New Jersey Car Inspection

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In New Jersey, you must complete and pass an emissions and safety inspection every two years and for initial registrations.
To maintain good air quality, the 1977 amendment to the Clean Air Act mandated states to implement vehicle emissions inspection programs in metropolitan areas where the air quality wasn’t meeting federal standards. The requirements vary from state to state and will also depend on your vehicle and zip code.
To help you keep your vehicle compliant, the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has consolidated all the information about car inspections in New Jersey.

What are the vehicle inspection requirements in New Jersey?

Gasoline, diesel, or bi-fueled vehicles made earlier than the last five model years must have an emissions test performed every two years or during their initial registration. Vehicles with specific plate types, or diesel vehicles with the model year 1997 or later, must also do the same. Commercial vehicles must also pass a “complete” vehicle inspection annually—including emissions and safety.
To determine whether your registered vehicle is required to complete any inspections in New Jersey and to learn about the required documents, you can check
Vehicles that don’t pass the emissions inspection must be repaired and retested within the time frame stated on the Vehicle Inspection Report. You will also get an Emission Repair Form that outlines what the repair technician needs to work on. 
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Exceptions to the state requirements

The following vehicles are exempted from the New Jersey MVC and do not require emissions tests:
  • Contractor equipment in transit
  • New vehicles not older than five years
  • Electric vehicles
  • Motorcycles and motorized bicycles
  • Diesel vehicles made in the 1996 model year or earlier*
  • Diesel vehicles weighing between 8501 and 17,999 pounds*
  • Farm vehicles
  • Vehicles operated by a county, municipality, fire district, or duly incorporated non-profit organization used for first aid, emergency, ambulance, rescue, or fire-fighting purposes
  • Historic and collector vehicle
*The diesel vehicles must have passenger, not-for-profit, governmental, commuter vans, farmer, or farm truck plates to meet NJ LVC requirements.

Where to get a car inspection in New Jersey

If you need somewhere to complete your emissions test, New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission keeps a full list of inspection facilities you can visit. You can also go to a private inspection facility.

How often do you need a car inspection?

Vehicles must complete an emissions inspection every two years and during their initial registration. You will need to check your windshield inspection sticker to find the date your vehicle is due, as the state will not issue reminders. Drivers can complete their inspections up to two months before the expiration date.

Finding affordable car insurance 

Emissions inspections and repairs are costly but necessary, so finding savings in other areas helps balance expenditures—like car insurance. The car insurance broker app Jerry can find customized quotes from more than 50 top providers so that you can get the best pricing. Not to mention, switching policies is especially easy because Jerry will handle all the paperwork and cancellations.
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If you are a new resident, you will have 14 days after obtaining a new state vehicle registration to get the emissions inspection done. However, you don’t need to transfer your out-of-state registration to NJ until you’ve lived there for 60 days or if your out-of-state registration expires.  
Private Inspection Facilities (PIFs) set the fees for emissions testing, so you may have to call around to find the best price. However, PIFs cannot charge a fee of more than $2.50 for an approval sticker. If you go to the DMV inspection stations, they do not charge for this service—it is free to all NJ drivers whose vehicles are registered in NJ state.

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