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State inspection procedures

The state of Va. is now in the process of doing away with the windshield sticker.

Vehicles must be inspected in order for tag renewal.Inspection stations must enter the information to DMV computers.

Have their been any glitches in this system as far as computer crashes ,

holidays ,or other stubling blocks.

I think Colorado has this system.Any input ?

I’m in Va., this is the first I’ve heard of this. Where I live, it’s just a saftey inspection, no emissions testing. Basically as long as your lights work, brakes and tires are good, and the suspension is okay, that’s all they look for around here.

Colorado (front range) has two systems for vehicle emissions testing – CO DMV operated testing stations and drive-by vans. The vans are parked by interstate on-ramps. The van optically measures exhaust emissions as you drive by and slightly accelerate. If you drive by the vans a few months before your test is due and pass, you don’t need to go to a testing station. Testing stations tests are required when used cars (over three years old I believe) trade hands. This system has worked pretty well here in Colorado over the past few years. I have not experienced any computer crashes or other issues. It also cuts down on the DMV work load, staffing requirements and customer wait times. CO does not have a safety inspection, only emissions testing.


The one glaring hole in the CO roadside van testing system is that if you know your vehicle won’t pass a test at a facility, you can put your plates onto another vehicle, and drive past the vans a couple of times over a month, and get a passing grade that way, defeating the emissions testing requirement for your car.

You can even look up the van’s location schedule’s and set yourself up right before passing them, and then switching back, without ever running the risk of having a police car notice what you are doing.


If there were actual issues with the system, the information would never be leaked to the public, in most cases.

The system has been in use here in Colorado, and works fine with all my cars.
Not once have I needed to bring a vehicle back in to be retested because they “lost” the results.

I wonder if you are more concerned about getting to the testing facility, and not being able to have your car tested because the facility can’t communicate with the DMV system? If that’s the case, then they store the results locally, and upload them when the communication becomes available.


oldwrench please give me a link to this. I can not seem to find any info. I want to read up on it. Is this for the safety inspection? Va has no window sticker for emissions. Emissions inspection is required every 2 years in some areas (not state wide) to get tags and has been for at least the last 20 years. If it is for the safety I guess this means that some cars will only get a safety insp. once every 2 years, and some every year, depending on if the owner opts for 2 year tags? Or is Va. going back to 1 year only tags?.

Colorado has no safety inspection and the emissions tests pass almost everybody and the DMV computer network is very reliable…The check for insurance is done the same way, the insurance companies are connected to the DMV…No window stickers needed…

I think in Va. you need to get the safety inspection every year and get a sticker; and get the emissions testing every other year to get registration and the registration sticker. There is no separate emissions sticker.

Correct, and you can get license plates for either 1 or 2 years. The emissions inspection is only in areas not state wide. In those areas you cannot get license plates unless you first pass the emissions inspection.
Right from the Commonwealth of Virginia DMV website:
“If your vehicle is garaged in the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, or Stafford, or the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas or Manassas Park, your vehicle must meet the emissions inspection requirements. Inspections are valid for two years and may be obtained by having your vehicle inspected by a certified emissions inspection station.”

I think my “BS Meter” is near it’s limit. There is no mention of this “process of doing away with the windshield sticker.” on the Virginia State Police website or does anyone at the info phone number know anything about it. If anyone would know, they would, as the State Police runs the safety inspection program, and that’s what the windshield sticker is for.
And if this “process” was really for the emissions inspection, that requires no windshield sticker to begin with. And the Virginia Dept.of Environmental Quality has no info on it either, and they run the emissions inspection program.

I read that VA will no longer require state safety inspections for trucks. They will accept federal safety inspections.

Could this be the issue?

Don’t know since “oldwrench” hasn’t been back to clarify or provide the source for his statement.