While I cant speak for NY, all the states I have dealt with do not pass your car if it has a CEL, because of the fact that it IS emissions related. That is the purpose of the standardized OBD system in cars, it's an emissions computer, and when your MIL light is illuminated, a sensor in your engine or related emissions componet detected a problem. Even if your car does not do what tripped the code anymore, you need to clear the code before trying to get it inspected.
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