Questions about Test Notices

License Plate Renewal-Based Enforcement of the Vehicle Emissions Test Program

Vehicles must now pass an emissions test or otherwise comply with the Illinois Vehicle Emissions Inspection Law of 2005 (625 ILCS 5/13C) (“Inspection Law”) before the vehicle’ registration (license plates) can be renewed. Previously, the program was enforced through the suspension of drivers’ licenses and vehicles' registration.

The Illinois EPA will send one notice to the owners of vehicles due for testing. A yellow notice will be mailed about four months prior to the expiration of the vehicle's license plates, thereby allowing sufficient time to test the vehicle and, if necessary, perform repairs.

The Secretary of State’ office will now include a statement on vehicle registration renewal notices as to whether compliance with the Inspection Law is required before a vehicle's registration can be renewed.

If you have any questions, please call the Illinois EPA at (847) 758-3400 or (800) 635-2380.

When can I come in for an emissions test?

We urge you to have your vehicle tested as soon as possible after receiving the test notice to allow sufficient time to test the vehicle, and when necessary, perform repairs.

The Illinois Secretary of State has an online tool to determine whether a vehicle is due for emissions testing.

Can I get my car tested even if I forgot my test notice?

Yes, under normal circumstances. However, we recommend that you bring your test notice with you to the test station to allow for the most efficient processing of your vehicle.

What if I received a test notice for a vehicle I no longer own?

If you received a yellow test notice for a vehicle you no longer own, you may disregard it. Note: you will not be able to renew your license plates for this vehicle.

What happens if I receive a test notice for a vehicle that I have never owned?

Contact the Secretary of State's Office, License Correction Section, Room 624, Michael J. Howlett Building, Springfield, Illinois 62756. You may also call the Secretary of State's office at 312-793-1010 or 217-785-3000.

My vehicle currently reflects two owners. How can I have one owner's name removed?

Visit a Secretary of State facility to apply for a corrected title and registration. The location of the nearest Secretary of State facility that can handle this transaction can be found online or by phone at 312-793-1010 or 217-785-3000. The owner whose name is being removed will have to correctly assign the title and submit a statement clearly indicating he or she is releasing their interest in the license.

What if I received a test notice for a vehicle, but I think I live outside of the test area?

Testing is based on the registration address. If the address on the test notice is correct, please contact the Illinois EPA at 800-635-2380.

If the address on the test notice is incorrect, please verify the address on your registration and if necessary contact the Secretary of State at 1-800-252-8980 to correct the problem.

What should I do if my address is incorrect on the test notice or I have moved?

State law requires that you notify the Secretary of State within 10 days of any change of address. As a convenience, change of address forms are available online or at test stations.

Do I have to keep the test notice after my car has been tested?

You may discard your test notice after your vehicle has passed the emissions test or received a waiver for this test cycle. However, until you have renewed your license plates please retain your Vehicle Inspection Report which may be used as proof of compliance for renewing your license plates at full-service Secretary of State facilities.

After my vehicle has been tested, do I need to mail anything to the Illinois EPA or the Secretary of State?

No, a record of the compliance is automatically recorded on the Illinois EPA database and transmitted to the Secretary of State.

If you have any other questions, please visit the Customer Service Representative at any of the vehicle emissions testing stations, call the Illinois EPA at 800-635-2380, or check this website for updates.