In Spokane County, vehicle emissions testing is required under state law in order to renew license tabs and as part of the paperwork to exchange legal registration and titles between private parties.

The test costs $15 initially and is free if you fail that initial test for the next 365 days and need to go back.
So what happens if your vehicle fails this test? Most significantly, you will not be able to legally renew the tabs on that car, truck or van. Fortunately, there are ways to repair your vehicle so that it can once again hit the road. The tester at the emissions facility will give you a printout showing to you where exactly your vehicle failed in the test. The tester should also give you a list of authorized emission specialists in the area and a flyer that provides an overview of SNAP’s Vehicle Emissions Repair Program or VERP. The agency maintains a list of 16 automotive repair shops that can provide emission repair services.

As many car owners know, repairs can be costly. In the case of emissions problems, the issues can vary anywhere from faulty fuel metering specifications to leaks in crucial emissions vacuum systems that recirculate fuel filled air into the intake system and even defective ignition systems. If you find that the bill for the system repairs is higher than you think you can afford – and you have limited means – then you should not hesitate to call SNAP.

The purpose of VERP is to promote emissions reductions by repairing vehicles that fail the state-mandated vehicle emission test. VERP will fund vehicle repairs that are necessary in order to provide significant improvement of emissions.

tune-tech-picSince the inception of VERP assistance, one of SNAP’s main partnerships has been with Tune Tech. The company has three automotive repair shops in the Spokane area. They have been in the area for over 25 years. Owner and operator of Tune Tech, Denis Koch, has been a mechanic for 36 years.

“I was one of the first shops given the privilege to help with this program” said Koch “I have been a partner since [VERP’s] inception.”

When asked about what problems Koch sees the most in regards to failing an emissions test he ran down a copious list that can mostly boil down to a “lack of maintenance over the lifespan of the vehicle.” Koch also made it clear that Tune Tech “sees a lot of vehicles in the (VERP) program that are well over 100,000 miles and that in its own is a reason for parts just wearing out.”

VERP has requirements to qualify for the program’s assistance. You must first have failed your vehicle emissions test for the current tabs cycle on your vehicle. VERP also requires that you have a current driver’s license, proof of vehicle insurance and income verification for all adults in the household. Your current income level will be placed against the federal poverty guidelines. If you meet all the qualifications, then assistance for the bills related to your vehicle emissions problems can be covered by VERP.
SNAP CEO Julie Honekamp says VERP continues to help residents who are doing their best to be self-sufficient.

“These are folks that just need a little support to make sure their car stays safely on the road and allows them to get to work, school, the grocery store and other places,” Honekamp said. “We’re thankful for our partnerships with these local repair shops and the work they do to help our clients. VERP is another great example of SNAP being there to provide a boost that can make a real difference.”