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State Inspection

Gardner Automotive Repair is both a State certified Inspection station and an authorized emission repair facility. Why risk getting a ticket for a failed inspection. Come to Gardner Automotive Repair and get it all done at once.

Here are the Massachusetts State Requirements:

Massachusetts requires every vehicle registered in the state to have a current vehicle inspection sticker visibly displayed to be legally driven on state roadways. The vehicle check program is jointly administered by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and it consists of two parts:

  • Safety inspection.
  • Smog check and emissions testing.

The Massachusetts RMV requires inspection stickers to be renewed every year.

MA Safety & Emissions Inspections Requirements

You must complete a vehicle inspection if:

  • Your current vehicle inspection sticker is about to expire (the inspection must be completed by the end of the month in which your sticker expires).
  • You just moved to the state and you want to register your vehicle for the first time with the Massachusetts RMV. You must complete inspection within 7 days of registering your vehicle.
  • You just purchased a used vehicle (make sure to complete the inspection within 7 days of completing your registration).
  • You bought a new car and the dealer did not provide you with an inspection sticker (Inspection must be completed within 7 days if required).

The vehicle inspection fee is currently $35.

About the MA Vehicle Inspection Program

Vehicles must undergo both safety and emissions inspections as part of the Massachusetts vehicle inspection program. This way, the RMV ensures that each vehicle on the road is in acceptable driving condition, does not pose a threat to other motorists, and is doing the least amount of environmental harm.

Vehicle Safety Inspection

The vehicle safety inspection takes roughly 12 minutes to complete, and Gardner Automotive Repair will look at 14 aspects on your vehicle, including:

  • Visual overview of your registration certificate, vehicle identification number (VIN), and license plate stickers.
  • Steering and suspension.
  • All rearview mirrors.
  • Brake test (both parking and service brake).
  • Exhaust system (muffler and smoke check).
  • Glass, glazing, and windshield wipers.
  • Vehicle lighting (e.g. headlights, turn signals, brake lights, etc.)
  • Tires and wheels.
  • Fuel tank, fenders, and bumper.
  • Gas cap.
  • Vehicle height (if altered).
  • Airbags.
  • Seat belts.
  • Horn.

If your vehicle fails any portion of the safety inspection, you must have repairs completed immediately, Gardner Automotive Repair is an authorized emissions repair facility.

MA Emissions Inspection

There are two different types of emissions tests for different vehicles: the on-board diagnostic test, and the opacity (or “tailpipe”) test.

On-Board Diagnostic Test

The on-board diagnostic emissions test (OBD) checks your vehicle’s computer communication system, Check Engine light, testing readiness, and engine and emissions control data, among others. The test takes about 3 minutes to complete.

You may also review the vehicle check’s emissions test results program for additional information regarding:

  • The type of test your vehicle must complete.
  • How your results should compare with other vehicles.
  • Common forms of OBD failures for your particular vehicle model.

Vehicle Inspection Failures and Waivers

If you fail any portion of the vehicle inspection—the safety inspection, emissions test, or both—a rejection sticker will be affixed to your windshield. You will have 60 days to successfully complete a retest after addressing the issues that prevented your vehicle from passing its initial inspection. However, you can still be pulled over and ticketed within this 60-day period (see “Safety Inspection Failure” below).

Depending on which portion of the vehicle check you failed, you may have to meet some additional requirements before your vehicle will pass its retest (see below).

Safety Inspection Failure

While you have 60 days to complete the retest, it is illegal for you to drive a car that failed a safety inspection, which means that at any time you could be pulled over and issued a traffic ticketYou MUST have repairs done to your vehicle as soon as possible in order to avoid being ticketed.

Therefore, if you fail the safety test, you should:

  • Get your car fixed immediately.
  • Keep all receipts for the repairs that were made to your vehicle.
  • Submit your vehicle for its retest as soon as possible.

There are no waivers for failing the safety test. If your vehicle can’t pass the safety test, you can’t register it.