What if my car fails the vehicle inspection?

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The grid below highlights how your state requires you to handle a failed vehicle inspection.

Generally, you’ll need to make the necessary repairs and return the vehicle for another inspection. However, some states offer perks such as free re-inspections for returning the vehicle within a certain amount of time and/or to the same auto inspection station.

In addition to taking advantage of any freebies your state offers, it’s important to make the repairs and return for a re-inspection in a timely manner in order to handle vehicle registration or registration renewal on time, as well as avoid late fees, citations, and other penalties.

NOTE: If the grid states you don’t have to get a vehicle inspection in your state, be sure to double-check with your motor vehicle licensing agency. Some states do require certain kinds of inspections, such VIN inspections before registering out-of-state vehicles, salvage vehicles that have been rebuilt, or custom-built vehicles, or emissions inspections.

Alabama Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Alaska Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Arizona Make the necessary repairs and have the vehicle re-inspected.
Arkansas Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
California Make the necessary repairs and have the vehicle re-inspected.
Colorado Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Connecticut Make repairs and return for a re-inspection within 30 days. The first re-inspection is free.
Delaware Obtain a temporary registration to give you time to make necessary repairs.
Florida Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Georgia Make the necessary repairs and take advantage of a free re-inspection within 30 days.
Hawaii Make the necessary repairs and have the vehicle re-inspected.
Idaho Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Illinois Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Indiana Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Iowa Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Kansas Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Kentucky Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Louisiana Make the necessary repairs and have the vehicle re-inspected.
Maine You have 60 days to make repairs and have a free re-inspection. You can’t drive during that time, and if you fail to make the repairs and have the vehicle re-inspected you face registration suspension and a citation.
Maryland Make the necessary repairs and have the same inspector at the same station conduct the re-inspection. If you do this within 30 days and drive fewer than 1,000 miles, on the original problems must be re-inspected. Re-inspection fee varies with the station’s labor rate.
Massachusetts Make the necessary repairs and have the vehicle re-inspected.
Michigan Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Minnesota Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Mississippi Make the necessary repairs and have the vehicle re-inspected.
Missouri Make the necessary repairs and have the vehicle re-inspected.
Montana Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Nebraska Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Nevada Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
New Hampshire Make the necessary repairs and have the vehicle re-inspected.
New Jersey You’ll receive a report that lists the problems. Make the necessary repairs within the month following the first inspection.
New Mexico Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
New York You have 30 days to make repairs and bring the vehicle to the same inspection station for a re-inspection (paying only for the safety part and not the emissions part); if you wait longer than 30 days or go to a different inspection station, your vehicle must have both inspections again and you must pay both fees.
North Carolina If the vehicle fails the safety inspection within 4 months of expiration, you could receive an official warning letter, be charged $250, and be unable to renew your registration until you make repairs and have a re-inspection.
North Dakota Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Ohio Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Oklahoma Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Oregon Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Pennsylvania Make the necessary repairs and have the vehicle re-inspected.
Rhode Island Both you and the Inspection Division will receive a rejection report. Make the necessary repairs and return for a free re-inspection of within 30 days.
South Carolina Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
South Dakota Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Tennessee Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Texas Make the necessary repairs and return to the station within 15 days for a free re-inspection.
Utah Make the necessary repairs and return to the station within 15 days for a free re-inspection.
Vermont Make the necessary repairs as reported on the OBD form and have the vehicle re-inspected.
Virginia Make the necessary repairs and have the vehicle re-inspected.
Washington Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
West Virginia Make the necessary repairs and return for a re-inspection within 5 days. You could be charged again.
Wisconsin Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Wyoming Vehicle inspections aren’t required.
Washington DC If repairs are minor, you’ll get a “pass with warning”; if major, you’ll get a failed inspection sticker, list of repairs to make, and must have the vehicle re-inspected within 20 days to avoid late re-inspection fees.

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