Vehicle emissions testing will end Thursday in Wilson County and four other counties after the Environmental Protection Agency revised the state’s air quality plan last year.
Wilson County residents registering their vehicles on or before Jan. 13 will still be required to get the vehicle emissions test. Residents who register after Jan. 13 will not have to undergo vehicle emissions testing.
The Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill in 2018 that eliminated vehicle emissions testing in the state 120 calendar days following the EPA’s approval, which came Sept. 16, 2021. In February 2020, the state submitted to EPA its revision to the state’s air quality plan requesting removal of the vehicle emissions testing program.
Wilson County Finance Director Aaron Maynard said he believed the change would have minimal economic impact on the county. He said the county receives $1 per emissions test on about 225,000 vehicles per year.
“I don’t see it as being a major impact,” said Maynard. “You’re looking at a roughly $63 million budget for the general fund, and that money goes into the general fund.”
Emissions tests cost $9 and vehicles that fail the test must be repaired and retested before registration can be renewed. Cars are allowed to be retested one time for free within 90 days of the initial test.
Maynard said ending the emissions test could bring relief to residents, including low-income residents, and eliminate the need for people to circumvent the emissions process.
Emissions testing will also end in Hamilton, Rutherford, Sumner and Williamson counties.