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What Is the New Massachusetts Vehicle Inspection Process?

The Gilbert team has some important information for car owners about the new Massachusetts state vehicle inspection process that went into effect on November 1, 2022. Here’s a rundown of what will be changing about the process and what will stay the same.

What’s changed about the Massachusetts state vehicle inspection process?

The most significant change to the state vehicle inspection process is in the way inspection stickers will now be given out.

In the past, if you took your car to get inspected and it passed, your old sticker was peeled off and you were given a new sticker. This new sticker would expire a year from the month you were getting the inspection done. For example, if you got your car inspected in July 2022, your new inspection sticker would expire in July 2023. It didn’t matter if you were getting your car inspection done on time or if you were late by a month or more. Your new inspection sticker’s expiration date would still be based off the month you were getting your car inspected, and you’d have a whole year before your next inspection was due.

But now, with the new process, you definitely do not want to delay getting your car inspected. From now on, the expiration date of new inspection stickers will be based off the date your old sticker expired. For example, if your car is due for inspection in October 2022, but you overlook getting it done until December, the new inspection sticker you get if your car passes will have an expiration date of October 2023. That would mean you only have 10 months until your vehicle must be inspected again.

The other change being made to the state vehicle inspection process has to do with the inspection report. In the past, car owners would receive a printed report after their car was inspected. This report would state whether the car passed or not and would include service recommendations from the technician. However, moving forward, if your car passes inspection, there will be no printout and if you want to see your car’s report, you will need to go online at Massachusetts Vehicle Check or scan the QR code on the poster displayed at the inspection site.

The only car owners who will receive a printed vehicle inspection report are those whose cars have failed.

What has not changed about the Massachusetts state vehicle inspection process?

There are many aspects of the state vehicle inspection process that will remain the same. For one, getting your inspection done will remain as convenient as ever. Across Massachusetts, there are 1,800 licensed inspection stations. You can find the one nearest you through the Massachusetts Vehicle Check Inspection Station Locator.

The fee for getting your car inspected will remain the same as well. For most personal use only vehicles in Massachusetts, the cost of inspection is $35. This is a fee regulated by the Commonwealth, so you don’t need to waste any time shopping around for a better deal.

Of course, if your car fails, you will probably incur some additional expenses to get it repaired to pass inspection. When your vehicle is fixed, if you bring it back to the same inspection station within 60 days of your initial inspection, you can get a retest for free. However, if you don’t meet that deadline or go to a different station, you will be required to pay the $35 inspection fee again.

Last but certainly not least, the penalty for failing to comply with the state’s vehicle inspection rules will remain the same. If you’re caught with an expired inspection sticker or no sticker at all, it is a traffic violation that typically comes with a $40 citation. This offense will also be on your driving record for six years, which is likely to result in a significant increase to your car insurance premium at renewal time. It can get worse than that if you don’t pay the ticket. In that case, the state may suspend your license and registration.

One thing that will never change is Gilbert being here to help car owners

Your Gilbert team strives to provide you with much more than just car insurance. As your local insurance professional, we will continue to make every effort to stay on top of any updates to the state’s road rules, like these Massachusetts state vehicle inspection process changes, because we want to do everything we can to help you avoid any of the consequences of noncompliance. For the most up-to-date information on trends and topics that could affect your car, home, business, and more, please regularly check our blog posts and our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages. You can also call us at (781) 942-2225 anytime you have questions about your insurance, to request a complimentary review of your current policies, or for help making an informed decision about coverage for the important parts of your life.

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