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Inspection and Repair Industry: F.A.Q.s

FAQs for the Industry

What is a registered emissions repair technician?
Do I have to be an inspector in order to be a registered repair technician?
What is a registered emissions repair shop?
What are the benefits of being “registered”?
How do I qualify to become a registered emissions repair technician?
How do I qualify to become a registered emissions repair shop?
What are ASE Certifications and how do I obtain one?
What is MassModule Training?
How can I be an inspector?
Where are the inspector training sessions held?
What are the repair expenditure thresholds to qualify for a waiver?
What happened to the Diagnostic Waiver program?
What’s a MAC?
What diesel vehicles are exempt from emissions testing in the new program?


What is a registered emissions repair technician?

A registered repair technician is a person who has met MassDEP standards for training in emissions control system repairs and then has registered with Parsons.

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Do I have to be an inspector in order to be a registered repair technician?

No. Repair technicians do not need to be licensed emissions inspectors. Similarly, registered repair shops do not need to be emissions inspection stations.

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What is a registered emissions repair shop?

A registered repair shop is a shop that employs at least one registered emissions repair technician, and has registered with Parsons. Motorists are encouraged to use a registered emissions repair shop when having their vehicle repaired in preparation for a re-test.

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What are the benefits becoming “registered”?

  • Traffic to your shop
    Motorists whose vehicles fail the emissions test are strongly encouraged to have their vehicles repaired at shops employing registered technicians. The State is promoting the use of registered repair technicians - when a vehicle fails an inspection, a list of nearby shops that employ registered repair technicians will be displayed on the VIR (vehicle inspection report.) Additionally, motorists can search for a registered emissions repair technician/registered repair shop here.
  • Training
    Registered repair technicians are offered specialized training related to new program requirements.
  • Exclusivity
    Only repairs made by a registered technician count toward emissions waivers.
  • MAC Priority
    Registered repair technicians receive priority access to 12 Motorist Assistance Centers MAC staff help registered repairers diagnose vehicles that have problems passing emissions tests. Click here for locations.
  • Marketing Possibilities
    Registered shops may display special signs indicating their qualifications to perform emissions repairs. Also, as part of the repair shop registration process, repair shops can create their own advertisement to accompany their shop’s listing on the VIR, which can include the types of vehicles they repair.

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How do I qualify to become a registered emissions repair technician?

  • 1. Hold a National Institute for Auto Service Excellence (ASE) L-1 or L-2 Certification
  • 2. Successfully complete the MassModule training
  • 3. Successfully complete OBD training for Registered Repair Technicians
  • 4. Be employed by a Registered Emissions Repair Shop
  • 5. Register with Parsons

Download the application (below) and mail it to Parsons at 55 Messina Drive, Unit C Braintree, MA 02184. To learn more about becoming a Registered Emissions Repair Technician, contact Parsons at 1-877-834-4677 (1-877-VEH INSP).

Application for Repair Technicians .doc (264 KB) or .pdf (120 KB).

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How do I qualify to become a registered emissions repair shop?

  • Employ at least one registered emissions repair technician
  • Register with Parsons

Download the application (below) and mail it to Parsons at 55 Messina Drive, Unit C Braintree, MA 02184. To learn more about becoming a Registered Emissions Repair Shop, contact Parsons at 1-877-834-4677 (1-877-VEH INSP).

Application for Repair Shops .doc (272 KB) or .pdf (168 KB).

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What are ASE Certifications and how do I obtain one?

ASE Certifications are advanced level test offered by ASE. They are designed to measure a technician's knowledge of the skills needed to diagnose emission failures and driveability problems on computer-controlled engine systems. They are extensions of the basic repair and diagnostic skills tested on the Automobile Engine Performance (A8) test. For more information, call ASE at 703-713-3800 or visit the organization’s Web site at www.asecert.org.

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What is MassModule Training?

MassModule Training is a course designed to teach auto technicians what they need to know to become registered emissions repair technicians. It supplies specific information relevant to registered emissions repair technicians regarding the Massachusetts Vehicle Check program. It is an online course, and includes a proficiency exam. Current registered emissions repairers will be required to review the new online MassModule and subsequently pass a test. Newly registered emissions repairers will be required to complete the MassModule and a new 20-hour OBD repair course as a prerequisite to becoming registered.

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How can I be an inspector?

To start the process, download and complete the Inspector Training Application or contact Parson’s Hotline at 877-VEH-INSP to request an inspector application You will be required to successfully complete a state-approved inspector training course at one of the Parsons training facilities. To learn more about becoming an inspector, contact Parsons at 877-VEH-INSP.

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Where are the inspector training sessions held?

Non-Commercial Training Update
Training is well underway for currently licensed inspectors. New inspectors (who have not previously been part of the program) can apply for training by calling the Technical Helpdesk at 877-834-4677. Training of new inspectors will begin in October. Training venues are located across the state in Braintree, Pocasset, Shrewsbury, West Springfield, and Woburn. Evening classes are available. To find out more, call the Technical Helpdesk at 877-834-4677.

Commercial Training
Inspectors who successfully complete the non-commercial training course will be eligible for commercial training, if they also perform commercial vehicle inspections. Inspectors who signed up for commercial training will be contacted by a Parsons representative to schedule their class.

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What are the repair expenditure thresholds to qualify for a waiver?

The new repair expenditure thresholds to qualify for a waiver are:

  • 5 model years old or newer = $750
  • More than 5 and less than 10 years = $650
  • More than 10 model years old = $550

To qualify for a waiver, motorists must schedule an appointment at a motorist Assistance Center (MAC) for evaluation. Only those vehicles repaired by a registered emissions repair technician are eligible for a waiver.

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What happened to the Diagnostic Waiver program?

Previously referred to as a diagnostic waiver, an economic hardship failure extension may be granted for vehicles that fail inspection if the estimate to repair or replace a single component is more than 1.5 times the waiver expenditure threshold. In order to receive the extension, the motorist will need to make an appointment at a MAC for evaluation. The extension is valid for one year to allow the motorist time to schedule repairs, and the vehicle must pass the next inspection cycle. (Complete details on the economic hardship failure extension are available in regulation 310 CMR 60.02.)

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What’s a MAC?

We have set up Motorist Assistance Centers, or MACs, as a valuable technical resource for inspection stations with complex motor vehicle readiness problems. The MACs are equipped with state-of-the-art training facilities, have access to diagnostic software, and will have an L-1 mechanic on hand to help investigate unusual emissions test results. The specialists at the MACs are ready to assist with the following:

  • Diagnostic questions from Registered Repairers
  • Readiness issues
  • Waivers and extension eligibility
  • Specialty vehicle inspections, such as kit cars

For more information and a list of MAC locations, click here.

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What diesel vehicles are exempt from emissions testing in the new program?

Light-duty 1997 model year and newer vehicles equipped with diesel engines and onboard diagnostics (OBD) will now be required to be OBD tested. Model year1996 and older or newer diesels without OBD will be exempt from emissions testing. Heavy duty diesels (10,000 pounds+) will continue to receive opacity tests starting in April 2009.

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