Vehicle inspection is a procedure mandated by national or subnational governments in many countries, in which a vehicle is inspected to ensure that it conforms to regulations governing safety, emissions, or both. Inspection can be required at various times, e.g., periodically or on the transfer of title to a vehicle. If required periodically, it is often termed periodic motor vehicle inspection; typical intervals are every two years and every year. When a vehicle passes inspection, often a sticker (inspection decal or inspection sticker) is placed on the vehicle's windshield or registration plate to simplify later controls, but in some countries such a Netherlands since 2008 is not necessary anymore. Inspection stations are places to drive inside to see if a vehicle passes inspection once a vehicle is due for inspection. Most US inspection decals/stickers display the month's number and the year.
In some jurisdictions, proof of inspection is required before a vehicle license or license plate can be issued or renewed. In others, once a vehicle passes inspection, an inspection decal is attached to the windshield or registration plate, and police can enforce the inspection law by seeing whether the vehicle displays an up-to-date decal.
There are currently no requirements for vehicle inspections in Brazil. A new resolution from the Conselho Nacional de Trânsito (CONTRAN) will enforce mandatory vehicle inspections in the country by the end of 2019.
Safety testing regulations vary through the different provinces.
In Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, upon buying a car (new or used) only, a valid safety check must be done before it can be registered. Dealerships are required to provide the buyer with a new safety, while private sellers are not (if a private seller so chooses, they may pay for, and issue a new safety in order to make it more appealing to buy). In either case, if the vehicle bought has not had a safety test within the last year, the buyer must safety the vehicle before it can be registered with Manitoba Public Insurance, Service Ontario, or Service NL. From the point the car is registered, no safety test is required as long as the car remains with the current owner (however, if something goes wrong, auto mechanics, dealerships and the police have the right to refuse to let the client drive away with an unsafe car).
The provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island require annual safety inspections, in Nova Scotia, a safety inspection is required every two years for passenger vehicles and every year for heavy duty vehicles.
The provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and the northern territories (Yukon, North West Territories and Nunavut) usually no vehicle inspection or emissions test is required for passenger vehicles, unless the vehicle has been imported from another jurisdiction. Commercial vehicle requirements vary.
Mar 2008 "CAA-Quebec is recommending that the government implement mandatory inspections for motor vehicles more than eight years old, because this would result in significantly fewer emissions being produced by Quebec's automobiles."
In the United States, each state government is free to decide whether to require vehicle safety inspection, as well as the specifics of the inspection program. 18 states have a periodic (annual or biennial) safety inspection program, while Maryland requires an inspection prior to registration or transfer of ownership only. Several states have abolished their safety inspection programs in recent years, claiming that these programs do not reduce accidents and are merely a tax on vehicle owners.
Under the Clean Air Act (1990), states are required to implement vehicle emission inspection programs in metropolitan areas whose air quality does not meet federal standards. The specifics of those programs vary from state to state. Some states, including Florida, Kentucky and Minnesota, have discontinued their testing programs in recent years with approval from the federal government.
Under the Japanese shaken (車検) program, personal cars and 2 wheeled motorcycles have the first shaken (automobile inspection) last 3 years with every 2 years requiring a new shaken.
Chinese Rural Vehicle (CRV) operators can be fined by the police if their vehicle emits visible smoke. Regulations are established and enforced by province/economic region/city as appropriate. New vehicles must pass regulations (Euro spec) in effect on the day of manufacture. This aplies also in Hong Kong
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Cars are required to obtain a safety and emissions inspection every other year starting in the third model year, and annually after 10 model years. Motorcycles and mopeds must be inspected annually starting in the third model year. Buses, taxicabs, commercial vehicles, and trailers must be inspected every year or six months depending on the vehicle's age. An up to date inspection (if required) is needed to renew a vehicle's road tax.
Cars older than three years are required to have a yearly inspection as part of the car's license. A car which fails the inspection, must be fixed in seven days to be allowed to be driven on the road. The "Test" checks the following: vehicle and owner identification including vehicle registration plate; emissions; steering; underside; lights; brakes; wheel alignment. Cars older than fifteen years are considered "antique", and must be inspected every six months, and have additional inspection of the brakes done.
