What Should I Know About Car Safety Inspections in Missouri?

According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, every resident must complete regular vehicle inspections. These include checks for safety as well as for smog and emission levels. The goal of these mandatory inspections is to keep Missouri’s roadways safe from vehicles in disrepair that can cause accidents. If you’re new to Missouri, you need to understand what to expect during car safety inspections.

Who Has to Do Safety Inspections?

Every vehicle owner in Missouri has to undergo a vehicle safety inspection. New residents to the state have 30 days to register a vehicle – something you can’t do without a vehicle safety inspection. If you live in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Franklin County, or Jefferson County, you must also secure an emission inspection before you register a vehicle.

If you want to renew your Missouri vehicle registration, your notice may state that you need a vehicle safety inspection first. If this is the case, you can’t get the inspection earlier than 60 days before the day you renew. Selling a vehicle also requires that you get a safety inspection if your current certificate is more than 60 days old. If you get into an accident or a law enforcement officer orders one, you also have to get an inspection.

The only vehicles exempt from inspections are those newer than five years old, those that weigh over 26,000 pounds, trailers, vehicles with historic plates, those sold for salvage or junk, and low-speed vehicles. The model year of your vehicle determines your inspection date. If you have an even model year vehicle, you must get an inspection in even calendar years. Odd vehicle models need inspections in odd calendar years.

What Do Inspections Cover?

Vehicle safety inspections in Missouri look at the major components of your vehicle, inside and out. The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) regulates the safety inspection program and inspects various parts of your vehicle for safety compliance. This includes:

  • Brake system
  • Exhaust system
  • Fuel system
  • Tires
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Car lights
  • Windshield and windows
  • Seat belts
  • Bumpers
  • Airbags

If the MSHP finds that any components of your vehicle are not up to code, you must make repairs according to the results of the inspection before you can legally drive your vehicle. The law allows you to drive your vehicle to and from the shop, but nowhere else until you pass your safety inspection. You can have repairs done at any mechanic, however, choose a Missouri Recognized Repair Technician if you need extensive repairs and an inspection waiver.

what to know about auto inspections in Missouri

How Much Does It Cost?

Vehicle safety inspections are relatively inexpensive for resident convenience – not including any repairs your vehicle needs to qualify for a certificate. Motor vehicle inspection fees vary between shops, but state law caps the charge at $12 for vehicles and trucks and $10 for motorcycles. Smog and emission evaluations cap at $24 for all vehicles. If you fail your tests, a retest is free if you complete it within 20 business days at the same station.

Why Do Safety Inspections Matter?

The point of car safety inspections is not to penalize drivers with vehicles that need repairs, but to enhance the overall safety of Missouri’s roadways. State regulations that control the state of vehicles on the roadways help reduce the number of accidents faulty vehicles cause.

Contact a Kansas City Car Accident Attorney

If you were involved in an auto accident in Missouri, the Kansas City car accident attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC can meet with you to discuss the possibility of the other driver being at fault for driving a vehicle in a state of disrepair. If a driver is negligent in keeping up with their safety inspections, and this negligence contributes to an accident, you can receive compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.