How often must I get a vehicle inspection?

All vehicles registered in New York State must get a safety inspection and an emissions inspection every 12 months. Both inspections are also required when the ownership of a vehicle is transferred. (Some vehicles are exempt from emissions inspections.) Both inspections are done at the same time by a DMV-certified inspector at privately-owned inspection stations licensed by DMV.

If you buy a vehicle from a NYS dealer, the dealer must have the vehicle inspected. The inspections must occur no more than 30 days before the vehicle is delivered to you.

You receive an inspection extension if you buy or get a vehicle from an out-of-state source. After you register the vehicle in NYS, you are allowed ten days to complete the vehicle inspections. Any inspection issued to the previous registrant is not valid after you register the vehicle.

If you become a resident of NYS and register your vehicle in NYS, your out-of-state inspection remains valid. The out-of-state certificate or inspection sticker issued in your name is valid until it expires, or for one year after the vehicle is registered in NYS, whichever comes first. When your out-of-state inspection expires, you must get the vehicle inspected in NYS.

Where can I get a vehicle inspected?

You must have a vehicle inspected at a DMV-registered inspection station. These inspection stations display a yellow and black sign that reads, "Official Inspection Station."

Is there a penalty if I do not get an inspection?

      1. You cannot renew your vehicle registration.Inspection stations electronically send a record of all emissions inspections to the DMV. The DMV must have a record that your vehicle passed emissions inspection during the previous year. Keep the receipt of your emissions inspection sticker to prove that your vehicle was inspected.

      2. You can receive a fine.If the inspection sticker on your vehicle has expired in the past 60 days, you can receive a fine of $25 to $50. If the inspection sticker is expired more than 60 days, the fine is between $50 and $100. If there is no inspection sticker, the fine is between $50 and $100. Mandatory state surcharges of $55, plus additional fees, are added to the fine.

      3. You can receive a parking ticket.A parked vehicle with no inspection sticker, or with an expired inspection sticker, can receive a parking ticket.

What is the fee for a NYVIP inspection?

In the Upstate Area, the total fee for a NYVIP safety and emissions inspection is $21. In the NYCMA, the total fee for a NYVIP safety and emissions inspection is $37.

What is the warning light on my dashboard that displays the words, "Check Engine", or similar words? What can I do if the warning light illuminates?

The warning light is the malfunction indicator light (MIL) of the OBDII system. The color of the MIL is red or yellow. The MIL can display the words, "check engine soon", "service engine soon", or words that are similar. The MIL on some vehicle displays the image of an engine with the word, "check".

The MIL normally illuminates when you insert the key and turn the vehicle ignition toward the position that starts the vehicle engine. If there is no problem, the MIL does not remain illuminated while the engine operates. If you start your engine and the MIL remains illuminated, the OBDII system has found a problem.

The problem may reduce fuel efficiency, increase air pollution, or cause harm to the engine. Take your vehicle to a qualified automotive technician to determine the severity of the problem and if service or repairs are required. Normally the illumination of the MIL is not an indication of a malfunction that requires immediate attention, but an unresolved malfunction may lead to more serious problems or costly repairs.

To indicate a possible serious malfunction, the MIL flashes on and flashes off while the engine operates. Take your vehicle to an automotive technician immediately, and only operate your vehicle if necessary. Do not operate your vehicle at fast speeds, and do not use your vehicle to carry or tow a heavy load.

What if the NYS inspection expires while my vehicle is in another state?

Contact the motor vehicle authorities in that state. Determine if an expired out-of-state inspection is a violation of motor vehicle law in that state. Ask the authorities if a NYS inspection extension sticker prevents a ticket for the violation. A NYS inspection extension allows you 10 days from the date the vehicle returns to NYS to get a NYS inspection done.

When you request the extension, allow 14 days for the DMV to process and mail your extension sticker. You need to receive the extension sticker before you return your vehicle to New York.

To receive an inspection extension, send the following information:

      your name and current out-of-state mailing address

      the year and make of your vehicle

      your NYS vehicle plate number

      your inspection sticker number and expiration date.

Mail the information to:

Inspection Extension
Bureau of Consumer and Facility Services
Division of Vehicle Safety Services
P.O. Box 2700-ESP
Albany, NY 12220-0700

When you receive your extension sticker:

       Do not put the extension sticker on your windshield while your vehicle is out of state.

       Keep the sticker and the instructions in your vehicle to show to an out-of-state police officer.

       The sticker is not a guarantee that a police officer will not issue a traffic ticket.

       There will be no record of an inspection on the NYSDMV computerized registration files. You cannot renew the registration if there is no       DMV computer record of an inspection within the last 12 months. If you must renew the registration before you get a NYS inspection, call       1-518-402-2111.

After you return your vehicle to NYS:

       Write the date the vehicle returned to NYS on the extension sticker.

       Attach the sticker to your windshield.

       Get a NYS inspection within 10 days.