The EU Council Directive 96/96/EC of 20 December 1996 mandates all member states to carry out periodic safety and emission inspections for most types of motor vehicles. It also sets minimum requirements for those inspections and their intervals - for light commercial vehicles (up to 3.5 t) and private cars (up to 8 seats) the first inspection shall occur no later than 4 years and at a frequency of up to 2 years thereafter. All other types of vehicles shall be subject to yearly inspection (busses, vans, trucks, trailers, taxis, ambulances, coaches). Vehicles from the military and fire departments are exempted from the directive.
In Austria, all vehicles must undergo a "Wiederkehrende Begutachtung nach § 57a KFG" (recurring inspection under section 57a of the motor vehicle statute). A decal is placed on the vehicle's windscreen (usually the upper left-hand corner as seen from outside the vehicle), hence the inspection itself is colloquially referred to as "Pickerl" (literally: sticker). The color of the decal is white for vehicles with a catalytic converter, and green for vehicles without one. Punch holes indicate the month and year that the next inspection is due. The actual inspection can be carried out one month in advance of that date and up to four months after the date indicated on the decal; the vehicle remains roadworthy during that time. Unless the inspection is overdue in the sense just described, the roadworthiness certificate is transferable, meaning a potential new owner will get a new decal with the same date, but the corrected license plate number upon registration of her vehicle. However, the latest official inspection report has to be presented for this purpose to the authority issuing the new registration documents and license plates.
The first inspection on new passenger cars is required after three years, another one two years on, while thereafter passenger cars must pass the official inspection annually to remain roadworthy. Heavy trucks and motorcycles must undergo annual inspections from the very first year. Inspections are carried out by specially licensed garages and by Austria's two major automotive clubs. The Austrian motor vehicle inspection covers both aspects of vehicle safety and emissions standards.
In Belgium, vehicle inspections are known as autokeuring (Dutch) or contrôle technique (French). All cars over four years old must be tested annually, and before selling them on the second-hand market. This annual period may be extended to two years if the following apply: The vehicles passes the inspection and receives a green certificate, the vehicle has covered less than 100,000 km, the vehicle has been tested within its date limit and if the vehicle is less than six years old.
Commercial vehicles must undergo an annual test, immediately after the first registration. Cars that pass the inspection receive a green certificate, which must be carried in the vehicle at all times along with other required documentation. An inspection has three possible turnouts. If the car is approved, the owner gets a green card, possibly noting some small attention points. If the vehicle failed the inspection, a red card is given, which allows the owner to repair the car during the next two weeks, but doesn't prohibit the driver from using the car. In the worst case, the car isn't allowed on the road anymore, and has to be repaired immediately. Receiving a red card is not uncommon for older cars, so people often have to go two or more times to pass.
Vehicle inspection centers are private companies, and can be found throughout Belgium. A vehicle owner may choose their preferred inspection center, however if the vehicle fails inspection at one center, it must return to that same center for a retest within the two-week deadline.
Vehicles undergo a series of tests, including exhaust emissions, lights, suspension, brakes, tires, and checks for impairing vehicle body damage and rust, and a strict control of the required vehicle documents. The set of tests performed depends on the vehicle's class (such as passenger car, truck or classic car).
All cars must undergo an annual test. This test is conducted at accredited garages. This test is rather basic with only the brakes, lights and emissions being tested. Initial test is conducted in case of first registration and every change of registration in the traffic police stations (KAT). Cars newer than six years pass the test once per two years. Taxis and buses must be checked at every six months.
The National programme of road transport safety of the Republic of Croatia 2011-2020 (Croatian: Nacionalni program sigurnosti cestovnog prometa Republike Hrvatske 2011.-2020. godine) treats vehicle inspections as an important area of prevention of traffic accidents, and as a vessel for regular financing of road safety regulations. The annual vehicle inspections in Croatia (tehnički pregled) typically find unacceptable technical faults in about one fifth of all vehicles (as of 2013[update]). Based on the Law of Road Transport Safety, vehicles are inspected in specialized shops (stanica za tehnički pregled, lit. technical inspection station) as a precondition of registration, which is then finalized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The technical inspection stations also serve to control that vehicle insurance was obtained, that the road tax is paid, that the various taxes and levies on cars are duly paid, etc. They also collect various national statistics as well as enforce the payment of valid traffic violation fines.
