MA Vehicle Emissions Testing


Boston Global Action – Legal Requirements To Pass Emissions Testing in Massachusetts.

The state of Massachusetts legally requires you to own and operate a vehicle that passes state emissions testing.  Emission testing is the formal process and testing of a car to make sure that it only produces the legal limit of emissions into the air.  These emissions are created by combustion engines that every car on the road relies on to operate.

What’s Tested For Emissions?

For the full list of emission testings please check out the Massachusetts emissions website. Below we have listed some of the basics that are absolutely imperative in order to have a vehicle that is legal to insure and drive on the streets of Massachusetts.

What are the emission components that testing stations are testing and how can you pass them? All cars have several computer components that register the effectiveness of the car.  This is call on board diagnostics (OBD) and is part of cars with new computer components. There are a total of eleven (11) diagnostics points that will be tested.

What’s a Passing Emissions Score?

Depending on the age of your car will determine how many emissions issues you can legally have.  Below are the cutoffs and explanations for passing emissions testing. It’s important to remember that a “not ready” status is the equivalent of a emissions failure.

  • 2000 and older model year vehicles may have a maximum of two (2) “not ready” non-continuous monitors.
  • 2001 and newer model year vehicles may have a maximum of one (1) “not ready” non-continuous monitor.

A common issue among cars of all years is a catalytic converter.  Regardless of the age of the vehicle it can not pass Massachusetts emissions testing without having a passing catalytic converter diagnostics testing.

Benefits of Emissions Testing

Emissions testing does not occur in every state.  However, one of the benefits to having emissions is that is forces you to keep your car in better running condition which can help improve safety and even gas mileage.  Also, make sure to ask your insurance agent about better policy rates and also make sure to shop around.  We’ve had good luck with getting cheap insurance from


Video Tips For Passing Emissions Tests

credit: Oakland Auto Insurance Rates By David Gill