Vehicle Safety Inspection
Vehicle inspection is a procedure mandated by national or subnational governments in many countries, in which a vehicle is inspected to ensure that it conforms to regulations governing safety, emissions, or both. Inspection can be required at various times, e.g., periodically or on transfer of title to a vehicle. If required periodically, it is often termed periodic motor vehicle inspection; typical intervals are every two years and every year.
In some jurisdictions, proof of inspection is required before a vehicle license or license plate can be issued or renewed. In others, once a vehicle passes inspection, a decal is attached to the windshield, and police can enforce the inspection law by seeing whether the vehicle displays an up-to-date decal. In the case of a vehicle lacking a windshield (e.g., a trailer or motorcycle), the decal is typically attached to the vehicle body.
With regard to safety inspection, there is some controversy over whether it is a cost-effective way to improve road-traffic safety.
In the United States, each state government is free to decide whether to require vehicle safety inspection, as well as the specifics of the inspection program. Not all states require it, most do not; some states that used to require it have discontinued it.
Under the Clean Air Act (1990), states are required to implement vehicle emission inspection programs in metropolitan areas whose air quality does not meet federal standards. The specifics of those programs vary from state to state. Some states, including Kentucky and Minnesota, have discontinued their testing programs in recent years with approval from the federal government.
States and Federal Districts with periodic (e.g., annual) vehicle safety inspections
*District of Columbia (every two years)
*Hawaii (every year, except brand new vehicles receive an inspection valid for two years, ambulances, rental cars, vehicles used in public transportation, and other, every six months)
*Louisiana (every year; emission test in the Baton Rouge metropolitan area)
*Maine (every year; emission test in Cumberland County)
*Massachusetts (safety inspection every year, emission inspection every two years)
*Minnesota (Motorcycles; Random, annual)
*Mississippi (safety inspection every year)
*Missouri (every two years; emissions testing in the St. Louis area)
*New Hampshire (every year)
*New Jersey (every two years)
*New York (every year)
*North Carolina (every year; emissions inspections in 48 of 100 counties, exempting diesels and cars 35 years or older)
*Pennsylvania (every year; emissions inspections every year in 25 of 67 counties)
*Rhode Island (safety and emission inspection every two years)
*Texas (every year; emission test in the largest urban areas - Houston Metro, Dallas Metroplex, *Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso)
*Utah (every two years for the first eight years, then every year)
*Vermont (every year)
*Virginia (every year; emission inspection every two years in urban and suburban jurisdictions in Northern Virginia)
*West Virginia (every year - safety)
States with safety inspection only required prior to sale or transfer
*Maryland (emission inspection required biennially)
States which only require federally mandated emissions inspections
*Alaska (Municipality of Anchorage and Fairbanks North Star Borough) every two years, depending on age and type of vehicle
*California (for most Zip Codes, every two years for all vehicles made after 1975 which are more than six years old)
*Colorado (in some localities, every year or two, depending on age and type of vehicle)
*Florida (six counties)
*Georgia (metropolitan Atlanta area only, every year, most recent three model year cars are exempt)
*Illinois (Chicagoland and eastern suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri)
*Indiana (Lake and Porter counties only, every two years)
*Nevada (Clark County and Washoe County areas)
*Ohio (seven counties)
*Washington (urban areas of Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane counties)
*Wisconsin (seven counties in Southeastern Wisconsin, every two years)
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