Pennsylvania Car Inspection

Vehicles in Pennsylvania are subject to annual safety and emissions inspections.
Written by Tom Hindle
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
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Every vehicle in
Pennsylvania
is required to undergo a safety test every year. Meanwhile, emissions checks are mandated in some counties.
VIN checks are also mandatory for all new drivers in the state who are
registering their vehicle
for the first time. This is typically a one-time check to ensure the vehicle and driver information match up.
Failure to meet inspection requirements could lead to fines and blemishes on your driving record—or even a block on your registration. To help you avoid any hiccups, the
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What are the vehicle inspection requirements in Pennsylvania?

Emissions tests are required in the following Pennsylvania counties: 
  • Allegheny
  • Beaver
  • Berks
  • Blair
  • Bucks
  • Cambria
  • Centre
  • Chester
  • Cumberland
  • Dauphin
  • Delaware
  • Erie
  • Lackawanna
  • Lancaster
  • Lebanon
  • Lehigh
  • Luzerne
  • Lycoming
  • Mercer
  • Montgomery
  • Northampton
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington
  • Westmoreland
  • York
Although a few counties don’t require them, an emissions test might be a good idea anyway! They’re good for the environment and they help ensure the safety and general health of your car. 
Safety checks, meanwhile, are required statewide and must be completed once per year. They usually happen at the same time you re-register or service your vehicle.
New residents to Pennsylvania must run a VIN test before they can register their vehicle. Once their VIN is cleared, they have 10 days to get a safety inspection before they can legally drive in the state. 
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Exceptions to the state requirements

While mandates are reasonably rigorous in Pennsylvania, there are a few vehicles that are exempt from requirements: 
  • Motorcycles
  • Vehicles driven less than 5,000 miles and less than a year old 
  • New vehicles that were driven less than 5,000 miles
  • Vehicles with antique, collectible, or classic vehicle registrations
  • Vehicles registered as street rods

Where to get a car inspection in Pennsylvania 

There are hundreds of DMV-licensed inspection sites around the state. You shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding a location. 

How often do you need a car inspection in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania requires that you get safety checks every year and emissions checks annually in some counties. If you live in an area where emissions checks aren’t mandated, it still might be a good idea to get a safety inspection done. 

Finding affordable car insurance 

Once you’ve completed all of your testing requirements, it might be time to revisit your car insurance policy. You may have a good deal, but we’d guess that you can do better. Use the
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FAQs

No, it’s not legally required to get an inspection before you sell your car in Pennsylvania. However, it might be polite to make sure that everything is in working order before you put your vehicle up for sale.
Vehicle emissions inspection fees vary, ranging from $25 to $40. Safety checks are done through private mechanics, so prices vary across the state.
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