Williamson County Delegation proposes legislation to exempt vehicles under three years old from emissions testing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Automobiles under three years old would be exempt from Tennessee’s vehicle emission test under legislation sponsored by Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin), Representative Jeremy Durham (R-Franklin), Representative Glen Casada (R-Thompson Station) and Representative Charles Sargent (R-Franklin).  The legislation would apply to owners of vehicles in six Tennessee counties where emissions testing is required.

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.

“There is absolutely no reason that vehicle owners should be required to take time out of their busy schedule to test emissions on a vehicle under three years old,” said Senator Johnson.  “Newer cars have improved emission control systems and should be exempt.”

“As state government continues its evolution into more streamlined and efficient ways of doing business, we must be willing to implement new consumer-friendly policies to make that transition a success,” stated Rep. Durham. “This bill is one step in that direction and I am certain this legislation will help save both time and money for Tennessee taxpayers.”

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.

“As Republicans, we are constantly looking for new ways to make government more efficient and effective, and this legislation is definitely a step forward in achieving that goal,” said Rep. Casada.

“By removing burdensome regulations such as this from the law books, we can focus our time and energy on those things that truly matter in life,” Rep. Sargent concluded.

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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