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Everything You Need to Know About State Safety Inspections

BY: Endurance
state safety inspection

State safety inspections ensure that you’re safe while driving and that everyone else is as well. And unlike other types of essential car maintenance, you’re required to get this done every year.

By learning everything you need to know about state vehicle safety inspections, you can be sure that your vehicle is prepared to pass and ways to save on this unavoidable yet essential part of car ownership.

What Is a State Safety Inspection?

A safety inspection ensures your car is in a safe operating condition when on the road by having a certified repair professional inspect it. However, not all states will require a safety inspection and instead only require you to get periodic emissions inspections

If you live in a state that requires a safety inspection, it’s vital to look at all the inspection requirements. However, a typical vehicle safety inspection consists of the following checks: 

  • Brakes
  • Lights (headlights, interior lights)
  • Windows and windshield wipers (including tinting levels)
  • Mirrors
  • Steering mechanism
  • Right and left-hand turn signals
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • The exhaust system (if a vehicle emissions test isn’t required)

The technician will then attach a small computer to your onboard diagnostic II port near your steering column. This diagnostic tool helps track multiple systems to see if they’re running correctly, and the test is usually pass/fail. Cars made before 1996 are typically not subject to this test.

States That Require Vehicle Safety Inspections

Throughout the United States, eighteen states require a full safety inspection periodically, and Maryland requires one if the car’s ownership is transferred. Sixteen states require vehicle emissions testing. States that require annual safety inspections bundle it with vehicle registration renewal, while others require inspections on a biennial basis (every other year), including the District of Columbia. 

Per The Zebra, the following states require a safety inspection at some point. However, check your state’s requirements and see what you need to do.

  • Alabama—safety inspections are required whenever a car is purchased or recently transferred ownership.
  • Connecticut—whenever your register a vehicle that is 10 or more years old. 
  • Delaware—inspections are required biennially once the vehicle is seven years old. 
  • Hawaii—annual vehicle inspections are required unless the vehicle is a brand new vehicle, as it will not require an inspection for two years. 
  • Louisiana—annual tests are required, but most jurisdictions offer vehicle stickers for two years. 
  • Maine—annual vehicle inspections are required.
  • Maryland—safety inspections are required whenever a car is purchased or recently transferred ownership.
  • Massachusetts—annual vehicle inspections required.
  • Missouri—requires inspections biennially.
  • Nebraska—an inspection is required if you are bringing in a registered vehicle in another state. 
  • New Hampshire—annual vehicle inspections required.
  • New York—annual vehicle inspections required.
  • North Carolina—annual vehicle inspections required.
  • Pennsylvania—annual vehicle inspections required.
  • Rhode Island—requires inspections biennially.
  • Texas—annual vehicle inspections are required unless the vehicle is a brand new vehicle, as it will not require an inspection for two years. 
  • Vermont—annual vehicle inspections required.
  • Virginia—annual vehicle inspections required.
  • West Virginia—annual vehicle inspections required.

Regardless of whether you live in a state that requires a safety inspection or just looking to save when it comes to your car, truck or SUV’s maintenance needs, Advantage can help. This comprehensive auto protection package combines coverage for repairs and breakdowns with up to $3,500 in regular maintenance services, including tire rotations, engine diagnostic exams, alignment checks and more, including being able to help you save on your next state inspection.

What Is Needed for a State Safety Inspection?

Each state with annual inspections can have its own safety inspection requirements, so check your State’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website beforehand. 

However, typically, a state safety inspection will require: 

  • Your state ID or driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance (requirements vary by state, but most require liability coverage by law)
  • Proof of ownership for your vehicle
  • Payment for the inspection—the cost varies, but typically an inspection is between $150 and $250, but the Advantage auto protection plan can help you

Save On Your Next State Safety Inspection with Advantage

With Endurance’s Advantage auto protection plan, you can now drive confidentially, knowing you can save thousands on auto repairs, including up to $55 towards your next state safety inspection and other essential vehicle maintenance. You can save up to $3,500 total on other essential maintenance services, including tire rotations, alignment checks, engine diagnostic exams, and more. You’ll even have other special, one-time services available to you, including cooling system maintenance, a brake pad or shoe replacement, a front or rear wiper blade set replacement and more.

You’ll also automatically receive complimentary 24/7 roadside assistance, trip interruption, and substitute transport coverage whenever you purchase any Endurance plan. On top of that, you’ll also be eligible to receive a full year of Endurance Elite benefits, including perks and savings like key fob replacements, collision discounts and more, for just a small activation fee.

To learn more about how Advantage or any other Endurance auto protection plan can help you, give us a call directly at (800) 253-8203, or you can request a free online quote. The Endurance blog can also help give you even more insight into other automotive topics, including extended warranty breakdowns and comparisons, vehicle buying guides, expert auto tips and much more.

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