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Frequently Asked Questions

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What to do if Your Vehicle is Rejected


Q. My vehicle was rejected. What does that mean?
A. The term “reject” refers to a vehicle that is prohibited from taking or completing an emissions test for a variety of reasons. Most frequent reasons for rejection include: OBD monitors were not ready; the repair form was not properly completed; the vehicle was exempt from testing; wrong vehicle was brought in for testing; and the vehicle was brought in too early. Rejects cannot be used for the test failure count when applying for a waiver. Click here for a description of these and other reasons why vehicles can be rejected.
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Q. What do I do now?
A. Depending on the reason for rejection your course of action may range from not having to do anything to having your vehicle repaired in order to have it tested. If you need further assistance please contact us.
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Q. I have repaired my vehicle, now what do I do?
A. Simply take the vehicle to any of the emissions test stations for a test. You should bring all repair receipts.
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Q. Do I have to go to the office before I have my vehicle re-tested?
A. You have to go to the office prior to a test only if your vehicle has exceeded the three-test limit. Otherwise, proceed to the test lanes.
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Q. What are the reasons my vehicle could be rejected?
A. Some of the reasons vehicles are rejected include the following:

  • OBD readiness status
    The vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system has not completed all required evaluations to ensure a valid test. This can occur when the vehicle’s battery has been disconnected, or a service technician has reset the readiness monitors as part of the repair process. See the section entitled “Understanding On-Board Diagnostics” for further information about OBD systems, readiness, and setting monitors.
  • OBD catalyst monitor status
    Vehicles that fail an OBD test where any of the diagnostic trouble codes are for catalyst efficiency and return for a retest when the catalyst monitor is “not ready” are rejected. In these cases, the catalyst monitor must be “ready” at the time of any retest. See the section entitled “Understanding On-Board Diagnostics” for further information about OBD systems, readiness, and setting monitors.
  • Incomplete repair data
    Vehicles are rejected for a re-test when the Repair Data Section on the back of the previous Vehicle Inspection Report is not completed, or the Vehicle Inspection Report is missing. Complete repair data is required in order to perform a re-test.
  • Vehicle is exempt from testing
    The vehicle is model year 1995 or earlier and in compliance, is now registered out of the test area, is diesel-powered, or is otherwise exempt from testing pursuant to the emissions testing law.
  • Too early
    The vehicle was brought in for a test more than four months before the license plates expire.
  • Vehicle exceeded three-test limit
    After failing three tests, no further tests will be granted unless the motorist provides credible evidence that appropriate repairs have been completed since the last test. These repairs would have to indicate that the vehicle may pass another test, and a visual inspection is performed to verify that all emissions-related components are present and appear to be connected and functioning.
  • Vehicle condition/safety issues
    Vehicles presented for testing with safety related defects or modifications can be rejected because they may pose a safety hazard to the inspector or test station.
  • Missing VIN
    Vehicles are rejected if the Vehicle Identification Number can not be located on the vehicle. These vehicles can not be tested because inspectors cannot verify that they are testing the correct vehicle.
  • Host computer offline
    Vehicles are rejected when the host computer system is down, unless the motorist provides an acceptable source document such as a vehicle emissions test notice. It is recommended that motorists always bring their test notice to the station.
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If you have any other questions, please visit the Customer Service Representative at any of the vehicle emissions testing stations, call the Illinois EPA at (800) 635-2380, or check this website for updates.

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