Czech Republic requires emission inspection Měření emisí and safety inspection Technická kontrola every two years for passenger cars. New passenger cars have to obtain their first roadworthiness certificate after four years. Until the end of 2014, an emission inspection decal (green) and a safety inspection decal (red) was placed on the rear license plate, after a vehicle has passed both emission and technical inspections. The expiration month and year was punched in each decal. Since 2015 only the safety inspection decal (red) is placed on the rear license plate, as passing the emission inspection was a prerequisite for admission to the safety inspection.
Vehicle inspection (tehnoülevaatus) for cars with register mass less than 3500 kg is required in 3 years for a new car, every 2 years for cars less than 10 years old, and every year for cars over 10 years old. The inspection can be done at accredited vehicle inspectors.
Finland has a long tradition of vehicle inspection, dating back to year 1917. Vehicle inspection was initially carried by cities and provincial inspectors but starting from year 1968 the inspection moved to national governing body of road vehicle administration known as Autorekisterikeskus. In 1994 the vehicle inspection was opened for competition and in 1996 Autorekisterikeskus was split as administrative body Ajoneuvohallintokeskus (AKE) and inspection company Suomen Autokatsastus Oy. Nowadays, Liikenteen Turvallisuusvirasto TraFi, the successor of Ajoneuvohallintokeskus since beginning of the 2010, governs the inspection companies and keeps track of inspection quality and the inspections are carried by private companies. During the years, the inspection procedures and facilities have improved greatly and nowadays the quality of inspection is on such level that mechanical failures as immediate cause for fatal crashes in whole country are minimal.
In Finland, the "Määräaikaiskatsastus" (periodic inspection) is required for all passenger cars, vans, trucks, ATVs and for trailers with maximum structural weight of more than 750 kilograms. Inspection interval depends on vehicle class and usage. For privately used passenger car, inspection must be carried after three and five years counting from the specified date of first deployment and every year after fifth year. For privately used van, the first inspection must be carried after three years and every year after third year. If there is no specified date of first deployment (for instance 00.00.1987) the time of inspection is determined by the last number of license plate. The inspection period also varies depending on vehicle class and usage but for privately used passenger cars and vans the length of the period is four months preceding the date specified in date of first deployment or four months preceding the last date of inspection specified by the license plate number.
The periodic inspection includes verification of vehicle register information (VIN, taxes, insurance), a test drive, brake testing, inspection of lights and compulsory equipment, superficial inspection for visibility and handling hindrances and bodywork, undercarriage inspection for suspension parts and corrosion and emission measurements (requirements vary depending on propellant and date of first deployment). The emission measurement can be taken on a registered repair shop prior to the inspection. If done so, a proper measurement certificate must be shown at inspection. Upon passed inspection, a new "Part one" of registration certificate is printed and handed to customer among with inspection report. If inspection fails, the faults found during the inspection must be repaired and the vehicle needs to be shown at the same inspection station for "Jälkitarkastus" (recheck) within one month of the inspection.
Vehicle testing has been mandatory in France since 1992. The first inspection (Contrôle Technique) is carried out after four years then subsequently every two years. A blue and white CT sticker affixed inside the windscreen indicates when the next test is due. A less than 6 month valid CT is required prior to transfer of ownership.
Motorcycles do not require testing in France.
Passenger cars must pass a safety and emission inspection after three years for new cars, and then every two years. Heavy duty vehicles need to be inspected every year, motorcycles every two years. The inspection can be performed by various organizations, such as TÜV, DEKRA, KÜS, GTÜ.
After a vehicle has passed the inspection, a safety inspection decal is placed on the rear license plate. The emission inspection decal was placed on the front license plate until it was phased out in 2010 and integrated into the safety inspection. The decal is placed with the number of the expiration month pointing to the top, and the colour of the decal changes every year. That way, the date of expiry can be checked at a glance and from far away, hence the black mark around the 12.
