Environmental Quality Commission approves temporary rules for vehicle inspections

Vehicle inspection station, Portland

UPDATED: Friday, March 20, 2020

Today, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Driver and Motor Vehicles Division announced that it has partnered with Oregon law enforcement agencies to exercise discretion in their enforcement of driver licenses, vehicle registrations and trip permits that expire during the COVID-19 emergency declared by Governor Brown. Details may be found at https://bit.ly/2U92IGN.

Those still wishing to get vehicles inspected may visit a participating DEQ Too™ station. DEQ Too is a test method that allows private business locations motorists already frequent, such as gas stations, car washes, oil change shops, repair service centers, etc., to complete vehicle emissions tests. More information on DEQ Too, applicable vehicles, and participating locations is available at https://ordeq.org/DEQtoo.

If you have specific questions concerning vehicle inspections, email VIPINFO@deq.state.or.us or call DEQ’s Tech Center at 971-673-1630.

Questions concerning vehicle registrations should go to http://OregonDMV.com or 503-945-5000.

On March 18, the Environmental Quality Commission, Oregon DEQ’s policy-making board, conducted a virtual meeting in which they granted authority for DEQ’s Director to issue a blanket certification to all vehicles needing an inspection between Feb. 15 and April 14, 2020. Action by DEQ in using this new authority is still pending.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Following the decision to close DEQ vehicle inspection stations, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission adopted an emergency order during a meeting, Wednesday, March 18, to allow for short-term deferrals of emissions test requirements. The deferrals apply to motor vehicles with registrations expiring between Feb. 15 and April 14, 2020 that have not already been renewed. This will allow the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles to process registration renewals for these vehicles. The commission’s vote was unanimous.

DEQ announced it is temporarily closing all vehicle inspection stations as of Tuesday, March 17, to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 among staff and customers. DEQ’s Vehicle Inspection Program helps ensure vehicles are properly maintained so emission control systems keep pollution levels within EPA’s allowable standards. In Oregon, a vehicle emissions test is required prior to DMV registration in the Portland-Metro and Medford-Ashland areas every two years. Pending additional news, all stations will reopen on Wednesday, April 15.

“The health and safety of our employees and customers are DEQ’s top priorities,” said Richard Whitman, director, Oregon DEQ. “The VIP prides itself on excellent customer service, which requires close contact among employees and drivers. However, current public health concerns mean we must do everything necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Updates on the vehicle inspection stations will be posted here. For additional information, please call 971-673-1630.

The draft commission meeting minutes and audio files are available on the EQC agenda page here.

Susan C. Mills, public affairs specialist


Published by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ’s mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, land and water.

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