Air pollution rapidly became an environmental problem in the larger cities across the state of
Georgia. Emissions testing was started to address the growing concern about the negative
impact of vehicle emissions on the environment and public health. Industrial and commercial
operations greatly affect air pollution in larger cities, so the Environmental Protection Agency set
a standard for how much additional pollutants can be emitted into the air by vehicles.
In addition to the benefits to public health and safety, emissions testing has shown drastic
improvement in fuel efficiency and performance of vehicles. These standards prevent emission
control malfunctions, leading to higher fuel efficiency and decreased emissions.
What is Emissions Testing?
In the 1960s, The Clean Air Act was created to set air quality standards and establish
regulations to control emissions from various sources, including vehicles. These tests measure
the amount of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter that your
vehicle releases into the air.
The two types of emissions testing are tailpipe testing and onboard diagnostics (OBD) testing.
Tailpipe testing measures the emissions from the vehicle’s exhaust pipe. The vehicle is
connected to a machine that measures the number of pollutants emitted during operation. OBD
testing uses sensors that are already built into the vehicle to monitor the emission levels.
Where Are Emission Tests Required?
Emissions testing is only required in 13 counties in Georgia. Those 13 counties make up the
metropolitan Atlanta area. Those 13 counties include Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta,
Dekalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale.
Due to the large population in the metropolitan area, the pollution rate is alarmingly high. This
type of testing allows for safer air quality in and around the city.
What Are the Requirements for Emissions Testing?
There are always requirements for this type of testing. Here are the 4 requirements for
emissions testing in Georgia.
● Location: If you are in one of the 13 counties requiring testing, you will need to complete
this testing annually.
● Type of vehicle: Gasoline-powered vehicle that is 3 years old or newer, or a diesel
vehicle that is 5 years old or newer
● Testing frequency: Emissions tests will need to be completed annually for vehicles
registered in the 13 counties.
● Testing location: Emissions testing can be done by any authorized testing location in
These requirements change, so it is always a good idea to check with the Georgia Department
of Driver Services if you are in one of these 13 counties.
Are There Any Exceptions To Emissions Testing?
There are two main types of exceptions to this type of testing. Since emissions testing aims to
measure the pollution released into the air from your vehicle’s exhaust, all electric-powered
vehicles will be exempt from annual emissions testing.
Motorcycles are the other group of vehicles that are exempt from testing. Due to their smaller
engines, their contribution to air pollution is generally lower than that of cars, trucks, and SUVs.
In addition, motorcycles have specific government-regulated emissions standards they must
Do I Need Emissions Testing In Statesboro?
Having Georgia Southern University nearby, we receive a lot of questions about emissions
testing requirements in Statesboro from students. Although many students come from the
Metropolitan Atlanta area, Statesboro does not require student emissions testing. If you have a
vehicle registered in the 13 counties listed above, you can complete a “Student Out of Area
Extension” application here.
D & R Car Care has provided Statesboro and surrounding areas with high-quality vehicle care
since 2000. As a full-service auto repair shop, our experienced technicians can offer “service
the right way, the first time.” Our technicians can even provide various services to domestic and
foreign vehicles. Call us today for your vehicle needs.