Securing a good automotive technician job often involves becoming particularly skilled in a specialty area. Smog testing has become commonplace across the United States, creating a virtually entirely separate industry focusing on emissions repairs. Each state has its own specific protocol for administering testing, but there’s one thing they all have in common – if a vehicle fails, the problem will need to be fixed.
The only area in Maine with mandated emissions testing is Cumberland County. This testing is part of the Enhanced Vehicle Inspection program, which requires all vehicles in Cumberland County to undergo annual smog inspection.
How to become an emissions inspector in Maine
The Maine State Police Traffic Division is the governing body responsible for issuing inspection technician licenses. In order to apply you will need to be at least 17.5 years old and possess a valid Maine driver’s license. You will also need to pass a criminal background and driving history check. If you meet these conditions, you can either download the Inspection Mechanic Application online, or you can submit an application request to:
Maine State Police – Traffic Division Motor Vehicle Inspection Unit 20 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0020
You should allow a minimum of 60 days for your application to be processed and approved. After you’ve received approval for your application, you will be scheduled to take a written test.
Once you’ve been approved to become an inspection technician, your license will be valid for five years. If you apply for renewal within a year of the expiration date, you will not have to take the exam again.
How to become an emissions repair technician
If a vehicle fails the smog testing in Maine, owners may have their repairs done at any shop of their choosing. Like some other states, however, ME does designate certain mechanics as Recognized Repair Technicians. The state considers these mechanics to be those who are professionally employed in motor vehicle repair, or are nationally certified in emissions-related diagnosis and repair. This means that in order to get a job doing work on vehicles which have failed their emissions inspection, it’s a good idea to be able to meet these criteria.
The best way to become an emissions repair technician is to obtain ASE certification in the relevant areas of study, such as passing A1 – A8 to become a Master Automobile Technician. Having L1 certification, making you an Advanced Engine Performance Specialist, is also helpful.
Many of the emissions testing locations in Maine are also repair shops, so it could be useful to have your Emissions Inspection Technician license even if you’re working as a mechanic in one of these shops.
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 Maine and was authored by Valerie Johnston.