Vehicle Inspection & Maintenance Program
The Customer Service Counter will close at 4PM Friday, Sept. 23rd.
The I/M Program is the primary means in Anchorage to reduce carbon monoxide (CO) pollution produced by vehicles. Program staff oversees a mandatory biennial vehicle inspection and maintenance program which includes station and mechanic licensing and vehicle owner compliance.
The major source of carbon monoxide (CO) pollution, between 80 and 90 percent, in Anchorage is from automobile emissions. Failure of some owners to properly maintain and repair poorly operating vehicles contributes to air pollution.
In 1985, Anchorage established the Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Program to identify and repair polluting vehicles. After repair, vehicle output of CO can be reduced by more than 75%, improving air quality for everyone. Carbon monoxide levels in Anchorage have dropped substantially since the start of the local I/M program in 1985.
In general, all vehicles registered, principally used, principally located, or used to commute to work or school in Anchorage are required to pass an I/M test. Vehicles powered by diesel engines are required to have a windshield sticker only. Owners of vehicles are required to provide proof of compliance with I/M requirements to the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles before initial registration or registration renewal. Model year 1967 and older vehicles are exempt, as are the latest four model years. For example, in 2008, 2004 model year vehicles are required to be tested for the first time.
Starting on January 1, 2010 new model vehicles will be exempt for the first six years. For example, in 2012, 2006 model year vehicles will be required to be tested for the first time.
Sellers of vehicles are required to provide to the buyer an I/M Certificate of Inspection or a Certificate of Non-Compliance. The certificate must have been issued within the last two years at time of sale.
A Certificate of Inspection consists of an electronic record developed or updated at an I/M certified station and sent to DMV and a windshield sticker.
The price of an I/M test is capped at $50 by law. However, actual prices vary within the market place. In addition the fee for an I/M certificate is $18. The fee for a waiver is $18 also. There will be no charge for diesel exemptions. Revenues from the I/M certificates and waivers fund the municipal I/M and air quality programs.
Diesel powered vehicles under 12001 lbs unladen weight require a diesel sticker. The vehicle must be brought to 825 L Street or one of several I/M facilities for a diesel verification and window sticker. Not all I/M stations conduct verification. Contact the I/M program office for information about other I/M stations that perform diesel verifications. Exemptions are required for change of ownership and title status changes. New diesel vehicles do not require a diesel sticker and verification until they reach four model years to renew the registration.
There are some circumstances under which a waiver from testing requirements may be obtained. Details regarding waivers are available at the Environmental Services Customer Services Counter at 825 L Street, 343-4200. Vehicles needing repairs exceeding the cost minimum of $450 may be eligible for a waiver from remaining repairs for one inspection period. There is a requirement to spend at least $450.00 for repairs (other than for tampering) necessary for a vehicle to pass an I/M test. There is no repair cost minimum for vehicles that have been tampered.
A vehicle failing an I/M test due to faulty or missing components that are documented by an I/M certified station to be on order and are prepaid by the vehicle owner may be eligible for a waiver. This type of waiver extends the time to have required repairs completed.
Owners of vehicles operated only during the period from April 1 through October 31, when Anchorage has not historically exceeded the federal standard for CO, may be eligible for a waiver from I/M testing requirements. Driving a vehicle that has a seasonal waiver is prohibited between November 1 and March 31.
(Download Adobe version of Seasonal Use Waiver)
Vehicles that are registered to an Anchorage address but are not located within the Municipality of Anchorage may be eligible for an outside use waiver. For vehicles located in another I/M area, the Federal Clean Air Act requires applicants for an Outside Use Waiver to provide a certificate of inspection from that area.
(Download Adobe Version of Outside Use Waiver)
A vehicle that cannot be tested due to a technical problem or a vehicle with a circumstance that is unique to that vehicle may be eligible for a waiver from I/M testing requirements. Please call the main office at 343-4200, and ask to speak with an I/M Inspector.
For more information about the Vehicle Inspection Program call 343-4200, 8:30AM to 4:30PM*, Monday thru Friday.