Will an expired vehicle inspection citation increase my car insurance?

Expired vehicle inspection stickers may increase car insurance rates even though they are not moving violations.

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UPDATED: Jun 20, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 20, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • In states where vehicle inspections must be done, failing to provide proof of inspection may lead to being ticketed
  • Several U.S. states require periodic vehicle safety checks, while others may require a car inspection during a sale or transfer process
  • Expired inspection stickers may lead to an increase in car insurance rates

Each state has specific rules concerning the vehicles on its roads. Although some states may require periodic safety checks, others may require a safety check only when selling or transferring a car to someone else. 

You may be ticketed in those states where vehicle inspections are required if your vehicle doesn’t undergo a timely safety check. Although an expired inspection sticker is considered a non-moving traffic offense, it may still impact your auto insurance rates.

An Expired Vehicle Inspection Citation May Increase Your Car Insurance Rates

If a traffic officer stops you, then points out that your inspection sticker has expired, you will likely get a citation. What happens afterward depends on which state the ticket was issued and its laws concerning vehicle inspection.

Usually, you will have a grace period when you may get your inspection completed and avoid further consequences for having an out-of-date inspection sticker. But, if you ignore the citation you were issued and don’t get your car inspected during the grace period, the citation will become a non-moving violation and show up on your driving record.

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Which states require vehicle inspections?

Currently, 14 states require periodic car inspections that must be done at least once every year in all areas to determine emission rates and safety conditions. These include:

  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Other states like California, Arizona, and Delaware, among others, require an emissions inspection every two years. And some states, like Rhode Island and Mississippi, require a safety inspection every two years.

Keep in mind that some insurance companies may require vehicle inspections before providing coverage, even in states where inspections are not mandated.

How do vehicle inspection citations affect your car insurance rates?

Insurance companies tend to analyze the risk profile of every potential client before deciding whether to provide coverage or not. When doing so, your driving record is considered, among other things.

Non-moving violations, such as vehicle inspection citations, won’t increase your insurance rates. It’s usually the moving violations that insurance companies consider when calculating your insurance rates.

In states with a points system, a series of vehicle inspection citations within a specified period may soon add up and put you within a point range that makes your rates unreasonable. But the points you accumulate for each violation will depend on the state where you committed the offense. For example, every time you drive recklessly in Florida and get a citation, you will get four points on your license. When you accumulate 12 or more points within 12 months, you will get a 30-day license suspension. 

Typically, law enforcement officials will observe you engaging in other kinds of unlawful behavior, such as speeding, and stop you. Then they may discover you also have an expired inspection sticker to add to your list of traffic offenses. That’s how you end up with many license points.

Remember, every traffic violation counts against you in some way. So, if your vehicle inspection period has expired and you committed other offenses, all of them may go on your driving record. Each of these offenses makes you more of a risk to insure, which leads to higher car insurance rates.

When insurance companies check your records and determine your license points, your driving records will be factored in to assess your risk profile. So, the better your driving record, the lower your auto insurance rates.

An Expired Vehicle Inspection Sticker May Cost You

You may not see a problem with ignoring your vehicle inspection sticker. You may even get away with it if it’s your first violation and the inspection is not long overdue. But luck may not always be on your side.

The longer you take to get your vehicle inspected, the more likely you are to deal with severe consequences. Also, the sticker may be the one mark against you that causes your risk profile based on your driving record to move from “average” to “bad.” And when that happens, you should brace yourself for higher auto insurance rates.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

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

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