Watson, Gardenhire and Dean sign on legislation to exempt vehicles under three years old from emissions testing

February 27, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Automobiles under three years old would be exempt from Tennessee’s vehicle emission test under legislation under consideration in the State Legislature co-sponsored by Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson (R-Hixson), Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) and House Transportation Committee Chairman Vince Dean (R-East Ridge).  The legislation would apply to owners of vehicles in six Tennessee counties where emissions testing is required, including Hamilton County.

Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of up to 10,500 pounds in Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson or Wilson Counties must currently pass an emissions test prior to registration renewal.  Senate Bill 1080 would exempt testing for gasoline and diesel vehicles from that requirement if the automobile’s model is three years old or newer.

“This is a commonsense bill,” said Representative Dean.  “There is no need to test these cars and I am very pleased to sign on as a co-sponsor.”

“This legislation fits with our efforts to make government more efficient and consumer-friendly,” stated Senator Watson. “This is a first step to try and remove this over-burdensome requirement.”

The emissions regulations were put into place to control pollution from mobile sources in counties that were not meeting the eight-hour ozone Federal Standards for air quality.  The mandatory testing requirement does not apply to electric vehicles, motorcycles or antique vehicles with a model year of 1974 or older.

“This bill relieves a burdensome requirement on these vehicle owners,” added Senator Gardenhire.  “I look forward to supporting this legislation as it goes through the State Senate.”

The bill is pending a scheduled hearing in the Transportation and Safety Committee in the Senate and the Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee in the House of Representatives.

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