Frequently Asked Questions
What is the penalty for driving without insurance?
When a law enforcement officer stops you for any reason, you will be required to show valid proof of insurance on the vehicle. If you are driving a vehicle while not having the proper insurance, upon conviction, you will be fined not less than $1500 for the first offense and $3000 for each subsequent offense occurring within 3 years of a former offense. Driving license and/or privileges will also be suspended for 6 months.

What vehicles require emissions testing?
Emissions tests are required on automobiles and on trucks with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (MGVWR) of 8500 pounds or less. Exceptions include vehicles manufactured before 1968, diesel-fueled vehicles manufactured before 1997, and motorcycles. DMV conducts approximately 400,000 tests each year.

How is the Vehicle Emissions test performed?
Typically, when a motorist enters the test facility, the lane technician asks for the vehicle registration card and the odometer reading and enters essential information into a computer. The computer automatically selects the proper standards for the vehicle’s model year. Most gasoline-fueled vehicles newer than the 1980 model year receive a low/high speed emissions test (two-speed idle). Gasoline-fueled vehicles within the 1968-1980 model year range receive an idle (curb) test. After completion of the inspection procedure, motorists receive a computer-generated Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) that contains the results of the emissions and fuel system tests.

When are vehicles tested?
Typically, vehicles are tested biennially based upon the model year "and vehicles being titled/registered for the first time in Delaware". The testing is required prior to registration renewal. Vehicles in the first 5 model years are excluded from testing. The Division mails registration renewal notices approximately 90 days before registrations expire.

Where are vehicles tested?
There are 4 full service DMV facilities throughout Delaware with 21 test lanes.

What happens to vehicles that fail the emissions test?
If a vehicle fails either portion of the emissions test, the owner must have the emissions-related repairs performed before being retested. There is no charge to the motorist for retesting failed vehicles. Satisfactory completion of the test requirements is necessary before vehicle registration renewal. The lane technician provides all motorists with an informational brochure at the initial failed test to explain the repair and retest process.