Great news! The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is reopening many of its vehicle inspection stations this week. Today, the Medford-Ashland station will begin offering inspection services; while the Clackamas, Sherwood and Hillsboro/Sunset stations will reopen tomorrow, June 16; and the Scappoose station will reopen on Friday, June 19. The agency asks the public for patience as the staff works within new COVID-19-related procedures and through a backlog of vehicles. DEQ will continue to offer several other options for obtaining an inspection compliance certificate for those who do not want to wait in line.
The vehicle inspection stations originally closed on March 17 to lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19 among staff and customers. Over the last month, DEQ has been communicating with state health and safety officials on timing and safety precautions, and stations have modified plans in alignment with new health and physical distancing guidelines. These will increase time spent on each transaction. Additionally, the agency recognizes that nearly 200,000 inspections were postponed over the last three months. Wait times will be longer as those vehicles are serviced along with the 60,000 vehicles typical for June and July.
DEQ’s goal is always to protect the health and safety of employees and customers. Therefore, the agency requests that anyone interacting with vehicle inspection staff follow COVID-19 guidelines consistent with state recommendations, including wearing face masks and maintaining six feet of physical distance during visits.
There are various alternatives to going to a vehicle inspection station. In late March, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced a partnership with Oregon law enforcement agencies to exercise discretion in the enforcement of driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations and trip permits that expire during the COVID-19 emergency stay-at-home order declared by Governor Brown. That citation moratorium has been extended through Oct. 1, 2020. However, those customers still wishing to get their vehicles inspected may visit a DEQ Too™ station, which is a private business motorists already frequent, such as a gas station, car wash, repair service center, etc., to complete vehicle emissions tests. More options can be found on DEQ’s Vehicle Inspection Program COVID-19 Reopening and Testing Options page.
DEQ’s Vehicle Inspection Program helps ensure vehicles are properly maintained so emission control systems keep pollution levels within EPA’s allowable standards. Plans are underway to reopen the Gresham and Northeast Portland stations in Multnomah County, but no dates have been finalized. For now, those employees will assist at other locations and future updates will be available on the Vehicle Inspection Program COVID-19 Reopening and Testing Options page noted above.
For specific questions concerning
- Vehicle inspections, email VIPINFO@deq.state.or.us or call 503-229-5066.
- Vehicle registrations, contact Oregon DMV at 503-945-5000.
– Susan C. Mills, public affairs specialist