Car Inspection in West Virginia
West Virginia Vehicle Inspections
To legally drive your vehicle on public roadways in West Virginia, it will need to pass a vehicle safety inspection each year.
Since smog and emissions checks help control pollution, many states are adopting them as a way to help reduce pollution from vehicles. The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has not yet adopted smog and emissions checks as a requirement for vehicle registration; however, this doesn't mean you shouldn't keep your vehicle as environmentally friendly as possible. The following tips can help:
- Keep your engine clean and running properly. Even if it is clean and otherwise running properly, though, it could still fail a smog and emissions exam if all components and systems aren't working correctly.
- Pay attention to your "check engine" light. If it's on, it could simply be a malfunction, or it could be indicative of a problem.
- Depending on the engine type, vehicle type, and manufacture year, modern engines use different smog control devices. Check to make sure your exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valves, air or smog pumps, vacuum tubing and connections, oxygen sensors, and catalytic converter are working properly. Have a professional check for you, if you're unsure how to do this.
- Don't forget to make sure your gas cap, spark plugs, spark plug wires, and distributor cap and rotor are in working order.
On this page you'll find information about your annual vehicle safety inspection in West Virginia.
All vehicles in West Virginia must pass a safety inspection once every 12 months.
Safety inspections are conducted by West Virginia state police and official, licensed inspection facilities. Before the licensed inspector can check your vehicle, you must provide proof of insurance and a current registration card.
When your vehicle passes the safety inspection, you'll be given an inspection certification sticker, which you must place on the windshield of your vehicle.
If you have recently moved to West Virginia, you have 10 days to get your vehicle inspected, unless you have a valid inspection sticker from one of the following states:
- New Hampshire.
- New York.
Your valid out-of-state inspection sticker from any of the above states will also be valid in West Virginia until its expiry. You'll then need to have it safety inspected in West Virginia.
If you have recently purchased a vehicle in West Virginia without a valid safety inspection sticker, you must get the vehicle inspected within 3 days.
During your West Virginia safety inspection, the licensed inspector will check:
- Your vehicle's registration information and proof of insurance.
- Your windows and the body components of your car.
- Your horn, mirrors, windshield wipers, and license plates.
- Your brakes, steering, and controls.
- Your exhaust and fuel components.
- Your tires and wheels.
- Your headlights, signals, and seat belts.
Depending on your vehicle's performance, the inspector will remove your old sticker and give you either an acceptance or rejection sticker.
If you receive a rejection sticker, your vehicle did not pass the safety inspection. The inspector will tell you what needs to be repaired. If you are able to take your vehicle back to the inspection station within 5 days of your failed inspection, only the components that needed a repair will be inspected. Otherwise, you'll need a complete re-inspection.
By making sure that your vehicle is running properly, you are not only helping to reduce pollution, but you are also saving yourself some money. Your vehicle's engine will burn fuel more efficiently if maintained, and making the most of fuel will help you save money on skyrocketing gas prices.
For more information about vehicle pollution, check out the Environmental Protection Agency's Transportation and Air Quality page.
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