6292 Thompson Road
Syracuse, New York
(315) 437-2521

NYS Inspections

NYS Inspections are preformed daily at Carrier Circle Car Care and cost:
$10 for vehicles less than 2 years old
$21 for all other vehicles

New York State Vehicle Safety/Emissions Inspection Program
For Cars and Light Trucks

The New York State vehicle safety inspection program helps make sure every vehicle registered in this state meets the minimum standards for safe operation on public streets and highways. In addition, most vehicles are subject to an emissions inspection to help reduce air pollution.

A properly maintained vehicle is safer, performs better, uses fuel more efficiently and saves the owner money. You can help by doing your own equipment safety checks between annual inspections, and by following a program of regular vehicle maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer.

This publication highlights the safety and emissions inspection requirements for cars and light trucks. Other motor vehicles, including motorcycles and trailers, must meet different requirements for annual inspection.


Motor vehicles are required, by law, to be in safe operating condition whenever they are driven on a public street or roadway in New York State.

Each vehicle registered in New York State must be inspected at least every 12 months. The inspection must be done before the expiration date of the current inspection sticker, and whenever the vehicles becomes registered in a different name.

When a vehicle inspection is requested, and inspection station must inspect any vehicle it is licensed to inspect, or must provide in writing, an appointment date that is within eight working days. If an appointment is made, the station may require a deposit that cannot exceed the inspection fee.

The inspection must be done in a licensed inspection station displaying an official sign, and must be performed by a certified motor vehicle inspector.

If your vehicle fails the safety and/or emissions inspection, the inspection station must have your permission before beginning any repairs.

You are not required to have your vehicle repaired or re-inspected at the station that performed the initial inspection. Your vehicle may be taken to any registered repair shop, or you may make the required repairs yourself. Your vehicle must then pass a new inspection, at an inspection station of your choice, before an inspection sticker will be issued.

It is a misdemeanor for an inspector to knowingly issue, or a motorist to knowingly accept, an inspection sticker unless a full and proper inspection has been performed.


Seat Belts
Inspect for proper operation and anchorage.

Model years 1969 and newer - one seat belt is required for each seating position
Model years 1967 and 1968 - two front seat belts are required (driver position included), and one seat belt is required for each seating position elsewhere in the vehicle
Model years 1965 and 1966 - two front seat belts are required (driver position included)
Your vehicle's Air Bag Warning Lamp will be checked for proper operation. You will be informed if the vehicle's air bag warning lamp is on or is not working. This is an advisement only and not cause for rejection.

At least one front wheel must be removed to inspect the brakes.

Brake pedal reserve - brake pedal must have 1/3 reserve
Brake pedal fade - brake must hold for one minute without fading
Power brake unit - check for proper operation
Brake master cylinder - check for leakage and proper fluid level
Disc brake pads - check condition
Drum brake linings - thickness of linings must be at least 1/16 inch on bonded linings or at least 1/32 inch over rivet head on riveted linings, with no loose or missing rivets or lining
Brake drums and/or rotors - check condition
Wheel cylinders and/or calipers - check for leakage
All brake lines and hoses - check for leaks, cracks, chafing, restrictions, and improper support
Parking brake - check for components and function
Brake equalization - test vehicle for a straight stop without significant wheel pull
Steering, Front End, Suspension, Chassis, Frame & Wheel Fasteners

Front end assembly - check condition
Steering wheel play - check for excessive freeplay
All steering linkage - check for tightness or binding, excessive wear and/or looseness in parts, including idler arm, center control arm, tie-rod ends, drag link ends, steering and pitman arms, gear box, cross shafts, bushings, wheel bearings, steering column or steering wheel shaft mounting
Power steering - check operation, condition of belt, and for leakage
Shock absorbers - check shock mountings and for broken or missing shock absorbers
Springs and torsion bars - check for sagging or broken springs, or a broken, disconnected, missing or bent torsion or stabilizer bar
Chassis/frame - check for breaks, cracks, or severe rust at the suspension attachment points
Wheel fasteners - check for missing or broken parts

Tires (Except spare)
Tread depth - must be at least 2/32 inch when measured in two adjacent major tread grooves showing the most wear
Tire condition - check for any fabric break or cut over the length or width of 1 inch, visible bumps, bulges or knots, and any restricted use designation on the tire
Tire pressure - You will be informed if the vehicle's tire pressure in not within the manufacturer's recommendation. This is an advisement only, and not cause for rejection.

