The state of Pennsylvania has a mandatory state vehicle inspection program. You must have your vehicle inspected yearly for safety and emissions. The safety inspection is to keep you and the other drivers on the road safe. The emissions tests are to help cut down on vehicle related air pollution.
Who Must Get Inspected
Anyone operating a motor vehicle on public roads, and who is a resident of the state of PA, must get a yearly inspection.
Where To Go
In order to get your vehicle inspected, you must go to an official PENNDOT inspection station. These are marked by a sign that states they are an official PA inspection station. They are generally repair garages or service stations. The person who inspects your vehicle must be licensed to do so.
There are different regulations for each class of vehicle. They are as follows.
Car or light-duty truck: These systems will be inspected to be sure they are complete and in safe working order: brake system, body and chassis, defrost, electrical systems, exhaust systems, fuel systems, glass and mirrors, horn, lighting system, odometer, steering, suspension, tires, and windshield wipers and washing system. Your vehicle will also be checked to be sure any required emissions systems or units have not been tampered with or removed.
All Other Trucks and Buses: The following systems will be inspected: brakes, body and chassis, defrost, electrical systems, exhaust systems, fuel systems, glass and mirrors, horn, lighting system, odometer, steering, suspension, tires, and windshield wipers and wiper fluid system.
Recreational, Semi, and Utility Trailers: These systems will be inspected: brakes, body and chassis, electrical system, any glass, lights, suspension, and tires.
Motorcycles: The following systems will be inspected: brakes, body and chassis, electrical systems, exhaust systems, fuel systems, glass and mirrors, horn, lighting system, odometer, steering, suspension, tires, and windshield wipers and washing system.
There are four different regions within PA that require emissions testing on vehicles. If you live in any of these counties you are required by law to have emissions testing done with your standard vehicle safety inspection.
Emissions testing consists of the following systems in your vehicle: ignition, air induction, fuel metering, early fuel evaporative, air injection, positive crankcase ventilation, evaporative emission control, exhaust gas recirculation, and exhaust gas conversion.
Emissions are tested in the following counties on vehicles that are made in the year 1995 to present.
Philadelphia Region: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.
Pittsburgh Region: Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.
Northern Region: Blair, Cambria, Centre, Erie, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, and Mercer counties.
South Central Region: Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, and York counties.
Other: The rest of PA’s counties are not required to have emissions testing at this time. However, they are subject to a visual inspection of any emission devices on the automobile to be sure they have not been tampered with or removed. Classic or collectible vehicles (as registered) are exempt.
The expiration on your sticker should coincide with your vehicle registration renewal. You have until the end of the month stated on your sticker to get a your inspection. After that time expires, you will be subject to a fine.
If your sticker has expired while you are out of state for thirty days or more, you have ten days to get the vehicle inspected upon your return.
If you would like to obtain the Pennsylvania Safety Inspection Manual you can do so by sending check or money order for $3.18 to: Vehicle Inspection Division, P.O. Box 68697, Harrisburg, PA, 17106-8697. Make your payment out to ‘Commonwealth of PA’.