Memphis creates hardship exclusion for auto test

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Memphis is creating a way for drivers to plead poverty and still renew their car tags when their vehicles fail emissions tests.

Memphis City Council approved a proposal from Mayor A C Wharton to allow vehicle owners to seek a 1-time waiver by submitting a written estimate of repair costs and claiming they have "financial hardships."

The council also voted to reinstate an option that allows late-model cars that fail a check based upon on-board diagnostics to then try to pass with a tailpipe test. The city is in discussions with federal environmental officials about whether this is an acceptable approach, and federal transportation funds are at risk.

Shelby County is 1 of 7 in Tennessee that require emissions tests because of high levels of ozone air pollution.

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