New York Car Inspection Requirements

If you operate a motor vehicle in the state of New York, you will need to get regular inspections every year. These inspections are necessary to protect the health of the environment and the safety of you and other drivers on the road. If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident in New York, a New York City car accident lawyer at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP can meet with you to discuss the possibility of the other driver being at fault for failing to keep up with safety inspections and driving a vehicle in a state of disrepair.

How Often Do You Need a Car Inspection in New York?

According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, you must get a safety inspection every 12 months. You also need to get an inspection when you transfer the ownership of your vehicle. At the end of your inspection, you will receive an inspection sticker that you must display on your vehicle.

If you do not get your car inspected, you will be subject to the following consequences:

  • The state of New York could fine you.
  • You could receive a parking ticket for not having an inspection sticker.
  • You cannot renew your vehicle registration.

At the time of your safety inspection, you will also receive an emissions inspection. You can only receive a vehicle inspection at a DMV-licensed station. You can identify a station by a black and yellow sign that states “Official Inspection Station.” You can find an inspection station on the DMV website.

Who Needs a Car Inspection in New York?

Every vehicle registered in New York must receive a car inspection every 12 months. The following vehicles may also need an inspection:

  • Vehicles owned by new state residents without a valid out-of-state inspection sticker
  • Cars purchased from a private sale (not a dealership)
  • Vehicles with a recent transfer of ownership
  • Vehicles with an inspection sticker that expires soon

New York does not grant safety exemptions. However, the following vehicles may be exempt from emissions inspections:

  • Vehicles less than 2 years old or older than 25 years old
  • Electric vehicles
  • Motorcycles
  • Diesel powered vehicles from 1997 to present that weigh under 8,501 pounds
  • Vehicles with a historical license plate
  • Vehicles that meet heavy safety inspection standards

Is There a Grace Period for Car Inspection in New York?

You can receive an extension for your car inspection if you are out of state when your inspection expires. The extension gives you 10 days from the date you return to New York to get an inspection. The DMV will process and mail your extension sticker within 14 days of your application receipt (you must apply before you return to New York). Depending on your state, you can protect your vehicle from tickets while out-of-state by placing this sticker on your windshield.

In order to receive your extension, you will need to mail the following information to the Bureau of Consumer and Facility Services in Albany:

  • Your name
  • Your out-of-state address
  • Your license plate number
  • Your vehicle’s year and make
  • Your current inspection sticker number and expiry date

How Much Is a Car Inspection in New York?

Safety inspection fees depend on the size and class of your vehicle. According to the New York DMV’s fee schedule:

  • Light vehicle safety inspection fees range from $10 to $15 depending on the vehicle’s weight.
  • Safety inspections for trailers under 18,001 pounds cost $6.
  • Heavy vehicle safety inspections cost $20.
  • Safety inspections for trailers over 18,000 pounds and all semi-trailers cost $12.
  • Safety inspections for motorcycles cost $6.

The New York DMV determines emissions inspection fees based on the age and weight of the vehicle:

  • Vehicles made from 1996 to present, weighing less than 8,501 pounds cost $27 to receive an emissions inspection within the New York metro area and $11 to receive an emissions inspection outside of the metro area.
  • Vehicles made in 1995 and before, and newer vehicles over 8,500 pounds cost $11 to receive an emissions inspection.

If you are unsure if your vehicle needs a car inspection, contact your local DMV office. In most cases, you must get an annual inspection or face consequences such as fines, denied registrations, and parking tickets.