Tips & Advice
Can a car get inspected without a registration?
Yes, a car can get inspected without registration – both the registration card and the actual registration itself.
If you’ve lost the registration card, but the car is registered, just find the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN Number), and the inspection station ought to be able go into a state database and use the VIN to look it up.
If you are not registered, you can get either temporary registration or a “trip permit” that will give you a grace period during which you can drive the car to an inspection station and get inspected and papered.
Can a car be inspected with the check engine light on?
Yes, a car can be inspected with the “Check Engine” light on, but it will fail the inspection.
Things to bring to a car inspection
Bring your current registration, proof of insurance, and the inspection fee to a car inspection. Make sure to find out ahead of time if they take cash, check or charge.
What happens if a car fails inspection?
If a car fails inspection, and it is a state-mandated inspection, the owner will not be able to register the car. The owner will be given a report from the respective inspection station detailing the problems, and a short grace period during which they can continue to drive the car. The owner will need to bring the car in for specific repairs and get it re-inspected within the allotted time in order to get it registered and get license plates for the next year. If a car fails a pre-purchase inspection, it will usually stop the transaction from going through, but that’s up to the buyer.
How long does a car inspection take?
A car inspection, or vehicle inspection, takes perhaps 20 minutes for the safety inspection portion, and 15 minutes for the emissions inspection, but including the paperwork/payment time and wait time, it’s smart to assume 50-60 minutes to fully complete the inspection.
How much does it cost to have a car inspected?
It typically costs $100 to have a car inspected as part of pre-purchase due diligence, but this cost can jump to $150-$200 depending on other variables. A safety inspection, required in order to register one’s car, usually $10-$20. Emissions inspection costs about the same. Expect to pay $35-$40 for safety and emissions inspection on one vehicle for one or two years.
What is a car inspection?
Car inspection, also called vehicle inspection, is a state government-mandated safety procedure, where each car is required to undergo specific reviews and tests to ensure that it complies with safety and emissions regulations. In the government-mandated procedure, inspection is required in order to register a vehicle, but in other cases, inspection is part of the used car resale process.