Tom Corbett, Governor Barry J. Schoch, P.E., Secretary, Department of Transportation

Frequently Asked Questions: Vehicle Safety Inspections - Motorist

Here are some questions frequently asked by motorists about Pennsylvania's inspection program.


What are the inspection criteria for passenger cars and light duty trucks?

What are the inspection criteria for medium and heavy duty trucks and buses?

What are the inspection criteria for recreational, semi- and utility trailers?

What are the inspection criteria for motorcycles?

What are the inspection criteria for motor-driven cycles and motorized pedalcycles?

How do I contact a Quality Assurance Officer regarding a safety inspection?

When should my vehicle's safety inspection sticker expire?

What criteria must I meet to qualify for a sun screen exemption for my vehicle?

How can I apply for a sun screen exemption for my vehicle?

How can I obtain a Pennsylvania safety inspection manual?

How do I file a complaint against an official PennDOT safety inspection station?

What is the procedure for a PA registered vehicle reentering the Commonwealth that has an expired safety inspection sticker?

How do I access Pennsylvania's safety inspection regulations?

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What are the inspection criteria for passenger cars and light duty trucks?

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Safety inspections for passenger cars and light-duty trucks require that the following items be checked: suspension components, steering, braking systems, tires and wheels, lighting and electrical systems, glazing (glass), mirrors, windshield washer, defroster, wipers, fuel systems, the speedometer, the odometer, the exhaust systems, horns and warning devices, the body, and chassis. For most vehicles in the 42 county, Non-I/M region this safety inspection will also include a Visual Anti-Tampering Check. The Visual Anti-Tampering Check is an examination of the vehicle to see if the required emissions components have been tampered with or removed. For more information concerning the 42 County Visual Anti-Tampering Check please reference Section 175.80 of Subchapter E, of the Vehicle Equipment and Inspection Regulations. For a complete list of the rejection criteria for passenger cars and light duty trucks, please visit Subchapter E of the Vehicle Equipment and Inspection Regulations.

What are the inspection criteria for medium and heavy duty trucks and buses?

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Safety inspections for medium and heavy duty trucks and buses require that the following items be checked: suspension components, steering, braking systems, tires and wheels, lighting and electrical systems, glazing (glass), mirrors, windshield washer, defroster, wipers, fuel systems, the speedometer, the odometer, the exhaust systems, horns and warning devices, the body, and chassis. For a complete list of the rejection criteria for medium and heavy duty trucks and buses, please reference Section 175.110 of Subchapter F of the Vehicle Equipment and Inspection Regulations.

What are the inspection criteria for recreational, semi- and utility trailers?

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Safety inspections for recreational, semi- and utility trailers require that the following items be checked: suspension components, braking systems, tires and wheels, lighting and electrical systems, glazing, the body, and chassis. For a complete list of the rejection criteria for recreational, semi- and utility trailers, please reference Section 175.130 of Subchapter G of the Vehicle Equipment and Inspection Regulations.

What are the inspection criteria for motorcycles?

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Safety inspections for motorcycles require that the following items be checked: suspension components, steering, braking systems, tires and wheels, lighting and electrical systems, glazing (glass), mirrors, fuel systems, the speedometer, the odometer, the exhaust systems, horns and warning devices, the body, and chassis. For a complete list of the rejection criteria for motorcycles, please reference Section 175.160 of Subchapter H of the Vehicle Equipment and Inspection Regulations.

What are the inspection criteria for motor-driven cycles and motorized pedalcycles?

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Safety inspections for motor-driven cycles and motorized pedalcycles require that the following items be checked: steering, braking systems, tires and wheels, lighting and electrical systems, glazing (glass), mirrors, fuel systems, the speedometer, the odometer, the exhaust systems, horns and warning devices, the body, and chassis. For a complete list of the rejection criteria for motor-driven cycles and motorized pedalcycles, please reference Section 175.190 of Subchapter J of the Vehicle Equipment and Inspection Regulations.

How do I contact a Quality Assurance Officer regarding a safety inspection?

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Quality Assurance Officers are assigned to specific geographic areas. To find the Quality Assurance Officer nearest you, please check the Quality Assurance Officers contact list.

When should my vehicle's safety inspection sticker expire?

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Upon passing a safety inspection most passenger cars and light trucks will receive an inspection sticker valid for one year from the month of inspection or one year from the expiration of the current inspection sticker on the vehicle. Since 2005, Pennsylvania no longer requires that the inspection sticker expiration and vehicle registration expiration coincide for annually inspected vehicles. Vehicle owners can request that their inspection and registration expirations match, but this may result in a shortened inspection cycle initially. The chart for annually inspected vehicles below can be used to determine whether requesting a coordination of inspection and registration expirations will result in a short inspection cycle.

Annually inspected vehicles with a temporary registration and semi-annually inspected vehicles will be issued an inspection expiration in accordance with the chart below:

Inspection periods for motorcycles are governed by Pennsylvania law. Motorcycle inspection expirations are based on the expiration of the vehicle’s registration and can be found in the chart below:

What criteria must I meet to qualify for a sun screen exemption for my vehicle?

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Information regarding Pennsylvania’s vehicle sun screening exemption program can be found on the Vehicle Sun Screening Fact Sheet, or by calling the Vehicle Inspection Division at (717) 787-2895.

How can I apply for a sun screen exemption for my vehicle?

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Vehicle owners that wish to apply for a sun screen exemption should complete Form MV-402. Additional information regarding Pennsylvania’s vehicle sun screening exemption program is available on the Vehicle Sun Screening Fact Sheet, or by calling the Vehicle Inspection Division at (717) 787-2895.

How can I obtain a Pennsylvania safety inspection manual?

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Copies of Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Equipment and Inspection Regulations can be downloaded directly from the website.

How do I file a complaint against an official PennDOT safety inspection station?

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To file a complaint against an official PennDOT safety inspection station you should contact the Quality Assurance Officer that is assigned to your county. To find the Quality Assurance Officer in your area, please check the Quality Assurance Officers contact list.

What is the procedure for a PA registered vehicle reentering the Commonwealth that has an expired safety inspection sticker?

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A vehicle subject to inspection, which has been outside this Commonwealth continuously for 30 days or more and which, at the time of reentering this Commonwealth, does not bear a currently valid certificate of inspection, is not required to be inspected until 10 days after reentering this Commonwealth.

How do I access Pennsylvania's safety inspection regulations?

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Copies of Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Equipment and Inspection Regulations can be downloaded directly from the website.

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