Northwest NEWS

July 3, 2000

Local News

1996 model vehicles don't need emission check this year

   Owners of 1996 model automobiles do not need an emission check this year after all, according to the state Department of Ecology.

   The department is notifying 74,000 vehicle owners that an emission check notice they have been receiving this year is not accurate. In fact, the next emission inspection for 1996 models is not due until 2001.

   Owners of 1996 vehicles will receive letters explaining their options. If they already had their auto emissions checked, they may request a refund of the $15 fee and have their emissions checked again in 2001, or they may wait until 2003 for their next inspection. The error came as Ecology began to implement a 1998 law that exempts vehicles less than five years old and more than 25 years old, starting in 2000.

   This year, 1996 through 2000 model years are exempt, as well as model years 1975 and older. The accurate emission test schedule is as follows: 2000, 1976-1994, even model years only; 2001, 1977-1995, odd model years only, plus 1996; 2002 1978-1994, even model years only, plus 1997; 2003, 1979-1995 odd model years only, plus 1996, 1998.

   For more information, please call 800-453-4951, or visit Ecology's Emission Check website at