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  • Car Inspection in West Virginia

    SUMMARY: West Virginia Safety Inspections

    West Virginia requires most vehicles to undergo a safety inspection every 12 months. Safety inspections do not correlate with vehicle registration. Vehicles that fail can be repaired and retested or receive a rejection sticker until they are repaired and pass inspection. Unless moving from a reciprocity state, new residents must adhere to the same safety inspection requirements.

    The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) works with the West Virginia State Police (WVSP) to implement the state's safety inspection program. Keep reading for vehicles that failed inspections, and the safety components inspectors check during testing.

    New West Virginia Residents

    You have 30 days after establishing residency in West Virginia to transfer your title and registration; unless you've moved from a reciprocity state (see below), you must bring your vehicle for a safety inspection within 10 days of the vehicle registration date.

    Keep reading for information on inspection requirements and procedures.

    Reciprocity States

    If you've moved from any of the reciprocity states listed below AND have a valid safety inspection sticker from that state, your sticker also is valid in West Virginia until its expiration date*:

    • Louisiana.
    • Wyoming.
    • Mississippi.
    • Utah.
    • Missouri.
    • Texas.
    • New Hampshire.
    • Oklahoma.
    • New York.

    * Once your out-of-state inspection sticker expires, you must have your vehicle inspected in West Virginia.

    Inspection Requirements & Exemptions

    Inspection Requirements

    Most registered vehicles in West Virginia must undergo safety inspections every 12 months*, including:

    • Passenger cars and trucks (including both light- and heavy-duty trucks).
    • Motorcycles.
    • Trailers (including semi-trailers and pole trailers).

    Contact the WV DMV at (304) 558-3900 if you're unsure whether your vehicle requires a safety inspection.

    * Safety inspection dates are not related to vehicle registration dates. Your safety inspection sticker will indicate the month and year your vehicle is due for another inspection.

    Inspection Exemptions

    Some vehicles do not require safety inspections, including:

    • House trailers (registered as Class “R").
    • Special vehicles (registered as Class “S").
    • Trailers under 2,000 lbs. (registered as Class “T").
    • Antique vehicles.
      • NOTE: If your antique vehicle has license plates from the actual year of production (i.e. same as your model year), it MUST still be inspected.

    Call the WV DMV at (304) 558-3900 to find out more about these exempt vehicles.

    Completing a WV Safety Inspection

    Bring your vehicle to a West Virginia State Police-authorized safety inspection location; these include most repair and other auto service facilities, but call ahead to be sure.

    You'll need to bring:

    • Proof of WV car insurance.
    • ONE of the following proofs of ownership:
      • Vehicle title.
      • Registration card.
      • Notarized bill of sale.
      • Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin.
      • Valid temporary registration.
    • Payment for your inspection fee (no more than $12.66).
      • Includes the $1 fee for your inspection certificate.

    Once your vehicle passes the safety inspection, the technician will affix a valid state inspection sticker* on your vehicle's windshield; again, this sticker will indicate the month and year your vehicle is due for another inspection.

    If your inspection sticker is stolen, removed, or destroyed, your vehicle must undergo another inspection. Inspection stations do not issue duplicate stickers.

    Failed Vehicle Inspections

    If your vehicle fails the safety inspection, you will receive a rejection sticker, and you must have it repaired and retested within 5 days of the failed inspection.

    If you retest at the same inspection station within 5 days, only the components that failed will be re-inspected and you will not be charged another inspection fee. After the 5 days, you will be required to undergo and pay for a complete inspection again.

    Often, you can have your vehicle repaired and retested at the inspection site; this depends on the station's capabilities and the extent of your repairs.

    If, for any reason, you cannot or choose not to have your vehicle repaired and retested, the rejection sticker will remain on your vehicle, and you may not operate it unless you are traveling from the repair facility to your residence and vice versa.

    The rejection sticker will only be removed once your vehicle has passed inspection.

    About West Virginia Safety Inspections

    Once the inspection technician verifies your valid vehicle registration and proof of insurance, he or she will remove the current inspection sticker and inspect your vehicle's safety components, including:

    • Safety glass.
    • Windshield wipers.
    • Sheet metal, bumpers, fenders, and frame.
    • Exhaust system.
    • Fuel system.
    • Front end and steering components.
    • Tires and wheels.
    • All break system components.
    • Horn.
    • Rearview mirror.
    • Lights.
    • Safety belts.

    West Virginia Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving

    Currently, West Virginia does not require emissions testing; however, there are a few ways West Virginians can benefit from eco-friendly driving.

    For more information on rebates for alternative fuel vehicles, tax incentives, and possible car insurance discounts, visit our page on green driver incentives.


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