Vehicle safety inspections are required of all cars, trucks and on-highway motorcycles in the state of Utah. Vehicles that are less than eight years old are required to have a safety inspection every other year. For vehicles eight years and older, an annual safety inspection is required. An emissions test is often given in conjunction with the safety inspection. Utah vehicle safety inspection procedures are uniform throughout the state.
Initial Inspection Procedures
When a vehicle is taken to a state-certified inspection station, the owner is asked to present the vehicle's current registration paperwork. The vehicle inspector then verifies the vehicle identification number (VIN) and writes the date, owner information, vehicle mileage and inspector number on the inspection form. The inspector will not sign the form until the vehicle has passed the safety inspection. Following the initial paperwork, the inspector then takes the vehicle for a test drive.
Read More: Lighting Requirements for Inspection
While conducting the test drive, the Utah safety inspector ensures that several components of the car's interior are operational. Issues and features looked for include impaired vision in the windshield; side and rear-view mirror visibility; brake pedal abnormalities; looseness in steering; seat belt functionality; proper emergency-brake operation; windshield wipers and washer operation; and heater/defroster operation. Additionally, the inspector will check to make sure that the vehicle's horn is functioning and can be heard for at least 200 feet.
Upon completion of the test drive, the Utah vehicle safety inspector checks several key aspects of the car's exterior. All lights on the vehicle---headlights, signal lights, parking lights, taillights and brake lights---are inspected to make sure that they're operating correctly. The vehicle's tires are also inspected for proper inflation and to ensure that there's a sufficiently safe amount of tread remaining. The inspector also checks the vehicle's bumpers, fenders, body, doors and hoods for unsafe wear or damage.
As part of the Utah vehicle safety inspection, the vehicle's engine is checked for its safety. Belts, hoses, wires, exhaust system and master cylinder are all checked to make sure that they're functioning properly. Additionally, the inspector checks for any fuel or engine fluid leakage.
Suspension and Wheels
The last part of the Utah vehicle safety inspection procedure includes checking the safety of the vehicle's wheels and suspension. Shock absorbers, ball joints, springs, floor pans and fuel system lines are parts of the car's suspension that the inspector ensures are working safely. The vehicle's rotors, drums, brake pads, brake hoses and wheels are also inspected to verify that they're working safely. Brake measurements are also recorded by the inspector at the conclusion of the inspection. If all is in safe working order, the inspector will sign the certificate, and the vehicle's owner will be allowed to proceed with registering the vehicle.
Lou Martin has been writing professionally since 1992. His work has appeared in the "Los Angeles Times," the "Long Beach Press-Telegram" and the "Deseret Morning News." Martin holds a Bachelor of Science in history and communication.