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New Motor Vehicle Inspection Law Takes Effect
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, January 10, 2010 - A state law that went into effect January 1, 2010 will exempt some Missourians from having to get safety inspections for newer vehicles.

Beginning Jan. 1, motor vehicles are exempt from the safety inspection requirement for the first five years following the model year of manufacture. For example, a car made in 2006 will be exempt from the safety inspection through 2011.

Currently, the Missouri Department of Revenue requires proof of a safety inspection when vehicle registrations (license plates) are renewed. Citizens presently have the option of renewing their license plates for one-year or two-year periods, so the need to obtain safety inspections for owners of newer vehicles will be minimized.

Under current law, brand new vehicles are exempt from the inspection for the model year of the car and the immediate year thereafter. An estimated 650,000 vehicles will be exempt from having to get safety inspections in 2010 because of the enactment of the new law.

"The Department of Revenue wants to make people aware of the new law because fewer citizens will need to get their vehicles inspected," said Alana M. Barragán-Scott, director of the Department. "This will also mean that many customers will need one less document when they renew their license plates. However, the Department urges citizens to monitor the condition of their vehicles and get them repaired if they believe there are mechanical problems with their vehicles."

An inspection must be conducted at an authorized inspection station. The cost of an inspection is up to $12 for cars and trucks and up to $10 for motorcycles, but the exact fee is decided by the management at each inspection center. The inspection must be made within 60 days of the application of a title or renewal of license plates.

If a motor vehicle is sold, the new law still applies. For example, if a 2009 car is sold to another person in 2011, a safety inspection will not be required. Safety inspections of school buses and interstate commercial vehicles will not be affected by the new law.

The current vehicle inspection law is in effect until Dec. 31, 2009, so most citizens who need to renew their license plates by the end of December will still need to have proof of a safety inspection whether they go to a local license office or renew online at This bill does not affect the required emissions test in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Motorists with questions about their test are encouraged to contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at 314-416-2115 or 800-361-4827 or by e-mail at

Auto shops that encounter technical problems are encouraged to contact SysTech by calling 1-866-OBD-TEST (623-8378). SysTech personnel will determine the best course of action for each situation. Upon notification on its hotline, SysTech will make every reasonable attempt to repair or replace hardware within an average of four business hours. At a minimum, these repairs will occur within the first weekday after notification.

Participating station information can be found on the program at Each station's name, location and phone number have been added to the Web site. Motorists can also look for an auto shop near them with the Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program blue reflective sign displayed with the yellow Missouri Official Vehicle Inspection Station sign. They can also call 1-866-OBD-TEST (623-8378).

When searching the Web, motorists can choose a shop list by zip code or by city. The Department of Natural Resources recommends motorists call an inspection station prior to visiting the station.

Local auto shops are testing 1996 and newer gasoline-powered vehicles and 1997 and newer diesel-powered vehicles registered in the St. Louis ozone nonattainment area using on-board diagnostics equipment. Model year vehicles 1995 and older are exempt from the emissions testing requirements, as they do not contain the On-Board Diagnostic equipment necessary for testing. However, safety inspections are still required biennially for all model years.

The Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program is jointly administered by the Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The program is a key component of the ongoing effort to improve air quality in the St. Louis region.

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