Vehicle Inspection

The Clean Air Stations have dedicated lanes for self-service. Each lane allows two motorists to test their own cars simultaneously. One DEQ attendant, stationed between the two kiosks, is available to help the motorists. 

​Just like other self-service options commonly used, DEQ is striving to keep pace with an ever-increasing volume of traffic while keeping prices low. DEQ’s vehicle testing fee is among the lowest in the nation and we want to keep it that way. 70% of the time one attendant is processing two vehicles at once which means the lanes are highly efficient.
The response has been very positive. About 3,000 comments are received annually from joint instruction/comment cards asking customers for their feedback about using the self-service testing lanes.  The annual average customer rating is about 90% favorable and below are a few quotes: 
  • “So Cool – like an ATM for emissions testing!”
  • “I would definitely use self-service again!”
  • “It was sooooo fast!”
  • “Excellent Idea – totally impressed!”
  • “What a great addition to your service!”
​No. We provide many features during your visit to make the process easy from beginning to end:
  • When you arrive, you will be welcomed by our property greeter. If the greeter assigns you to the self-service lane, you will be provided with a small card with two portions. One portion contains brief instructions and the other portion is a comment card to relay your feedback to DEQ about your self-service experience.
  • The top of the instruction card advises that you can tune your radio to our short-range English or Spanish broadcast station. While you are waiting in line, the broadcast continuously repeats the same instructions that are on the instruction card.
  • The red/green traffic light to control entrance into building, uses laser beams inside the building to signal when a kiosk test area is ready for your car.
  • Once inside the building, laser beams trigger a giant flashing arrow sign pointing you to either the forward or rear kiosk. 
  • You’ll pull forward and park inside a rectangle painted on the ground next to your kiosk. 
  • The kiosk’s English or Spanish touch screen and audio instructions make the test very user-friendly and intuitive.
​Normally the attendant plugs in the testing cable to your car’s OBD port and then you follow the kiosk’s touch screen prompts to complete the test while the attendant helps the next motorist plug-in. If you know where your OBD port is and want to plug-in yourself, you certainly can. If the attendant is busy and you are unsure where your port is under the dashboard, the kiosk provides you with a picture of exactly where the port is for your car’s make and model.
​There is a highly visible button on the front of the kiosk with a sign that says “HELP BUTTON”.  When pushed, a light will start flashing on the top of your kiosk.
​Yes. The one-stop-shopping feature is available in all of DEQ’s test lanes so you can take care of your DEQ and DMV during the same visit.
​In order to equalize wait times for customers and workload for staff, the property greeter sends cars to lanes using a certain order.  Like the first two cars might be assigned to lane #1, the next cars to lane #2, then lane #3, etc.  From that perspective, the self-service lane is like any other lane.  So, if you arrive and it’s time for a car to be assigned to the lane # that happens to be self-service, your vehicle will be sent to that lane.  (There are some exceptions such as the greeter recognizes that the age of your vehicle cannot be tested using self-service).  When the greeter assigns you to the lane, s/he will let you know that it’s a self-service lane and encourage you to ask the attendant for any help you might need.
​It’s completely voluntary for you to test your own car as stated on the instruction card and in radio broadcasts. Once inside the building, simply let the self-service attendant know that you’d like her/him to conduct the entire test on your behalf.
​No. Charging the same price for goods and services at a regular checkout or self-service checkout is common business practice. Businesses provide such options to keep up with an ever-increasing volume of traffic and maintain low pricing. It’s the same for DEQ. DEQ’s vehicle testing fee is among the lowest in the nation and we want to keep it that way.
​No. Visual inspections aren’t actually a part of conducting an on-board diagnostics test in a regular, non-self-service lane; unless the computer indicates it is necessary because something is not quite right. When that’s the case for a self-service test, the test automatically ceases and the attendant will become involved.  A station manager may also become involved.  The vehicle may not be passed. 
 
With every new model year vehicle manufactured, computerized vehicle testing is becoming harder and harder to tamper with.  When necessary, just like in a regular testing lane, if it becomes evident that tampering or altering of OBD systems has occurred, an investigation could be launched. It is a criminal violation of the Federal Clean Air Act to alter or tamper with OBD systems or data.
 
To learn why DEQ does not visually inspect computerized vehicles, view our OBD frequently asked questions page.

Contact

For questions or feedback on the Vehicle Inspection Program, visit our Questions and Comments page, or call one of our area contact numbers below:

  • Portland Area: 503-229-5066
  • Medford Area: 541-776-6145
  • Toll-Free in Oregon: 877-476-0583
  • Hearing Impaired: 711