Common Questions About State Vehicle Inspections


When you purchase an out-of-state vehicle and bring it back home to license in your name, you may be surprised to find that the vehicle will have to be inspected by the local department of transportation. Most states have requirements about the vehicles that they allow on the roadway and several different aspects of the motor vehicle will have to be assessed. If you discover that your vehicle must be inspected, this is no reason to feel intimidated as most cars and trucks do pass just fine. However, you will want to know the answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions about the process.

How long will you have to get the vehicle inspected?

If you do not plan to drive the vehicle right away, you have nothing to be concerned about except getting the vehicle transferred into your name. However, keep in mind that you will likely not be legally allowed to put tags and plates on the vehicle until the inspection is performed.

Once the vehicle passes inspection, will it have to be done again in the future?

This can depend on where you live. Some states will only require a vehicle to be inspected when it is first brought into the state and then no further action will be required. However, there are some places that will require an inspection at various intervals. For example, in the state of New Jersey, you will have your vehicle inspected one time and receive a five year sticker that is to be placed on the windshield. Once this time is up, you will need to have the vehicle re-inspected to make sure it still meets local standards, such as safety and emissions.

Do you have to pay to get your vehicle inspected?

You will likely have to pay a small service fee to have your vehicle inspected. In North Carolina, the safety inspection is only $13.60, but a safety and emissions check is $30. You can also choose in some locations to have your vehicle inspected by an auto service center that is licensed to do so. Yet the charges will likely be close to the same as the fees are often state mandated.

States require vehicle inspections for reasons such as checking for local exhaust emission standards and appropriate safety equipment. This is a simple process that usually only takes a few minutes. If anything is found to be not up-to-code, the inspector will gladly help you find the right people to help you tend to the issues.


10 April 2015

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