Outside mirrors


Does a car need a passenger side outside mirror to pass inspection in Massachusetts?


Not sure about Massachusetts…but in some states if the car came from the factory with a passenger side mirror then there MUST be one to pass inspection.


Hop over to your nearest gas station that does inspection and ask.


Interestingly enough, the Massachusetts RMV doesn’t list mirrors on their list of items they inspect in the FAQ: http://www.mass.gov/rmv/faq/inspection.htm#3. You probably need to ask at an inspection station or the RMV.


My sense is that the car can be failed for having inoperative any of the safety equipment required on the car when it was manufactured. That would include the passenger side outside mirror. I believe they’ve been mandatory for a few decades now.

I agree that the question should be asked of an inspection station or the state department of Motor Vehicles, as should all questions involving required safety equipment.


I should say that I was trying to avoid having my car fail inspection as it would go on the history, that’s why I was asking here. I have ordered a new mirror. Does anyone know why the dealership mirror costs $400 more than the after market mirror?


you DONT go to the dealer for a mirror. OK, now i got the year 93 volvo

where do you live?
were not supposed to promote business on the web site, but…
Look up Auto parts, used, parts recycling in Wareham. go to the place that hits. it is also a GM dealer. its sort of like sanford and sons, but only one word, like robert…

there are several good auto recyclers in southeast Ma, that will sell you this mirror for around 50 to 100 bucks

i believe that the car must have original safety equipment. it doesn’t matter if you fail inspection. you then go get another mirror, and get retested. there is no “record” that you have to worry about. it either passes or it doesn’t. then you get it fixed.

in Ma if you fail you get a retest for free. (but you do have to pay the 29.00 for the original test.)


It will show on the CARFAX. It looks like this

06/22/2001 104,320 Massachusetts
Inspection Station
Westborough, MA Failed safety or emissions inspection

View what was inspected
06/29/2001 104,675 Massachusetts
Inspection Station
Westborough, MA Passed safety or emissions inspection

View what was inspected

I think the consensus is that if the car came with a mirror it needs one to pass, that’s cool. I mean want the mirror, regardless. The new after market power heated mirror cost $90 with $12 shipping.


“there is no “record” that you have to worry about.”

i would NOT worry about a 15 year old car and its car fax report (other than is it hot, or has it been totalled.) carfax isn’t the be all, end all authoritative report on cars. (although they would like you to think so!)

i think the only difference in the aftermarket mirror may be it isn’t EXACTLY like the old one. it should work, and will be fine, but it may be a little bit different.


Parts stores can order one and they are easy to install. If it’s just the glass that has been broken, you can usually just yank the backing out of the housing, scrape off the rest of the glass and replace it with a sheet mirror that you can trim to fit with scissors, then it sticks on and you can press the backing back in the housing. You can get the whole assembly if the thing has been knocked off the car for fifty dollars. You can also get sloppy and stick a convex mirror right over the broken glass.


the whole thing is knocked off. the best price I could find was $89


That sounds like a very good deal (I would have thought it was more), $50 isn’t realistic for a volvo.


just search it, and you find a couple. I picked a Mass company that advertised no hassle returns. The worst that could happen is that I’ll have to return it.


It’s really surprising, sometimes the dealer prices aren’t to bad; other times they are really silly. You do have to shop around.


I avoided cars that failed inspections. I agree that its not everything but i think people use the information they have.