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What do they inspect on vehicles as part of the motor vehicle inspection in New Jersey (NJ)?

New Jersey has yet to reach the level of air quality required by the National Clean Air Act standards that were set in 1990 so the state requires cars to pass inspection of their emissions.

NJ thus mandates the repair of vehicles that exceed national health standards by routinely inspecting motor vehicles at an inspection facility and flagging those that are do not pass. Once you have had your car inspected you can find your vehicle's due date on the sticker on your windshield. You will then be responsible for scheduling the inspection by that due date; the NJ MVC will not remind you.

Your vehicle must pass the general safety inspection before a sticker will be applied to the windshield. If your vehicle fails for safety only, you do not need to take it to an Emission Repair Facility (ERF) or bring ERF receipts when you go for re-inspection.

Make sure you have all necessary documentation (driver license, registration, proof of insurance) with you, without them you will be unable to pass inspection without them. The inspection process includes:

  • The inspector will determining your car's engine type and prep it for testing
  • Your brakes' suspension, steering, wheel alignment and safety features (headlights, taillights, tires, horn, windshield wipers and turn signals) will being checked out
  • The inspector performing the appropriate emissions test based on the year, make and model of the vehicle
  • The final stage of the test will assure that your gas cap is stable and limits the escape of fumes into the environment
  • Upon completion, the inspector will place a new two-year sticker in your windshield

If your vehicle did not pass the enhanced emissions inspection, it is producing more pollutants than the standard for its model year. If your vehicle fails the inspection, you will be allowed a specified amount of time to have the necessary repairs made. The initial inspector will give you the details.

When a car fails the emissions inspection, the inspector will give you an Emission Repair Form for a certified emission repair technician to fill out and a Vehicle Inspection Report that will help your technician determine which part of your vehicle's system caused the emissions problem.

Once the repairs are completed, you must have your vehicle re-inspected by a licensed inspector at a private or state inspection facility.

If you need more information about the NJ inspection process or to find an inspection facility you can contact the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission. For a reasonable NJ auto insurance quote rate, click here.


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1 Responses to "What do they inspect on vehicles as part of the motor vehicle inspection in New Jersey (NJ)?"
  1. Anonymous

    Informative. Thank you!