine light is off before the test. This may require a visit to a mechanic to diagnose and resolve any issues.
  2. Drive your vehicle on the highway for at least 20 minutes before the test. This helps warm up the catalytic converter, which is an essential component of the emissions control system.
  3. Check and refill the engine oil if necessary. Clean oil can help the engine run more efficiently.

By following these tips, you can improve the likelihood of passing the emissions test. Remember, a well-maintained vehicle not only has a better chance of passing but also contributes to cleaner air and a healthier environment.


Understanding the emissions testing requirements in Illinois is vital for vehicle owners. With specific counties exempted and various vehicle types not requiring testing, it’s important to know where your vehicle stands. For those required to undergo testing, ensuring your vehicle is in good condition and following the tips provided can help you pass with flying colors. Emissions testing may seem like a chore, but it’s a step towards responsible vehicle ownership and environmental stewardship.

FAQ & Common Questions about Counties in Illinois Not Requiring Emissions Testing

Q: How old does my car have to be to not require emissions testing in Illinois?
A: Cars built in 1967 or before and vehicles built in 1995 or before (if compliant with the Illinois Vehicle Emissions Inspection Law as of Feb. 1, 2007) are exempt from emissions testing.

Q: Does a 20-year-old car need an emissions test in Illinois?
A: Yes, if a car is more than 4 years old and gas-powered, it must undergo an emissions test in Illinois. Failure to do so will result in the inability to renew the car’s registration. However, this rule does not apply to diesel trucks and completely electric vehicles.

Q: How can I pass an emissions test in Illinois?
A: Some tips to help pass an emissions test in Illinois include getting the “Check Engine” light to turn off, taking your car for a spin on the highway, and refilling the engine oil. However, it is important to note that these are general tips and may not guarantee a passing result.

Q: Can I pass an emissions test in Illinois if my check engine light is on?
A: No, you will not pass an emissions test in Illinois if your Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL), commonly known as the check engine light, is illuminated. It is recommended to address any issues causing the light to be on before attempting an emissions test.

Q: Are there any counties in Illinois that do not require emissions testing?
A: The article does not provide information on specific counties in Illinois that do not require emissions testing. However, it mentions the criteria for vehicles exempt from emissions testing based on their age and compliance with the Illinois Vehicle Emissions Inspection Law.

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