Car Care Program in Arizona
As concerns grow over the increasing pollution and environmental harm due to vehicle emissions, states such as California and Arizona have begun to take notice, and put measures in place to counter the damage. Arizona has created the Car Care Program, a vehicle emissions-control agenda that aims to decrease airborne toxins from cars that are detrimental to health and the environment.
How the Program Works
For all cars newer than a model year of 1967, the Arizona MVD requires the vehicle to get an emissions test 90 days before their date of registration renewal. This program, also known as the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program, is specified for residents of Phoenix and Tucson, and those who live outside those cities but commute to them for work or school.
You will receive a notice by mail, typically within your registration renewal application, letting you know whether you need an emissions test for that particular year. When getting your vehicle tested, make an appointment at a local testing center or call to see if they accept walk-ins. You’ll need to bring any or all of the following:
- The previous year’s vehicle registration, title, or bill of sale
- Your registration renewal application received in the mail/email
- The required test fee
- Your initial emissions testing report & proof of repair (if you failed a first test)
When you pass your emissions test, you may then register/renew your registration at the MVD. You can ensure that you pass every time you test by keeping your vehicle maintained with regular tune-ups, and making sure that your vehicle is thoroughly warmed up before taking it to the testing center.
Why It’s Important
Many cars built before the era of hybrid and electric vehicles were made without regard to the harmful emissions they produce when driven. When these particles of fuel, chemicals, and oil enter the air, they cause extreme damage to the atmosphere and environment, along with human health issues. Also, high emissions may also be a sign of a more serious problem within your vehicle. By getting your vehicle tested regularly through the Arizona Car Care Program, you may detect problems earlier, saving you from more costly repairs down the road, and you help quell the years of damage that previous years of driving have inflicted.
Vehicles Exempt from Testing
There are some vehicles that do not require a vehicle emissions test, due to updated engine requirements or alternative fuel cars. Vehicles exempt from testing include:
- Vehicles less than 5 years old
- Alternative fuel vehicles, model year 2004 and newer
- Vehicles built before 1967
- Vehicles licensed in more than one state
- Electric-powered vehicles
- Leased vehicles that commute into designated areas (i.e. Tucson and Phoenix)
- Wholesale dealer vehicles
There are also zip codes that are exempt from the program (look yours up to see if you qualify). You are also excused if you live in a designated city, but do not use your vehicle to commute within it. For either of these scenarios, you are eligible to apply for a Code 52 Exemption – make sure you include a copy of your vehicle’s registration and a current copy of your utility bill or property owner’s tax to verify your residence.