In order to ensure that you’re able to earn the income that you need to live comfortably and provide for yourself and your family, it is critical that you continue to improve your skills and knowledge. Automotive technology continues to evolve, as do laws surrounding how that technology must operate. A very good example of this is emissions testing. By becoming a Certified Smog Technician in Washington, you can take advantage of additional automotive technician jobs and increase your income.

How to become a certified smog technician

If you’re interested in earning your certification to conduct smog testing and become an Authorized Emissions Specialist (what Washington calls smog technicians), you’ll need to complete the testing at an APPLUS Technologies testing center. There are several testing and certification sessions held each year within the counties mentioned above.

Becoming an authorized testing facility

The state of Washington requires that any facility that conducts emissions testing also be authorized to do so. In order to become authorized, a facility must meet some specific requirements. These are as follows:

  • Employ at least one Authorized Emissions Specialist with current authorization
  • Use only equipment sourced from APPLUS Technologies
  • Complete all testing indoors
  • Have Internet access
  • Be authorized by the Department of Ecology
  • Only allow Authorized Emissions Specialists to conduct testing

Automotive center managers, owners, and operators can learn more about becoming an authorized testing facility in Washington.

Where is smog testing required in Washington State?

Currently, emissions testing is not required for most of the state of Washington. The state government does require it in most of Clark County, as well as in Spokane County, King County, Snohomish County, and Pierce County. Other areas may be affected eventually as their population grows. However, these are the only counties currently required to conduct smog testing on passenger vehicles.

Which vehicles require smog testing?

Currently, there are only specific vehicles that must undergo emissions testing within the state of Washington. If your license expires in 2016, vehicles from 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007 must be checked in the counties listed above. If your license expires in 2017, then year models from 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008 must be inspected.

As a note, models 2009 and newer will never need to be checked. Motorcycles are not required to undergo smog testing either. Finally, the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius (both hybrids) will never need to be inspected. Diesel passenger vehicles under 6,001 pounds will never need to be inspected, and those made from 2007 onward (regardless of weight) will never need to be tested. You can learn more about whether a vehicle requires testing at the Washington State Department of Licensing.

If you’re already a certified mechanic and you’re interested in working with YourMechanic, submit an online application for an opportunity to become a mobile mechanic.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Get Smog Technician Certified in Washington and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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