State Inspection

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Family Car Care is a state licensed emissions repair center.

Questions About Inspections

The Emission System
The purpose of the emission system is to control the emissions and exhaust from your vehicle. This system substantially reduces harmful gases and helps maintain quiet operation. The exhaust system contains a series of integrated components including the catalytic converter, muffler and tailpipe.

What to do if your vehicle does not pass the Enhanced Emissions Test:

Question: What do you mean it didn't pass?
Answer: If your vehicle fails the new enhanced emissions test that means it's contributing more than its share of pollution to the air in Massachusetts. Air pollution affects the health of all Bay State residents, especially children and the elderly. Massachusetts along with other states, is striving to comply with the air quality standards set by the Federal Clean Air Act of 1990. That's why it's very important that your vehicle runs clean.

Question: What do I do next?
Answer: You have 60 days from the date of the initial test to have your emissions problems fixed and pass a re-inspection. Failure to do so will result in the suspension of your vehicle's registration. You'll be given an inspection report that identifies the pollutants and the probable cause of failure. You'll also be given a Repair Data Form. Take both of these to the repair technician of your choice (use of a registered repair shop is recommended). After repairs are made, take your vehicle and the Repair Data Form, completed and signed by the repair technician, back to the original inspection station for a free re-inspection. The inspector can not re-test your vehicle without a signed Repair Data Form.

Question: Where can I get my vehicle fixed?
Answer: The state recommends using a registered repair shop. These shops employ state-registered repair technicians who've been specially trained and tested on their knowledge of emissions-related repairs. And each shop is equipped with the proper tools and manuals for emissions repairs. Your inspection report lists the registered repair shop in your area. As repair performance data is gathered, each shop will be rated on a five-star scale.
You may try to fix your vehicle yourself or have someone else fix it, although the state does not suggest it. If it fails the re-inspection, you will not be able to get an emissions waiver. Only repairs made by a state-registered repair technician can count toward an emissions waiver.

Question: What if my vehicle fails the re-test?
Answer: If you have tried to fix your vehicle but it still doesn't pass, you can apply for an emissions waiver. You must have documented work orders and receipts as well as your most recent inspection report and a completed Repair Data Form signed by a state-registered repair technician.

To be granted a waiver, your emissions repair expenditures (including labor and materials) must exceed:

  • $400 for vehicles up to 5 model years old
  • $300 for vehicles six to ten model years old
  • $200 for vehicles over ten model years old

In addition, the following conditions must be met:

  • The emissions-control system must be intact with no evidence of tampering
  • There must be some improvement to the vehicle's emission
  • Emission levels must be less than three times the standard for all pollutants tested

The waiver will be valid until your next emissions inspection.

Question: What if I'm told there's nothing wrong with my vehicle?
If diagnosis fails to reveal any problem, or there is no evidence to suggest emissions repairs are needed, you can apply for a waiver based on unrepairability. Your vehicle must be examined to make sure that no other repairs are possible and that all emissions-control devices are present with no evidence of tampering.

Question: What if I think the test was done wrong?
Answer: If you think the inspection incorrectly failed your vehicle, you may challenge the inspection results. You have 48 hours to get a challenge inspection completed. You must contact the Registry Of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and schedule a re-test at an inspection station designated by the RMV. If your vehicle fails the challenge inspection, you must pay the cost of the inspection. If your vehicle passes. the inspection is free, and your vehicle will be issued a sticker.

Question: Where can I get more information?
Answer: Call 1-877-387-8234 toll-free or visit Thank you for participating in the Enhanced Emissions & Safety Test and for helping clean the air in Massachusetts.