Each state has its own requirements for drivers. In addition to setting standards for driver’s licenses and minimum requirements for car insurance, some states require your vehicle to be inspected regularly in order to make sure your car can drive safely on the road. Your state may also mandate an inspection to make sure your car is meeting emissions standards.
Inspections exist to make sure your car meets legal requirements for driving. State-required vehicle inspections are not covered by car insurance, so you’ll need to pay out of pocket. But not all states require vehicle inspections, and in the ones that do, inspections may only be required in certain counties or for certain vehicles.
Car insurance won’t cover a state-required safety inspection or emissions test
However, car insurance is still required in order to get a car inspection in most states
Vehicle inspections are required in order to ensure your car is safe enough to drive on the road and is meeting environmental standards
If you need an inspection as part of a claim, your car insurance will cover the cost
Car insurance will not cover a state-required vehicle inspection. Car insurance exists to cover the sudden damage that can result from an accident. An inspection is simply part of owning a car. However, both car insurance and inspections may be required in your state, and you may need to show proof of both in order to register your car.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia require either an emissions test, a safety inspection, or both. Here’s what you need to know:
|Arizona||An emissions test is required during original registration and annual registration renewals|
|California||An emissions test is required every two years|
|Colorado||An emissions test is required for certain vehicles|
|Connecticut||An emissions test is required every other year|
|District of Columbia||An emissions test is required for all vehicles in order to obtain registration|
|Georgia||An emissions test is required every year or every registration renewal cycle for gasoline cars and light-duty trucks made between 1994 and 2014|
|Idaho||An emissions test is required in the City of Kuna, and Ada and Canyon counties|
|Illinois||An emissions test is required for state and local municipalities that did not meet the law’s pollution-level requirements|
|Indiana||An emissions test is required along with a tampering inspection for most first-time registrations and biannually for car owners living in Porter and Lake counties|
|Louisiana||An emissions test is required in certain parishes and cities. Safety inspections are required every two years|
|Maryland||An emissions test is required every two years, and new residents also need to pass a vehicle safety inspection|
|Massachusetts||A safety inspection and emissions test is required once a year|
|Missouri||An emissions test is required for non-exempt vehicles in metropolitan areas that are considered to have air quality worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards|
|Nevada||An emissions test is required before every yearly registration renewal as well as for most original vehicle registrations|
|New Hampshire||An emissions test and safety inspection are required for first-time vehicle registrations and annual registration renewals|
|New Jersey||An emissions test is required for certain vehicles, including commercial vehicles|
|New Mexico||An emissions test is required for many original registration and annual registration renewals for vehicles registered in Bernalillo County|
|New York||A a safety inspection and an emissions test is required in order to receive an original registration or for an annual registration renewal|
|North Carolina||An emissions test is required for vehicles registered in 48 counties|
|Ohio||An emissions test is required for certain vehicles registered in qualified counties every two years|
|Oregon||An emissions test is required in Portland and Medford before receiving your original vehicle registration and before every two-year registration renewal|
|Pennsylvania||An emissions test and safety inspection are required for non-exempt vehicles when getting your original vehicle registration or you can complete an annual registration renewal in eligible counties|
|Rhode Island||An emissions test and safety inspection are required within five days of your original registration or biennial registration renewal|
|Tennessee||An emissions test is required in certain counties before you can obtain a vehicle registration or registration renewal|
|Texas||An emissions test is required for most gas vehicles registered in certain counties and safety inspections are required for all vehicles|
|Utah||A safety inspection and emissions test is required in order to obtain a vehicle registration or registration renewal|
|Vermont||An emissions test and safety inspection are required for all non-exempt vehicles to obtain a vehicle registration or registration renewal|
|Virginia||A safety inspection is required for all vehicles and an emissions test is required for most gas and diesel vehicles registered in eligible counties|
|Washington||An emissions test is required for non-exempt gas and diesel vehicles registered in eligible counties in order to obtain their original tabs, and then again every two years|
|Wisconsin||An emissions test is required for most gas and diesel vehicles registered in eligible counties in order to obtain an original registration, and then again every two years during registration renewal|
A car inspection can cost anywhere between $7 and $90, depending on the kind of inspection you need and where you live. In Texas, a safety inspection costs $7, and $40 for commercial vehicles. But in Massachusetts, a yearly inspection costs $35 for most vehicles.
You can contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or an equivalent agency to find out about the cost of an inspection. For California residents, the state DMV website has a convenient calculator to help you determine the cost of an inspection for your car.
Yes, your car insurance company will pay for a claims inspection. You may be required to get a claims inspection when you file a car insurance claim for damage. If your claim is accepted, you’ll be assigned a claims adjuster who will examine your car and determine the cost to repair the damage.
They will take a look at the parts of the vehicle damaged in the accident and make sure there was no pre-existing damage to the car, since it would not be covered by the claim. The goal of a claims inspection is essentially to figure out how much your car insurance company owes you for the damage to your vehicle.
No, you generally do not need a safety inspection or an emissions test to buy car insurance, but you may need one to drive legally in your state. To buy car insurance, all you need to do is figure out what coverage you want and how much of it you need, fill out an application, compare quotes, and pick a car insurance company.
Car inspections are required by certain states because they ensure that your vehicle is safe enough to drive on the road, or that it meets environmental standards.
A fully electric vehicle is likely to be exempt from an emissions test because it does not operate on gasoline. But, depending on the state you live in, your electric vehicle may be required to pass a safety inspection in order to make sure that your seatbelts, gear, and other moving parts within the car are safe.
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