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Illinois Car Inspection Laws

Posted on December 30, 2021 in

Motorists in Illinois have a duty to drive safely and follow all traffic laws. However, these obligations do not begin and end behind the wheel. Drivers must also take their cars to an authorized testing location for emissions checkups and comply with county inspection requirements. Failure to follow Illinois car inspection laws can result in severe penalties, including fines and harsher punishments.

Who Is Required to Receive an Emissions Inspection in Illinois?

In Illinois, drivers must receive an emissions inspection every two years, starting from the year when the vehicle turns four model years old. All drivers in Cook, Dupage, and Lake counties must receive regular emission inspections.

Additionally, vehicles are subject to mandatory smog checks for residents of the following counties.

  • Cook
  • Dupage
  • Lake
  • Kane
  • Kendall
  • McHenry
  • Will
  • Madison
  • Monroe
  • St. Clair

If you recently moved to Illinois, you would first need to register your vehicle with the state and wait until you receive your test notice. After you receive your notice, you can take your vehicle for inspection.

Exemptions to Illinois Car Inspection Requirements

Your vehicle requires an Illinois emissions test if it is older than four years old, runs on gasoline, and is a passenger vehicle, truck, or bus. If you reside outside of the counties where smog checks are required, you do not need to receive an emissions inspection.

Certain types of vehicles are exempt from testing:

  • Vehicles with a model year of 1967 or older
  • Diesel-powered vehicles
  • Electric vehicles
  • Motorcycles and motorized bicycles
  • Antique and custom vehicles
  • Farming and husbandry equipment
  • Vehicles for non-profit parades and ceremonies
  • Vehicles for amateur or professional sports activities
  • Government-owned military vehicles
  • Vehicles 1995 or older, if compliant with the Illinois Vehicle Emissions Inspection Law
  • Vehicles that are registered in another state and compliant with that state’s inspection laws

What Happens If You Fail a Vehicle Inspection?

During an emissions test, the inspector will inform you whether you passed or failed the inspection. If you failed the inspection, you must repair and retest the vehicle. The inspector will recommend a technician who can help repair it.

In some cases, you may receive a rejection. A rejection is not an automatic failure. It simply means that you are unable to receive a proper emissions test for some reason, such as bringing in a vehicle too early or having a vehicle that is exempt from testing. Your inspector will recommend next steps.

What to Do If You Are Injured by a Dangerous Vehicle

While car inspections are required in Illinois, not all drivers comply with these requirements. Additionally, vehicles in poor condition are more likely to malfunction and become impossible to control, putting everyone on the road at risk of an accident.

Older cars and cars that are in disrepair can be very dangerous. Debris may fall from the vehicle, causing hazards on the road. A car may malfunction and spin out of control, leading to a multi-car pileup.

If you are injured in an accident caused by a driver who failed to properly maintain their vehicle, you may be eligible for legal action. Illinois is a fault accident state, meaning that negligent drivers who fail to comply with state laws are financially responsible for any accidents they cause. In these situations, you could file a lawsuit or insurance claim against the driver.

A Chicago car accident lawyer can represent your claim and help you secure the compensation that you deserve. After your accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and legal options.