While the Environmental Protection Agency’s 1970 Clean Air Act spelled out the need for state safety and emissions inspections, individual states get to decide whether to require them.
In Missouri, the Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program (GVIP) regulates safety inspections. While there are some exemptions, you are generally required to get a state inspection every two years, or when the car is transferring ownership. If your car is five years old or newer, though, you don’t need a state inspection to renew your plates.
Let’s say you have a 2002 car. You need to get it inspected every 2 years, on an even calendar year, so 2004, 2006, 2008, etc. But, if you were to sell it in 2005, you’d need to get it inspected even though you got an inspection the year prior.
When it comes time for a state inspection, there are two distinct tests your licensed state inspector will perform:
- Smog and emissions state inspection
Smog and emissions tests are intended to monitor how effectively your exhaust system is at converting harmful exhaust fumes from your engine into less harmful exhaust fumes. A simple computer diagnostic test is sufficient to prove that your car is—or isn’t—up to code. For more information on smog and emissions tests, click here.
- Safety state inspection
During the state safety inspection, we’ll check for any safety threats. This includes a full inspection of your windshield. And your engine. And your brakes. And about 27 other things. The whole point of the state safety inspection is to ensure your car is safe to drive on the road ahead. For more information on state safety inspections, click here.