As a precautionary response to COVID-19, Ohio EPA is currently operating with most staff working remotely. If you are working with our staff on a current project and you know the name of the employee you are working with, email them at firstname.lastname@epa.ohio.gov or call them directly. The Agency website has contact information for every district, division, and office. In order to reach us, please contact Ohio EPA’s main phone line at (614) 644-3020 or the main line for the division or office you are trying to reach.

After March 23, our district offices and Central Office will be temporarily closed and will have increasingly limited ability to receive deliveries, plans, etc. All entities are encouraged to submit plans, permit applications, etc., electronically where there are existing avenues to do so, such as the eBusiness Center (eBiz). Please refer to the list of available services on the main eBiz webpage. We encourage you to make use of all that apply, even if you have not used eBiz in the past. Plans under 25 MB can be emailed. For large plans over 25 MB, entities should work with the reviewer/division to upload via LiquidFiles. Directions for submitting docs via LiquidFiles is available on YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding. If you wish to send hard copies of documents to any of Ohio EPA’s district offices, the best method to ensure we receive these documents is to send them via U.S. Mail. Since all offices are closed, deliveries outside of U.S. Mail (FedEx, UPS) will likely be returned because the offices are closed and deliveries cannot be made.

To report a spill or environmental emergency, contact the spill hotline (800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946

Waivers, Extensions and Exemptions

What is a waiver?

​When a vehicle has failed at least one emissions test and the owner has made efforts to have that vehicle repaired, a waiver may be issued at one of the 23 full-service E-Check testing facilities. Below lists the types of waiver options. The motorist must bring all original repair receipts related to what the vehicle failed for, as well as the vehicle, to the station in order for a waiver to be issued. Repairs may be performed at any legitimate repair facility or by the vehicle owner. In the case of self-repairs, only receipts for parts will count toward a waiver. An owner may not submit receipts for her/his own labor. Tampering-related repairs do not count towards either waiver option. Note: waivers are not transferable to the new owner if the vehicle is sold. Warranty repairs do not apply to the waiver limit requirements and regular maintenance cost like an oil change, radiator flush and air filter change will not be considered towards the repair cap amount.

Repair Cap Waivers are issued to motorists when they have spent $300 or more towards emissions-related repairs for what the vehicle failed for and still do not pass. Tampering-related repairs do not count towards a waiver as well as general maintenance items like an oil change, radiator flush and air filter change unless it can clearly be connected to the reason the vehicle failed. Receipts will only be accepted for repairs performed after the initial inspection and/or within sixty days prior to the initial inspection.

What is an extension?

Motorists may be eligible for an extension if there is a legitimate need for additional time to meet the testing requirements. An extension only postpones the testing requirement. A vehicle that receives an extension must be tested prior to registration renewal the following year. An Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application must be completed and either taken to or mailed to the Ohio EPA E-Check field office, or mailed to Ohio EPA E-Check, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049. The 23 full-service E-Check stations can also process most exemption and extension request. Click here for more information on exemption and extension processing locations.


How does a vehicle qualify for an extension?

Repairs

Motorists attempting to make major repairs to a vehicle at the time of initial registration or registration renewal, may apply for a six-month extension. However, a 30-day temporary tag may be your only option depending on your situation. Keep repair orders, parts orders, receipts and other evidence that a vehicle is undergoing repairs at the time of registration or registration renewal. This documentation must be submitted along with a completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application and a copy of the vehicle registration or title.

Out-of-state, not in another state's testing area

Motorists with a vehicle registered in Ohio but temporarily located out-of-state and not in another state's emissions testing area may be eligible for a six-month extension. A completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application and a copy of the vehicle registration must be submitted to Ohio EPA.

See our page for out-of-state testing options.

There may be other circumstances under which you may qualify for a six-month extension. If you have questions, contact the Mobile Sources Section at (614) 644-3059.

Hardship extensions

Motorists may be eligible for a six-month hardship extension for vehicles which fail the Ohio E-Check test if the household's income falls within the income guidelines. To qualify for a hardship extension, the motorist must provide a completed Hardship Extension Application, a failed E-Check test, a written estimate for emission related vehicle repairs, including diagnostic fees, in the amount of $75 or more, and meet the income guidelines below:

 

 
*1 person up to $17,655
*2 persons up to $23,895
*3 persons up to $30,135
*4 persons up to $36,375
*5 persons up to $42,615
*6 persons up to $48,855
*7 persons up to $55,095
*8 persons up to $61,335
 

 

 

For households more than eight members, add $5,610 for each individual member.

Tax-dependent college students who are absent from the household solely because of college attendance must be included on your application for the determination of eligibility and may not apply as separate households. Household income is defined as the gross income of all household members, except wage or salary income earned by dependent minors under 18 years of age. Head of household and spouse may never be considered as minors. Gross income includes wages, interest, annuities, pensions, social security retirement, disability, public assistance, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), alimony, spousal support, child support, unemployment benefits, worker's compensation and any other indirect income such as utility allowances.

 

Owners of vehicles failing for gas cap only do not qualify for an extension and the gas cap must be repaired or replaced. The hardship extension is available one time per vehicle.

