Washington, D.C. Car Inspection

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All vehicles in D.C. more than four years old are required to get an emissions inspection every two years. 
General inspection checks also are necessary every year for commercial and fee-for-hire vehicles. Inspection rules are enforced relatively strictly, too, and you could accumulate up to $480 in late fees for missing tests. 
To help you hit all of your testing deadlines, car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about mandatory car inspections in Washington, D.C. 
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What are the vehicle inspection requirements in Washington, D.C.?

You’re required to get an emission inspection every two years in Washington, D.C. New commercial vehicles are exempt for the first four years of ownership. There are no exceptions for new non-commercial cars.
Meanwhile, new commercial vehicles, for-hire vehicles, and salvage vehicles are required to get safety inspections every year. 
Unlike some states, VIN inspections aren’t required, but you’re required to get an emissions test if you move to the District. 

Exceptions to the state requirements

There are a couple of exceptions to emission inspections, specifically vehicles that are: 
  • Manufactured before 1968
  • Designated as a zero-emissions vehicle
  • Mopeds and motorbikes 
  • Non-commercial vehicles less than four years old

Where to get a car inspection in Washington, D.C.

It’s fairly easy to get a car inspection in D.C. All you have to do is book an appointment at the DMV! Walk-ins are possible, but you might be waiting for a while. 

How often do you need a car inspection?

In Washington, D.C., you’re required to get an emissions inspection every year, and you can expect to be fined if you don’t. Safety inspections aren’t mandatory, but you should get one annually to ensure that everything is working properly. 

Finding affordable car insurance 

When you’ve completed all of your inspection requirements, it might be time to dip back into your car insurance. Even if you’ve got a pretty good deal, we’d like to help you save more money! 
For that, try using the Jerry app. A licensed broker, Jerry can generate over 50 quotes from top insurance carriers in less than 60 seconds. The average Jerry user saves over $800 per year on car insurance!
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You’re not legally required to get an inspection before you sell your car in Washington, D.C. However, it might be courteous to do so—especially if you’re selling your vehicle privately. It’s good practice and doesn’t cost much, anyway.
Emissions inspections cost $35 for commercial and noncommercial vehicles in Washington, D.C. For taxis and rideshare vehicles, the fee is $70.

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