Light Duty Vehicles

Light duty vehicles refer to passenger cars and trucks under 8,500 pounds according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Office of Air Resources oversees a variety of regulations, programs, and policies to limit emissions from light duty vehicles. 

Requires manufacturers to meet fleet-average emissions targets through the sale of vehicles that emit low levels of pollutants that contribute to ozone formation such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), and other pollutants such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter that pose risks to public health.

  • The purpose of the program is to ensure that motor vehicle standards in Rhode Island are consistent with California's Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) program.
  • Rhode Island incorporated ACCP's rules under its Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 37.

Requires manufacturers to meet a certain portion of sales with electric, plug-in hybrid-electric, and fuel cell (hydrogen) vehicles.

  • The purpose of the ZEV mandate is to help to reduce petroleum consumption while furthering the development and deployment of advanced technology vehicles.
  • The 2012 ZEV amendments enhance compliance flexibility and extend program requirements through model year 2025:
    • Increase sales percentage requirements for ZEVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which become more stringent over the course of the program.
    • Manufacturers receive more credit for a vehicle with greater "all-electric" driving range.
    • Allow manufacturers to "pool" or trade emission and ZEV credits among other states that have adopted California standards.

DEM and the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are jointly responsible for the administration of the Rhode Island Inspection/Maintenance (I/M) Program. DMV is responsible for the operation and enforcement of the program and DEM is responsible for the environmental aspects of the program. The I/M Program requires a biennial inspection that includes all light-duty vehicles, 25 years old and newer, up to 8,500 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight Rate (GVWR).

DEM assures that the State's motor vehicle I/M program identifies high emitting vehicles and gets them repaired. Visit the DMV's Safety and Emissions Inspections website or see Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 34 for more information.

  • The purpose of the program is to reduce motor vehicle related pollution through inspection and emissions-related repair of gasoline and diesel powered light duty motor vehicles.
  • The program ensures that Rhode Island is positioned to comply with the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone, reduces the amount of particulate matter emitted into the air, and protects human health and the environment.

The State is required to submit Annual Reports for the I/M Program under 40 CFR 51.366, the data analysis and reporting section of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) rule on Inspection and Maintenance Program requirements. This section of the rule was designed to allow for monitoring and evaluation of the I/M Program by the State's program management and the EPA. The information in the Annual Reports includes inspection test data statistics, as well as evaluations of the quality assurance system, the quality control program, and the enforcement elements.

Additional Resources