In compliance with the 1990 Clean Air Act, Virginia's Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires certain vehicles to undergo emissions checks. The VA DMV will mail a notice before your registration renewal is due, notifying vehicle owners if their vehicle requires an emissions test.
Beginning in 1994, vehicles were equipped with On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) systems. As a result, most vehicles manufactured before 1996 and all vehicles manufactured before 1994 are exempt from an OBD emissions check. They do, however, have to pass a safety inspection on an annual basis. Not all vehicles need to undergo emissions checks; some vehicles are exempt from an annual emissions check.
There are emissions-testing centers located wherever emissions testing is required. You can find one near you by visiting the Virginia DMV website.