• Kenneth Powell

Do I Need a Vehicle Inspection in Missouri?

Many consider driving an essential skill. Since a vehicle makes daily life more convenient, around 84.6% of people in the US are licensed. However, a person needs to fulfill several requirements before they’re able to get behind the wheel.

First, they must pass a driver’s exam and acquire a license. (Learn what disqualifies you from getting a CDL in Missouri) After getting a valid driver’s permit, they must also get their vehicle inspected. Vehicle inspections are routine checkups that ensure a vehicle complies with government regulations regarding safety and emissions.

While the majority of US states require all vehicles to have a valid inspection certificate, this isn’t the case across the board. What’s more, some states require only safety inspections, while others mandate vehicles pass both safety and emissions checks. For example, Missouri has specific stipulations about what kind of inspection a vehicle must pass.

Therefore, drivers must inform themselves if they need a vehicle inspection in Missouri before safely heading on the road.


What Is a Vehicle Inspection

What Is a Vehicle Inspection


While driving is a necessity for many, it can also be hazardous. Around 6 million US citizens get into traffic accidents per year, with around 90 people dying in car crashes every day. The vast majority of crashes happen because of human error. Nonetheless, around 12% of all accidents happen because of mechanical failure.

Many US states require vehicles to pass safety inspections before they’re allowed on the road to minimize the danger. The inspection involves a mechanic checking to see if the vehicle has fully functioning equipment such as:

● Working taillights

● Fully-functioning brakes

● An intact windshield

● Working seatbelts

● Tires that are in good condition

● No fluid leaks

● Good steering alignment

Depending on the state, a driver will have to get their vehicle inspected once every two years. However, there are exceptions. For example, if the vehicle is less than ten years old, or has traveled less than 150,000 miles, then inspections aren’t mandatory.

Furthermore, vehicles manufactured over 25 years ago are also exempt from safety inspections. The same applies to trailers, RVs, or any other vehicle weighing more than 8,500 pounds.

Nevertheless, even if inspections aren't legally required, most states still recommend drivers check their vehicles. Basic inspection costs between $10‒$25, which can be included in the registration cost. It’s a minuscule price to pay so that a driver stays safe on the road.


Safety Inspections vs. Emissions Inspections


Many states have introduced mandatory emissions inspections in light of the recent environmental crisis. Over 30 states now require vehicles to get regular smog checks. That includes measuring the number of pollutants present in a vehicle’s exhaust, such as:

● Hydrocarbons

● Oxygen

● Carbon monoxide

● Nitrogen oxides.

For the most part, emissions checks are supposed to offset the number of pollutants currently pumped into the air. However, they play a huge role in vehicle safety as well. For a vehicle to run smoothly, it needs to properly dispose of the byproducts of engine combustion. Therefore, an emissions inspection is what precisely a driver needs to ensure their safety and the safety of the environment.


Do I Need a Vehicle Inspection in Missouri?


In the US, a total of seven states don’t require vehicle inspections. However, Missouri isn’t one of them. The Show-Me State has very specific laws regarding vehicle inspections. All drivers must get an authorized service provider to inspect their vehicle every two years.

What’s more, if the driver got their title in another state, they will have to get their vehicle inspected in Missouri as well. Likewise, if they find themselves out of state when inspection time comes, they must send an affidavit explaining why they can't perform the mandatory checkup. What's more, they must do the inspection in the other state and send the valid inspection certificate as proof.

However, this only applies to safety inspections. Missouri laws on emissions inspections vary from county to county. For example, St. Louis county requires drivers to have valid safety and emissions inspection certificates to legally operate their vehicle. On the other hand, Franklin county has recently passed a law that will no longer require vehicles to have an emissions inspection certificate. The law will come to effect on July 1, 2022.

In summary, Missouri drivers are advised to get their vehicles inspected for safety. However, when it comes to emissions inspections, they should check if their county legally demands it.


If you want to know more about Missouri vehicle inspection laws, get in touch with a St Louis semi-truck accident attorney today. We can also help clients navigate how to get trucking authority in Missouri.