All lighting must be of an approved type and inspected for operation, proper mounting, and broken or missing lenses. Side marker lamps, parking lamps, and additional flashing turning lamps mounted on the side of the vehicle are not inspected.

Headlights (low and high beam)
Tail lamps
Stop lamps
Directional signals
Backup lights (1969 and newer)
License plate lights
Hazard warning/four-way flasher (1966 and newer)
Directional signal indicator

Windshield And Other Glass
No crack of 11 inches long or longer is allowed if any part of the crack is within the area cleared by the windshield wiper.
Windshield - check for presence and condition
All windows - approved safety glass or rigid plastic and condition

Windshield Wipers And Blades
(Not including rear window or headlamp wipers)

Wipers - check for presence and operation
Blades - check condition

Check mounting and operation

Check mirror locations for proper mounting, cracks, breaks, and/or discoloration:

Model year 1970 and newer - must have a left outside mirror and an inside mirror, or both left and right outer mirrors
Model year 1968 and newer - must have a left outside mirror
1967 and older - must have one mirror that is either an inside mirror or a left outside mirror
Note: Any vehicle that has a permanent obstruction of the view through the rear window (Example: a truck or van) must have both a left-side mirror and a right-side outside mirror.

Fuel Leaks
Any fuel leak that causes dripping or pooling is not acceptable.

The Emissions Inspection - Drive New York Clean

The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act requires New York State to conduct an inspection program to help reduce harmful emissions from most gasoline-powered passenger cars and light-duty trucks. The emissions inspection is done at the same time as the annual safety inspection. Vehicles that fail the emissions inspection may not be able to become registered or, if already registered, the registration may not be renewed.

Some vehicles are exempt from the emissions inspection program: Your passenger car or light truck does not have to be inspected for emissions if it is:

Less than two model years old;
26 model years old or older;
Registered with historical plates; or,
Electric-powered only.
Most vehicles with diesel engines are also exempted. However, diesel-powered vehicles that weigh more than 8,500 lbs. and are registered in the New York Metropolitan Area (NYMA) counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester, and the five counties within New York City, are subject to annual emissions inspection. All diesel-powered vehicles over 8500 lbs. GVWR operated in New York State, even if registered elsewhere, are subject to roadside inspections. These safety and equipment inspections are conducted randomly statewide by the New York State Police and the New York State Department of Transportation.

Statewide, including in the NYMA. The emissions inspection for vehicles registered anywhere in New York State includes and "OBDII" (onboard diagnostics) test for vehicles that weigh ,500 lbs. or less, and are model year 1996 or newer. Part of this test examines the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL), also known as the "check engine" light, for operation/illumination, and verifies the test results of the vehicle's "onboard emission diagnostic" system.

In the NYMA only. A "High Enhanced" emissions inspection is required for most vehicles registered in this area of the state, unless they are subject to the statewide OBDII test or are exempt from all emissions inspections. This inspection is required for all vehicles less than 26 model years old (until, and including, model year 1995) that weigh 8,500 lbs. or less. In this test, the vehicle's exhaust is directly tested for the amount of hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, and carbon monoxide pollutants. This inspection also includes a simulated driving condition test on a dynamometer.

In the NYMA, vehicles less than 26 model years old that weigh more than 8,500 lbs. are subject to an "idle emissions inspection." This inspection includes a test of the exhaust emissions while the engine is at idle.

In all counties outside the NYMA. A "Low Enhanced" emissions inspection is required for most vehicles registered in this area of the state, unless they are subject to the statewide OBDII text or are exempt from all emissions inspections. This inspection is required for all vehicles that are under 26 model years old (until, and including, model year 1995) that weigh 18,000 lbs. or less.

What The Emissions Inspection Inspects

Each emissions inspection confirms the presence and connection of the vehicle's required emission control devices. This includes making sure that the vehicle's gas cap is present and in good condition, and fits properly fit.

The emission control devices are examined if the vehicle was originally manufactured with them. The vehicle model years affected are indicated.

Catalytic converter (CAT) - all model years
Exhaust gas recirculation valve (EGR) - all model years
Positive crankcase ventilation system (PCV) - all model years
Air injection system (AIS) - 1984 and newer
Evaporative emission control (EVAP) - 1984 and newer
Fuel inlet restrictor (FIR) - 1984 and newer
Thermostatic air cleaner (TAC) - 1984 and newer

You can help your vehicle pass an emissions inspection by keeping it properly maintained. If the vehicle's Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL, or "check engine" light) indicates there may be a malfunction or other problem, have the vehicle properly repaired. A well maintained, functioning vehicle uses less fuel and creates less exhaust emissions.