Used Automobile Buying Tips

questions & answers

Question: Can a used car dealer sell a vehicle in Arizona that has not passed emissions in the the state of Arizona?


Here is information taken directly from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ):

Unless specifically exempted, all 1967 and newer vehicles (including diesels) that are registered in the metro Phoenix (Area A) or metro Tucson (Area B) emission test areas must receive an emissions inspection no more than 90 days prior to registration.

Your registration renewal application from the Motor Vehicles Division (MVD) will say "Emission Test Required" when it is time to have your vehicle tested. If your vehicle has not previously required an emission test, to determine if testing is required or if you have questions about requirements for your vehicle, please contact:

(602) 771-3950 (Phoenix), (520) 628-5651 (Tucson) or

If you work in the emission test area, but are registered outside of the area, Arizona law requires that you have the vehicle inspected in the area to which you commute. Note: On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) tests conducted in Pima County are valid for registration in Maricopa County. All other tests performed in Pima County are valid for Pima County registration only.

Automobile dealers are responsible for having vehicles emissions tested prior to sale. You will be notified by the MVD when you need to re-register your vehicle and if it is due for emissions testing.

Vehicles to be tested must enter the inspection station under their own power. They may not be on or pulling a trailer.

Exempted Vehicles

  • Gasoline and alternative fuel vehicles registered in the current year and previous 4 years except reconstructed vehicles (i.e. cars registered in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011)
  • Model year 1966 and older vehicles
  • Vehicles designated as "collectible" (requires collectible vehicle insurance, reported to Arizona Motor Vehicle Division by insurer)
  • Electric powered, golf carts or vehicles with engine displacement of less than 90cc
  • Motorcycles
  • Apportioned vehicles (licensed in more than one state)
  • Vehicles leased to a person residing outside the emission control areas
  • Vehicles transferred between dealers (wholesale)



  • Can a used car dealer sell a vehicle in Arizona that has not passed emissions in the the state of Arizona?




  • Please select your county of residence below.



  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program


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