One Less Stop to Keep Your Car on the Road

Published on February 19, 2016

Your next emissions test could be "a journey, not a destination." 

We're pretty sure Ralph Waldo Emerson never drove a day in his life but he just might appreciate the concept behind RAPIDPASS Virginia.

The optional on-road emissions testing system could mean no more mandatory stop—and often lengthy wait in line--at the service station every other year. RAPIDPASS

RAPIDPASS lets motorists get where they're going while at the same time having their exhaust analyzed from drive-by test machines placed around Northern Virginia. The results are matched to each vehicle through license plate photos with the pass notification sent through the U.S. Postal Service.

You'll still have to pay the $28 inspection fee, by mail or online, before your registration can be renewed.

Look for RAPIDPASS opportunities in Arlington over the next several weeks, with locations including Glencarlyn, Shirlington and Rosslyn.

The system does not operate during bad weather and not all vehicles can qualify through RAPIDPASS. The odds of having your exhaust successfully analyzed increase each time you drive past the testing apparatus.

Results are mailed within 120 days of a vehicle's registration renewal due date. Driving through a RAPIDPASS location less than two weeks before your renewal is due could mean you won't receive the results in time.

Keep your vehicle in good shape, let it warm up before passing a testing station, have a clean license plate and don't speed or brake in extremes--and RAPIDPASS just might keep things moving along for you.