In Greece every passenger vehicle is required to undergo an inspection after four years from purchase (if new) and then every two years. Taxis, learner vehicles and heavy transport vehicles must undergo an inspection every year. Inspection centers can be either public or private companies. Private vehicle technical control centres (P-VTCC or I-KTEO in Greek) had to be accredited according to ISO 17020 standard. This requirement changed and P-VTCCs must be certified according to ISO 9001:2008 standard.
In Hungary every vehicle is required to be tested (technical test, Műszaki vizsga) for road worthiness and emission. In case of passenger cars the first inspection is after four years for new vehicles, and every two years afterwards. Inspection decals are placed on the rear license plate, and it is also documented in the vehicle's registration document. Recently checks are recorded electronically and stickers are no longer used.
In Ireland, the National Car Test (NCT) is required for cars four or more years of age to be inspected for various items, such as brakes, lighting, bodywork condition, emissions, etc. A disc which must be displayed on the windscreen is issued to cars that pass the test. The disc is valid for two year and then every one year after the car has reached 10 years in age, after which the car must then be retested.
A Certificate of Roadworthiness is required for goods vehicles, or vehicles carrying more than eight passengers (buses). This is commonly referred to as a "DOE" cert and the test is carried out in approved garages.
Vehicles with a total weight of under 3.5 t must have their first inspection after four years, and then every two years. Buses, taxicabs and ambulances are inspected every year. 
The inspection can be done by authorized inspection-garages which are located in many towns. The inspection focuses on safety, especially tires, brakes, lights, horn, but since a few years the inspection on emission became tougher. After a successful test the garage will print out a sticker with the title "esito regolare" and the date when the inspection was made which has to be stuck on the vehicle title branding (carta di circolazione). The inspection costs between 45 and €70 (depending on the county-taxes).
In the Netherlands the "Algemene Periodieke Keuring" (APK) or General Periodical Inspection is mandatory for vehicles aging 3 – 50 years. The inspection of vehicles up to 30 years old is annual, biennial for vehicles from 30–50 years old, older vehicles are exempt. The inspection includes conforming to safety and emission standards in force in the year of first introduction of the car. Registration is all digital and public, there are no longer visible stickers or decals on the vehicle, and since July 2008 the paper inspection report does not need to be carried in the car anymore.
In Norway, the vehicle inspection is called "Periodisk Kjøretøykontroll", which translates to "Periodic vehicle inspection", although it is commonly referred to as "EU kontroll", for its origin from the European Union. When a car is four years old it must undergo its first inspection. After this, inspections will be required every second year. Buses, taxicabs and ambulances are inspected every year. The inspection focuses on safety and emission. After the inspection is completed, the owner will be given a check list with errors that must be repaired before the vehicle can pass. If the car only have errors marked with 1, or none errors at all, the car will pass immediately. The errors are rated depending on how dangerous they are, with the grades of 1, 2 and 3. Errors marked with 1 will not require a re-inspection. Errors marked with 2 will require a re-inspection, but the owner can use the car until the inspection deadline. Errors marked with 3 are very rare, and prohibits the user from using the car until those errors are repaired.
The inspection cost is usually between 75-130 US dollars (400-700 Norwegian Kroner). Vehicles may be inspected at garages approved by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA). Without a passed inspection, the license plates will be withdrawn and the car will no longer be street legal. The police and the NPRA are checking license plates at a regular interval to check if the car has passed the inspection, if the road tax is paid and the car is insured.
In Poland there's an annual inspection requirement for most vehicles. New passenger car vehicles (of age four or less) have to be inspected according to the following intervals 3-2-1 years. Inspections are performed by accredited garages. The inspection includes checking of main car systems like brakes, suspension, lights and steering, as well as emission and presence of mandatory equipment. An additional, separate inspection is required for cars that are running on autogas. Pass of inspection is confirmed in registration certificates. When a car does not pass the inspection, the owner is requested to fix the cause and then pass subsequent inspection. A registration certificate may be also revoked in case the vehicle is in fatal technical condition.
Driving a car without valid inspection is subject to a fine.
