What Missouri Motorcycle Safety Inspections Are Required?

If you wish to register a new motorcycle or renew your motorcycle’s license plate in Missouri, state law requires you to pass a safety inspection first. This legal requirement is meant to better protect motorcyclists from preventable accidents, such as those caused by equipment breakdowns and bike malfunctions. Here’s what you need to know about Missouri’s motorcycle safety inspection requirement.

Motorcycle Crash Facts

Motorcyclists in Missouri are at a higher risk of suffering serious injuries in vehicle collisions than traditional drivers. Motorcyclists do not have the safety equipment or protections that come with standard passenger vehicles, such as airbags and seat belts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in collisions and 4 times more likely to be injured. In an effort to prevent motorcycle accidents in Missouri, state lawmakers passed a special vehicle inspection requirement for these road users.

Proof of a Passed Safety Inspection Required

Every year in Missouri, motorcycle accidents occur that can be traced back to a bike in poor condition. Even a minor maintenance problem with a motorcycle could lead to a devastating crash, such as the rider losing control of the bike mid-ride due to a tire blowout or steering issues. Preventative maintenance is the best way to stop these accidents from happening. Missouri has taken a proactive stance on this by requiring regular safety inspections.

Before a motorcycle owner in Missouri can register a new motorcycle or renew an existing motorcycle license plate, he or she must show proof of a passed safety inspection from an authorized inspection station. To pass the inspection, the motorcycle must be in good working order and possess all of the required motorcycle equipment. This includes working brakes and lights.

If a motorcycle does not pass its safety inspection, the owner must pay for repairs as necessary until the bike is up to code before it can be ridden. The owner cannot register the vehicle or renew the plate until it receives passing marks on the inspection. Motorcycles must be periodically reinspected when the inspection expires. Motorcycles with an even model year are inspected in even years, while those with odd model years are inspected in odd years.

What Does a Motorcycle Safety Inspection Involve?

Motorcyclists can read the full text of Missouri’s inspection requirement law in the Missouri Code of Regulations Section 11 CSR 50-2.330. This law lists the specific standards and procedures for a motorcycle safety inspection. It tells inspectors when a vehicle shall pass the inspection and when the vehicle must be rejected. The areas of a motorcycle that will be checked during a safety inspection include:                                     

  • Air pollution control device
  • Brake light and turn signals
  • Brake efficiency
  • Exhaust system and muffler
  • Frame and handlebars
  • Fuel tank and fuel line connections
  • Headlight(s)
  • Horn
  • Master cylinder fluid level
  • Shock absorbers
  • Steering mechanism
  • Tail light(s) and reflectors
  • Wheel bearings
  • Wheels, tires and rims
  • Windshield

Not all motorcycles will have all of these pieces of equipment depending on the year, make and model of the vehicle. Authorized inspectors will adjust their procedures based on the motorcycle. Safety inspections are important not only to comply with Missouri law but for the safety of the rider. Making sure all of these parts are present and in proper working order ensures that a motorcycle is roadworthy and will not break down in the middle of a ride.

How to Get a Motorcycle Safety Inspection

If you recently purchased a motorcycle, moved to Missouri or need to renew your motorcycle’s license plate, you can find a list of all authorized motorcycle inspection stations in the state on the Department of Highway Patrol’s website. An inspection costs $10 for motorcycles, but you may end up spending more if your bike requires repairs to pass. You may need to take your motorcycle to a different shop or location for the necessary repairs. Then, you can return to the same inspection location for a second attempt.

Contact Dickerson Oxton today to schedule a free consultation with a Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney for help navigating Missouri motorcycle state policy.

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