Me personally I pay a little extra and nobody knows nada
you could also register the car upstate if its not in the NYCMA but if not ...
New York City Metropolitan Area Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program
In January 1998, the emissions inspection and maintenance program used in the New York City Metropolitan Area (NYCMA) was improved to meet new federal standards. The NYCMA includes the five boroughs of New York City, and Nassau County, Suffolk County, Rockland County and Westchester County. All gas-powered vehicles registered in the NYCMA require a high-enhanced emissions inspection. Inspection facilities outside the NYCMA cannot do this inspection. Some vehicles are exempt from this requirement.
About the Test
The high-enhanced emissions inspection tests the air pollution control system and exhaust emissions of a vehicle. All vehicles receive a gas cap check and a visual inspection to find evidence of tampering and to prevent malfunctions in the air pollution control devices. The test is done annually at the same time as the safety inspection. The fee for the emissions inspection test is $27, plus $10 for the safety inspection.
The model year, weight and vehicle type determine the test methods and standards used, as follows:
1981 and newer models that weigh 8,500 lbs. and under go through a dynamometer test for exhaust emissions that exceed the acceptable limit. 1996 and newer models also go through a check of the on-board diagnostic computer.
Vehicles before model year 1981 that weigh more than 8,500 pounds or have full-time traction control or all-wheel drive equipment receive the idle speed tail pipe test only.
Vehicles Exempt from the Test
These vehicles are exempt from the gas-powered vehicle emissions inspection:
Vehicles less than two model years old, or more than 25 model years (for example, a 1975 model in 2001)
Vehicles registered as farm equipment or with historical plates
Annual safety inspections are required for all vehicles unless exempt by the law.
Historical Plates you ask ???
What is a historical vehicle or a vintage vehicle?
A historical vehicle is a vehicle that is more than 25 years old. A vehicle qualifies for a historical registration when it begins the 26th model year. For example, a 1978 model vehicle qualifies for historical registration in 2004.
Some vehicles that are less than 25 years old and have unique characteristics can qualify for a historical registration. The DMV determines if the vehicle has historical, classic or exhibit value.
A vintage vehicle is a historical vehicle and receives a historical registration. The registrant of a vintage vehicle can put vintage plates on the vehicle. Vintage plates are authentic NYS vehicle plates that were issued during the model year of the vehicle.