Romanian vehicles must pass a periodic inspection between six months and two years depending of the age of the car, which is called "Inspectie Tehnica Periodica" (ITP)
In Russia all vehicles must pass a periodic inspection ensuring their road worthiness that includes the adherence to the respective regulations. To pass the inspection the vehicle must not exceed the mandated emission level (currently Euro-3), the brakes must have no leaks and the brake forces must be symmetrical, steering slip must not exceed the mandated parameters (from 10° for cars to 25° for heavy trucks), all lights must provide the required color, aim and brightness of the emitted light, and the vehicle must be equipped with the first aid kit, fire extinguisher and the emergency stop sign. The windshield must have a functional washer, and while window tinting is allowed, including the blinds on the windshield and rear window, they must pass the required amount of light.
To pass the inspection a driver must get to a police vehicle registration center or an authorized service station and present a vehicle for inspection. If the vehicle passes, then the driver would receive a certificate of worthiness that must be presented to the insurance company to obtain the compulsory vehicle insurance. The lack of the valid insurance certificate or driving with the elapsed one is subject to heavy fines and eventual revocation of the driver's license. The test periodicity varies with the type of vehicle. Commercial buses (defined as vehicles that carry >8 persons aside from a driver) and oversize/dangerous cargo trucks must be inspected each six months, heavy trucks (>3.5 tons loaded weight) are inspected annually, while the new cars, bikes and light trucks (< 3.5 tons) must be first inspected after three years, then bi-annually until they are seven years old, after which the inspections become annual.
Spanish vehicles are required to undergo an Inspección Técnica de Vehículos, better known as the ITV. Private civilian vehicles must be revised after fiur years from the date of their first registration and afterwards must be revised every two years until ten years; Afterwards, they must be revised annually. An inspection sticker must be placed on upper right side of the vehicle's windshield, and yearly change the colour in order make more easy to control it.
Slovakia requires safety inspection technická kontrola and emission inspection emisná kontrola every two years for passenger cars. New passenger cars have to obtain their first roadworthiness certificate after four years. Heavy duty vehicles need to be presented to the safety inspection every year. The safety inspection and emission inspection decals is placed on the front glass (right down).
The road worthiness of cars is tested for the first time after three years, the second time two years later, and thereafter once every year. For cars classified as veteran/classic cars (currently occurring when the car reaches age 30), road worthiness is tested every second year. Since July 2010 the inspection can be performed by any vehicle inspection body accredited by SWEDAC.
Until 2008 the vehicle inspection was limited to administrative checks (whether all taxes have been paid) and a visual check if the car matches the documents. In August 2005 the Turkish government decided to introduce a vehicle inspection scheme following the directive 96/96/EC of the European Union. Since there was no technical equipment available for real roadworthiness tests a contract was laid out with the German TÜV SÜD that was presenting itself for the task in syndication with two Turkish corporations. The TÜV Türk trust is given a monopoly on car inspection for 20 years. Beginning with 2009 the TÜV test is mandatory for all cars with the inspection scheme to follow the German inspection scheme - however there is a transition period up to 2013 where established TÜV regulations are not followed as strictly as in mainland Europe. The shift in vehicle inspection policies is nevertheless rather sharp - since the old vehicle inspection service was strickened with corruption no staff members were taken over to the TÜV Süd, the internal inspection protocol is stricter than in Germany as to prevent any corruption. The introduction of the TÜV was accompanied with a strong propaganda program to agitate the requirement for a modern inspection scheme (e.g. the number of fatal road accidents was three times as high as in mainland Europe despite most of the country to be very rural). Additionally, it is expected that the connection with the German Turks allows for most citizens to have some knowledge how to cope with the TÜV inspection scheme. Also, private vehicle inspection company otorapor.com is inspecting vehicles. Otorapor is doing 150 point inspection and 99 point inspection.
The MOT test (from Ministry of Transport, the former name of the Department for Transport) is a mandatory annual test of safety, road worthiness and exhaust emissions for vehicles over three years old. It is enforced by linking the official MOT database to the payment of Vehicle Excise Duty tax. Prior to November 2014 a tax disc had to be displayed on the vehicle.
After the first MOT (when the vehicle is three years old) the owner has to get the vehicle tested every 12 months (unlike in most of the European Union, where a test is required every 24 months after the vehicle is four years old). A test can be made up to 28 days before the expiry of the previous test without affecting the annual test date, allowing the next test to be up to 13 months later.
