Whether you’ve recently moved to New Mexico or you’ve just purchased a used vehicle, you will be required to register your car in the state of New Mexico. For many people, the idea of registering your vehicle entails hours of your day spent waiting in a seemingly endless line at the MVD. However, you can greatly decrease the amount of time you spend at the MVD by coming prepared with everything you need, including an emissions test. While an emissions test is not always required of all vehicles, it greatly depends on the county in which you reside and the year your vehicle was manufactured.

Most vehicles must pass an emissions test before being properly registered in Bernalillo County. There are numerous testing locations around Albuquerque and Bernalillo that offer emissions testing services.

Vehicles Required to be Tested

Most vehicles, with the exception of those made before 1980 and those that are electric only, must pass an emissions test. Vehicles required to be tested include:

  • Vehicles manufactured after 1980 and weigh less than 10,000 pounds
  • Vehicles with diesel engines
  • Vehicles with electric or hybrid engines
  • Vehicles staying in Bernalillo County for more than 60 days
  • Vehicles that change owners

Most vehicles must pass an emissions test every two years, otherwise, vehicle registration is not possible.

5 Emissions Testing Criteria

In order to pass an emissions test, the vehicle must go through a five-point inspection. This inspection includes a:

  • A diagnostic test that measures the functionality of the vehicle emissions control functions.
  • Tailpipe exhaust test that measures the carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions released out of the tailpipe.
  • Pollution control equipment test, which verifies that the pollution control components are connected.
  • Visible emissions test to verify that there is no smoke emitting from the tailpipe.
  • Gas cap pressure test to ensure that the gas cap is sealed properly.

Your vehicle will fail the emissions test as a whole if it fails one section of the test. When this happens, the car owner has the opportunity to fix the issue and have it tested again. Most emissions test locations will offer a retest within 30 days at a discounted price.

Register Your Vehicle Today

If you have to register your vehicle or renew your existing registration, and it has passed the emissions test, our friendly staff at MVD Express can help you take care of the paperwork in no time! With more than 10 locations across New Mexico, we make it easy and convenient to find an MVD Express near you. In addition to our friendly staff members, we make it our mission to make your experience with us as pleasant as possible. Traditional MVDs often require you wait hours before you can see an actual person, then you have to wait even longer to receive the actual documents that you needed. At MVD Express, our mission is to provide you with shorter wait times by giving you the option to schedule your appointment in advance. If you’re anxious to get in, get out, and get on the road instead of waiting hours to register your car or receive a title transfer, contact MVD Express today!

We look forward to seeing you.

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