An emissions test in just a few seconds?
No appointments, dropping off your car, waiting in line or juggling of schedules every other year?
It’s now a reality and all you have to do is drive routinely in Northern Virginia and pass through an on-road RAPIDPASS testing location (though not all vehicles may qualify).
This state program (not Fairfax County) is simple. It looks like this:
RAPIDPASS systems are exhaust emissions analyzers similar to those used in traditional emissions inspection stations, but adapted for drive-through testing. Two green boxes placed across a lane of traffic measure your vehicle’s speed, acceleration and associated exhaust emissions in order to determine its compliance with emissions standards. A camera captures an image of the vehicle’s license plate so you can be notified your vehicle has qualified for the program.
At least 120 days prior to your car registration deadline, find a RAPIDPASS location, which vary every week all around Northern Virginia on major roadways (the schedule will change as RAPIDPASS systems do not operate during rain, snow, high winds or other adverse weather conditions).
For example, on Jan. 13, there are testing locations in Herndon, Fair Lakes, Fairfax and Falls Church (in addition to Stafford and Loudoun counties). When you pass through a testing location, you may receive a letter in the mail saying your vehicle has qualified. You then have the option to complete your emissions test online (or you can choose to take your vehicle into a traditional testing location).
So if you receive a letter in the mail that looks like this, don’t throw it away!
There are plenty of additional details and ongoing updates such as weekly testing locations, checking your status, FAQs and more. Visit the RAPIDPASS website for complete details. You can also call RAPIDPASS Virginia at 1-844-727-7773 (toll-free).