End of an era at Lynnwood station as final day of vehicle emissions testing comes to a close

One of the last vehicles to be tested pulls into the bay at the Lynnwood emissions test station.

“I’ve been working here six years,” said Chris Hammond, manager of the Lynnwood Applus test station that conducts auto emissions tests for the State of Washington, on the last day of vehicle emission testing. “The property is now up for sale, and personally I’m looking forward to taking some vacation.”

As reported Monday, the 38-year-old Washington State emissions testing program officially ended Dec. 31.

In addition to Hammond, three testers were on duty Tuesday to handle what amounted to a trickle of cars whose owners delayed getting the test till the last day.

Test inspector Alayna says she won’t miss working outside in the cold

Alayna (who requested her last name not be used) lives in Everett, and has been working as an inspector at the Lynnwood test station for about a year. She previously staffed the Everett station.

“I’ve got another job at night, so I’ll be OK,” she says. “I’ll probably start looking for a second job soon, but right now I’m planning to enjoy not working out in the cold for minimum wage.”

According to one test inspector, several motorists asked what to do next if they fail the test Monday, since the option to re-test will no longer be available.

If this sounds like you, don’t despair.

According to Washington State Department of Ecology’s Andrew Wineke, as of Jan. 1 you’re off the hook.

A test inspector waits for the final cars to come through in the final hours before the test station closes for good.

“With the testing stations closing, there will be no way to conduct a retest,” said Wineke via email Monday. “So, after 5 p.m. today, you will not need to pass a test or receive a waiver prior to renewing your registration.”

But emissions test or not, you still need to renew your tabs by Jan. 1 or risk getting a ticket for expired tabs. Another point worth noting: It will still be illegal in Washington to drive a vehicle with modified emissions equipment, or a vehicle that smokes, Wineke said.

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

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