Does a collector car require an emissions test?

By Eric Hill | Rose Law Group attorney working in the fields of automotive investment and renewable energy

If you’re planning to buy a collector car this year, you’ll want to know if the vehicle you bring home would need an emissions test for registration. In Arizona, emissions requirements vary based on where you live and on the individual vehicle. Emissions testing is generally only required for residents who live within the state’s two Emissions Control Areas, or “ECAs,” which encompass the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas.

Under some circumstances, vehicles used for commuting into either of the ECAs may be required to be tested as well. Collector cars may be eligible for one of two exemptions. First, cars built prior to 1967 are exempt from emissions testing altogether. Second, Arizona offers an emissions exemption for “Collectible Vehicles.” 

The Collectible Vehicle exemption is available for rare or limited production vehicles, or cars that are more than 15 years old.

To qualify for this exemption, however, two restrictions apply:

The car must be used primarily for car club events, exhibitions or parades and may only be used infrequently for other purposes; in addition, the car will need to be insured with a collector car insurance policy, and that policy must include limitations on vehicle mileage, usage or both. 

It’s up to owners to decide if the benefits of the exemption outweigh the usage and insurance requirements.