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How Often Do You Need To Have Your Vehicle Inspected in West Virginia?

Published on Mar 20, 2024 at 5:41 pm in Car Accidents.

How often do you need to have your vehicle inspected in West Virginia

When you have a car, whether paid in full, lease-to-own, or anything in between, you’re required in every state to have it properly registered and get it inspected by a licensed state inspector. While most states have yearly inspection requirements, each state is different.

According to West Virginia law, all vehicles, including motorcycles, trailers, semi-trailers, and pole trailers registered in the Mountain State or displaying a temporary registration plate, are required to be registered and must be inspected and a valid inspection sticker or tag placed in clear view on the vehicle.

But how often does a vehicle need to be inspected in West Virginia?

In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of vehicle inspections, the new inspection law, and more information to help keep you and other drivers safe on our roads.

Why Is a Vehicle Inspection Important?

Vehicle inspections are performed at official state inspection stations and confirm that a vehicle’s brakes and all other mechanisms and equipment are working properly. This is done to ensure that all registered vehicles on West Virginia roadways are safe to drive and safe for other vehicles to drive around.

According to the regulations for official state inspections, for an official inspection procedure, the following items must be examined on every vehicle:

  • Verify legal registration
  • Check vehicle insurance
  • Remove the old sticker
  • Check safety glass
  • Check sheet metal, bumpers, fenders, and frame
  • Check the horn, rearview mirror, windshield wipers, and plate mounting
  • Check the brake system, including the emergency brake, brake linings, pedal, and all hoses
  • Check front end and steering components
  • Check exhaust and fuel systems
  • Check tires and wheels
  • Check lights, safety devices, and seat belts
  • Attach new sticker

This list might seem mundane or irrelevant to most drivers, but it’s important to your safety and the safety of others on the road around you that your vehicle is in working order.

Not only could you get a ticket or a fine for not having an official inspection sticker, but if you don’t have your vehicle inspected according to state regulations, something on your vehicle might break down or malfunction, which increases the chances of you being involved in a car accident.

West Virginia’s New Vehicle Inspection Law

If you live in West Virginia and own a car, or even if you drive a family member’s or friend’s car, you’re probably aware of the recent state inspection law that went into effect on Jan 1st, 2024. Most states require vehicles to be inspected once a year, but HB 2310, which Governor Jim Justice signed into law in March 2023, changes that requirement for West Virginia.

This new law means that our state now requires motor vehicle inspections every two years. As part of the new law, the maximum state inspection sticker fee has been increased to $19 for those two years.

The governor said in a statement that personal responsibility is still important and that staying alert about your vehicle’s upkeep is essential, especially now that the inspection period has been extended.

New Resident Inspection Information

New residents of West Virginia have 10 days from the day they title a vehicle in the Mountain State to have a vehicle inspection. However, it’s important to note that West Virginia has reciprocity with the following states:

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

This means that inspection stickers from these states are valid in West Virginia until the expiration date.

Fines for Expired or Missing Inspection Stickers

As a general rule, it’s important to maintain your vehicle for your safety and the safety of others.

If you let your vehicle inspection sticker expire or if you fail to acquire a vehicle inspection after registering your vehicle with the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you can face severe consequences.

According to West Virginia Code 17C-16-9, any owner or operator of a vehicle who fails to provide an inspection certificate, or provides an expired certificate, may be charged with a misdemeanor offense and will be fined up to $100.

If the driver or owner obtains a valid inspection certificate within five days of being issued a citation, then they will not be charged with a violation. However, a misdemeanor penalty will be imposed if the expired inspection certificate has not been valid for more than three months prior to the date that the citation was issued.

What If a Vehicle Is Rejected?

Not all vehicles brought in for inspection pass the necessary requirements to obtain a new, valid inspection sticker.

According to West Virginia State Police, there is a rejection procedure if your vehicle does not pass inspection: A rejection sticker will be placed on your vehicle, and you have five days to make the necessary repairs for the rejected items.

If you bring your vehicle back in proper order within five days, only the rejected items need to be inspected. And if your vehicle then passes inspection, the rejection sticker will be removed and an approval sticker will be issued.

However, if you bring your vehicle back after five days or more have passed since the rejection sticker was issued, your vehicle must be completely inspected, and you may be charged a second time for the inspection procedure.

As you can see, not only is it safer for everyone to keep your car maintained and regularly inspected, but it’s also the law.

So, to answer the main question of how often you need to have your vehicle inspected in West Virginia, it’s every two years.

Vehicle owners in West Virginia can use this extra time to prepare a vehicle for inspection and ensure that necessary repairs have been made before that time so that it passes the inspection process.

If you have questions about your vehicle’s roadworthiness, or if you’ve been involved in a vehicle collision and you believe that the at-fault vehicle was not properly inspected and caused your accident, a Charleston car accident attorney can advise you of your rights and provide guidance. Contact DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC for help.