Isle of ManEdit
In the Isle of Man there are no routine inspections for motorcycles or private cars. Rental cars over three years old, goods vehicles, buses and taxis require an annual inspection.
Inspections also are required if a vehicle over three years old is imported, this was introduced to prevent vehicles that had failed inspection regimes elsewhere being moved to the island. Inspections are also required if a vehicle has been off the road (not registered and insured) for more than two years.
Vehicle inspection in Australia is done on a state basis. Each state or territory has the authority to set its own laws pertaining to vehicle inspections, all (with the exception of the self-governing territory of Norfolk Island) have some form of inspection, either periodically or before a transfer of ownership.
In the state of Queensland, there is no legal requirement for a private vehicle's owner to have periodic vehicle inspections. The only time a vehicle inspection is mandatory is when a vehicle is being sold and must display a current Roadworthy Certificate (RWC) as an assurance to buyers that a vehicle meets minimum safety standards. Without a RWC, the vehicle can only be sold on an "as-is" basis, which does not entitle the vehicle to be lawfully driven on public roads or registered until a RWC is obtained. Heavy vehicles (e.g.: trucks) and public passenger vehicles (e.g.: limousines, taxis, public buses) have dedicated inspection schemes that must be complied with periodically, usually every 6–12 months.
In the state of Victoria, there is no legal requirement for a private vehicle to have periodic vehicle inspections. The only time a vehicle inspection is required is when a vehicle:
- is being transferred to a new owner.
- is being registered after a period of being un-registered.
- is being registered for the first time (excluding brand new production vehicles), e.g. used imported cars, individually constructed vehicles etc.
- has been labeled an un-roadworthy vehicle by a member of the police or Vicroads in which case the owner will have 30 days to have the vehicle tested.
In Victoria, a satisfactory inspection is deemed in a "Roadworthy Condition" and is issued with a Roadworthy Certificate (RWC) which are valid for 30 days. An RWC checks general safety items of the car such as tyres, brakes, lights etc., however, an emissions test is not required.
The NZ Transport Agency requires most vehicles to maintain a Warrant of Fitness (WoF) through periodic inspections from licensed inspectors. Private light vehicles require an inspection once every year if the vehicle model year is 2000 or newer, any vehicles older than this are required to have an inspection every six months. New vehicles are required to have an inspection when the vehicle has been on the road for three years, after that it is required annually. Heavy vehicles and vehicles operated under a Transport Service Licence, such as taxis, shuttles, and rental cars, must obtain a Certificate of Fitness (CoF), which is similar to a WoF, but is required once every six months regardless of the age of the vehicle.
A roadworthy vehicle is considered to be roadworthy until it is changes hands. A vehicle purchaser is required to register the change-of-ownership of a vehicle. The new owner must present a Roadworthy Certificate (CoR) in order to receive a new license (disk) for the vehicle. A new license plate number is also issued at that time.
If a motor vehicle is used for public transport or is a heavy-load vehicle (excluding buses), it is tested for roadworthiness every year before the motor vehicle licence is renewed. A bus must be tested for roadworthiness every six months.
- "Cost-Effectiveness of Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection - University of Michigan (U.S.A.) Transportation Research Institute" (PDF). January 1985.
no credible evidence was found which demonstrates significant changes in vehicle-defect accidents as a result of [periodic motor vehicle inspections
- "Cost Effectiveness of Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection" (PDf). Report for the (Australian) Federal Office of Road Safety. April 1999.
Using the New Zealand data... logistic regression analysis [showed considerable] statistical uncertainty... The Victorian analysis of potential periodic roadworthiness certification safety benefits was not entirely conclusive [;] likely to be much less than required to make an annual periodic scheme cost effective
- "The Effectiveness of Vehicle Safety Inspections: An Analysis using Panel Data". 1999. JSTOR 1060816.
We examined the effectiveness of state automobile safety inspections and present new evidence from a panel of the 50 states for the years 1981-1993. Our approach incorporated several innovations over previous studies of safety inspections; most significantly, we estimated a fixed-effects model that incorporated state-specific shifts in casualty rates. We found no evidence that inspections significantly reduce fatality or injury rates. Our study also provides evidence on the effects of speed limits, seat belts, and Peltzman's offsetting behaviour hypothesis.
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