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Car inspection stickers have been around for a while. Most states require that your car has these all-important decals posted clearly to show that the required auto inspections are valid. However, most drivers agree that this is an aspect of owning a vehicle that they could do without. Luckily for them, it seems things might be changing as not all states require car inspections, and the list is growing.

Car decals for auto inspections aren’t required everywhere

Federal law first required auto inspections in 1966 as a part of the Highway Safety Act. However, some states had laws in place many years before this to make sure vehicles were up to par when it comes to safety, emissions, or even to ensure the car has the proper VIN. For example, Virginia has been requiring car inspections since 1933.

The frequency of auto inspections depends on the state
Inspection list | Tanya St

However, according to Good Car, 13 states don’t require inspection stickers for your car. Still, even some of these states require an inspection for out-of-state cars needing registration. Texas will soon join the list as drivers won’t need them starting in 2025.

Additionally, Louisiana recently had a bill on the table that would take away the requirement for auto inspections. However, it seems to have stalled at the time of writing. As of August of 2023, Pennsylvania was considering getting rid of auto inspections as well.

How serious are inspection stickers?

Inspections serve a purpose even if there are other ways to ensure vehicles maintain proper safety. Currently, most auto impactions check a few key areas of the vehicle. Typically, these include the windshield, brakes, mirrors, lights, and tires. However, states’ requirements may vary. Additionally, the frequency of car inspections is dependent on the state.

So what happens to people caught driving with expired inspection stickers? This typically results in a traffic citation. Of course, the cost depends on the state. For example, it’s $100 for a first time offense in Virginia. Of course, this is far more expensive than the inspection sticker itself. However, drivers should also know that there can be a range in prices for car inspections based on the state.

Still, this is one of those things where not all states see an importance and many feel the system is flawed and already lets many vehicles slip through the cracks. This is because many would agree that there are too many cars on the road for this system to continue to be effective in its current form. However, despite some states not seeing the need for them, it doesn’t seem like the inspection sticker is going anywhere anytime soon in most places.