 

*There may be other circumstances under which you may qualify for an exemption or an extension. If you have questions regarding exemptions, extensions or waivers you may contact:

 Ohio EPA E-Check Program

 P.O. Box 1049 

 Columbus, OH 43216-1049 

 (614) 644-3059

OR

 Stop by or call the Ohio EPA Field Office

 

 

 

What is an exemption?

An exemption establishes compliance for a vehicle for one test cycle (two years) as long as ownership does not change. An exemption allows the motorist to register a vehicle. A motorist may apply for any exemption repeatedly throughout several testing cycles. An exemption may be temporary or permanent. New vehicles are exempt from testing for the first four model years.

 


Who qualifies for a temporary exemption?

Military

Active duty military personnel stationed outside Ohio and their spouses qualify for a military exemption. You will need to provide a copy of the vehicle registration, a copy of your military ID, and one of the following: a copy of current orders dated within three years of vehicle registration renewal date or official documentation on military letterhead confirming your current duty and station location. Only vehicles owned or operated by military personnel stationed outside Ohio or their spouses are eligible. An Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application form must be completed.

Student, not in another state's testing area

An out-of-state student attending college in a state where testing is not required at the time of renewal will need to provide a dated statement from the registrar of the school attesting to the student's registration and the effective dates of that registration. Current grades and current billing statements are acceptable but must be on school letterhead and show effective dates of enrollment. Computer printouts will not be accepted without the school's seal and original signature of the registrar. An Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application must also be completed and sent to Ohio EPA along with a copy of the vehicle registration.

Student, within another state's testing area

An out-of-state student attending college in another state's test area must have a vehicle emission test performed at a U.S. EPA-approved program. See instructions for out-of-state below. 

Out-of-state, within another state's testing area

Motorists who are out-of-state and in another state's testing area must have a vehicle emission test performed at a U.S. EPA-approved program. Original test results must then be mailed to Ohio EPA, along with a completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application and a copy of the vehicle registration.

See our page for out-of-state testing options.

Those with a vehicle permanently located out-of-state

If a vehicle registered in an E-Check county is permanently located outside Ohio and the owner or operator does not reside in another state's emissions testing program area, that vehicle may be eligible for a non-permanent exemption. The owner must provide a completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application and a copy of the Ohio registration or Ohio title.

Surviving spouse 

A surviving spouse or other immediate family members may qualify for a temporary exemption due to the death of a vehicle owner if the vehicle is not due for testing as part of its normal testing cycle. A copy of the title in the survivor's name and a copy of the death certificate should be submitted to Ohio EPA, E-Check. An Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application form must be completed. Vehicles that are required to test for registration purposes that year (e.g. even-model-year vehicles in even-numbered years and odd-model-year vehicles in odd-numbered years) are not eligible for a temporary exemption.

Trust

If a vehicle is transferred from the owner into a trust, the vehicle may be eligible for a non-permanent exemption. The owner must provide a completed Ohio E-Check Exemption/Extension Application, a copy of title and paperwork showing establishment of a trust.

 


Are hybrid vehicles exempt from testing?

No. Hybrid vehicles are required to be tested. Prior to Jan. 5, 2004, temporary exemptions were issued to owners of these vehicles due to problems encountered testing these vehicles with the tailpipe test. With On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) II testing available on Jan. 5, 2004, hybrid vehicles must be tested.

 


What is the difference between a 'permanent exemption' and owning a vehicle that is permanently exempt?

 

Ohio EPA Mobile Sources field staff. These vehicles include:

 

  1. Electrically powered vehicles (one-time verification inspection by Ohio EPA Mobile Sources Section required.)
  2. Vehicles operating on alternative fuel, such as propane, or natural gas (one-time verification inspection by Ohio EPA Mobile Sources Section required.)
  3. Non-commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) (The vehicle must be properly plated and meet the definition of a Non-Commercial plate as defined by Ohio Revised Code 4503.04. A vehicle with the capacity to carry more than one ton will not be issued a permanent exemption since this vehicle would not be properly plated as Non-Commercial)

Several types of vehicles are permanently exempt from the E-Check test requirement and do not need a visual inspection. A complete list with a detailed explanation may be found in Ohio Administrative Code, Section 3745-26-12(c). It is not necessary for vehicle owners that are permanently exempt to be issued an exemption certificate. The most common types are listed below.

  1. Vehicles more than 25 years old, as determined by the vehicle model year
  2. Commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds GVWR
  3. Historical and collector's vehicles (contact Ohio BMV for details)
  4. Parade and exhibition vehicles (contact Ohio BMV for details)
  5. Motorcycles, recreational vehicles and motor homes (contact Ohio BMV for details)

*There may be other circumstances under which you may qualify for an exemption or an extension. If you have questions regarding exemptions, extensions or waivers you may contact:

 Ohio EPA E-Check Program

 P.O. Box 1049 

 Columbus, OH 43216-1049 

 (614) 644-3059

OR

 Stop by or call the Ohio EPA Field Office

 

 

 

External Links Disclaimer

*Although Ohio EPA cannot endorse, sanction or guarantee the accuracy of information found on external websites, we think you might find these outside links useful. When you select a link to an external website, you are leaving Ohio EPA's website and are subject to the privacy, security and accessibility policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site.