Will an expired vehicle inspection citation increase my car insurance?

An expired car inspection can lead to being ticketed. Typically any violation, minor or major, will cause your insurance rates to rise. Though if it's just one minor citation it may not affect you. However, car inspections are not required in every state.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jun 3, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Car safety checks are required vehicle inspections in several parts of the United States
  • If you cannot provide proof that your car has passed a car safety check, you could be ticketed
  • Typically any violation whether minor or major will cause your car insurance rates to increase

Car safety checks or vehicle inspections are a required part of owning a car in many parts of the United States. But will an expired citation for a car safety check increase the cost of car insurance?

There are state-specific laws requiring car owners to have their vehicle checked on a regular basis and to be able to produce proof of such vehicle inspections when requested.

These regulations are similar to those that require car owners to carry a valid registration and minimum insurance limits for their vehicle in the state in which they live.

Read on to learn the details of safety check expired citations and their affect on car insurance rates. Then be sure to enter your zip to start with your free car insurance comparison today!

Being Discovered Without a Valid Car Safety Check


Typically, invalid car safety checks are discovered when a driver is stopped for a moving violation or for a random safety check. Is there a grace period for expired inspection stickers?

In states where car safety checks are required, police officers ask for proof of the check at the same time they request proof of registration and insurance on a car.

If you cannot show that you have a valid check, the officer may issue a citation, or you may be given a warning.

Those who are lucky enough to receive a warning will have a limited period in which to get the safety check completed and return to the police station with proof. If this is the case, the warning is dismissed.

If you neglect to get the car check completed, your warning becomes a non-moving citation that will usually arrive by mail. This minor violation will also show up on your driving record.

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Where Car Safety Inspections are Required

There are several states, as well as the District of Columbia, which require car safety checks on a regular basis including:

  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Each one has slightly different regulations concerning frequency, the types of tests required, and the age of cars that requiring testing.

Regulations also vary depending on if they are statewide or within certain metropolitan areas only.

The federal government has also mandated emissions inspections which are required for those with vehicles who are living in metropolitan areas with poor air quality.

The Impact of an Expired Safety Check Citation on Insurance


Insurance providers will consider a variety of factors which impact a driver’s premium for auto insurance.

Underwriters will look primarily at an individual’s driving record before setting rates.

If there have been multiple traffic violations in the past three years, the rate will be more costly than for a driver who has not had violations.

However, moving violations and non-moving violations each have a different impact on car insurance cost.

Expired safety check citations are considered to be non-moving violations or minor violations. As with all minor citations, if it is the only one, it is very likely that the insurance company will not make any change in your premium.

If you are looking for the best deal on car insurance coverage for your vehicle, the ideal way to start is by shopping around and comparing the different prices of available coverage.

Get started with a free car insurance comparison today!

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