Emission test notices join list of courtesies no longer provided by State of Illinois

Under State and federal law, owners and operators of motor vehicles that are licensed from addresses located in so-called “non-attainment” areas must submit their vehicles to automatic vehicle re-inspections. Most large U.S. urban areas, including greater Chicago and greater St. Louis, are non-attainment areas. The presence in the air of significant products of internal combustion engines – typically ozone – is enough to get a region designated as a non-compliant metropolitan area. Vehicles that fail their emissions inspections must get repaired and re-tested. Presentation of an Illinois emissions pass is required as a condition of renewing a stickered Illinois motor vehicle license plate and being allowed to use the vehicle.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), which enforces federal Clean Air Act compliance efforts in Illinois, used to send out warning notices to Illinois motor vehicle owners to remind them to submit their vehicles for re-testing. However, as part of Illinois’ crisis-related budget cuts, the notices stopped going out in December. Despite this, the Secretary of State's office has said that because many vehicle owners have come to depend on these notices, they believe this may pose an undue hardship on many of them. To that end, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office will NOT deny registrations for failure to meet emissions testing requirements until they have the opportunity to meet with IEPA and design and implement an effective alternative notification program that may involve both written and electronic reminders.