Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 55-17-127, 55-4-128, 55-4-130 


Emission inspection is required on 1975 and newer light duty gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. Cars and light duty trucks weighing 10,500 lbs. or less (gross vehicle weight rate (GVWR)) registered in Davidson, Hamilton, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties require an annual emission inspection.

For residents of Hamilton, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties, if a vehicle is out of state for more than 90 days prior to the vehicle registration renewal date, apply for an emissions exemption through TDEC. For more information regarding this, please visit the following link: https://www.tn.gov/environment/program-areas/apc-air-pollution-control-home/apc/vehicle inspection-program/how-to-apply-for-a-vehicle-exemption.html

For residents of Davidson County, if a vehicle cannot be taken through an emissions inspection site in Tennessee, the owner must contact the Metropolitan Public Health Department at (615) 340-5657. A representative will explain the necessary steps to satisfy emissions requirements given the specific situation or circumstances.


The following vehicles are exempt from the annual emission inspections:

  • New motor vehicles being registered for the first time
  • Heavy duty motor vehicles (more than 10,500 lbs. GVWR).
  • Motorcycles
  • Electric powered light-duty motor vehicles (excluding all hybrid vehicles)
  • Gasoline-powered light-duty motor vehicles with a designated model year prior to 1975
  • Antique motor vehicle over twenty-five (25) years old with a non-modified engine and body, when such motor vehicle is being registered as an antique motor vehicle pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 55-4-111(b) shall be exempt

Vehicles passing inspection receive a vehicle inspection report with a tear-off certificate of compliance. In some cases, electronic notification of vehicles passing inspection is sent directly to county clerks.

Vehicles not passing the inspection will receive a vehicle inspection report with the reason(s) the vehicle failed.


Temporary Operation Permits shall not be issued due to failed emissions.

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