Are There Any Grace Periods in NYS After an Inspection Sticker Expires?

By John Green - Updated January 29, 2018
Times Square New York license plate

The New York State law requiring motor vehicle inspection is designed to make sure that vehicles are safe for the roads and for the environment. Although the law does not provide an automatic grace period for all vehicles when their inspection stickers expire, there are certain instances when an extension is possible.

Vehicle Inspection in New York

New York law requires the inspection of cars, trucks, motorcycles and other motor vehicles. The statute states that the state's Department of Motor Vehicles must require every vehicle registered in New York to pass a safety inspection on an annual basis. However, a number of vehicles are exempt from this requirement, including golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, low-speed vehicles and snowmobiles.

Emissions Inspection

Vehicles must also pass an emissions inspection every two years. As with safety inspections, there are exceptions for several types of vehicles, such as cars that have been registered with historical plates, are at least 26 model years old, are less than two model-years old or are powered only by electricity. In addition, temporary waivers for emissions inspection are available for diesel-powered vehicles.

Deadlines for the Inspection Sticker

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the validity of an inspection sticker expires at midnight of the last day of the month specified on the vehicle's inspection certificate. If people move to New York state and register their vehicles in New York, an out-of-state inspection sticker is valid until its expiration date or until one year has passed since the vehicle was registered in New York.

Grace Period

A driver who owns a vehicle without a valid inspection sticker is not allowed to operate that vehicle on public roads. Neither the Vehicle and Traffic Law nor the Department of Motor Vehicle regulations make mention of a standard grace period for vehicles after an inspection sticker expires. However, the regulations provide that a 10-day extension to get an inspection might be granted, if reasonable grounds exist for issuing one.

Routine Extensions

Extensions are often granted in a couple of instances. For example, when a car is purchased from someone who is not a New York State dealer, the vehicle's inspection automatically expires upon registration, but the purchaser also receives a 10-day extension to have the car inspected. Moreover, if the inspection sticker will expire while the vehicle is out of state, the owner may submit a request for a 10-day extension. If granted, this extension will give the owner 10 days to get inspected after returning to New York, provided that the extension sticker is properly affixed to the vehicle upon returning to the state.

About the Author

John Green is an attorney who has been writing on legal, business and media matters for more than 20 years. He has also taught law school and business courses in entrepreneurship, business enterprise, tax and ethics. Green received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his Ph.D. in religion from Duke.

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