In October 2017, a big change to the way state car inspections are performed took effect when the Commonwealth adopted a new vendor for inspection sticker processing. If you haven’t had your car inspected yet since then, you may not know what you’re in for.
The biggest change is that the inspectors themselves will now have more accountability. The Massachusetts Vehicle Check program will now be more high-tech, with real-time compliance monitoring through five surveillance cameras that must be installed throughout the service bays. Additionally, optional wireless emissions tests are now available, as is a camera for the now-required snapshot of the license plate, odometer, and VIN.
The new requirements also crack down on rust problems on vehicles, requiring that any significant rust issue be repaired before a car can pass an inspection. Rust holes had previously been banned but could often be overlooked under the old system. Now, cameras will be able to see even minor rust spots. While this has increased the rust repair side of our business, we’ve also worked with many car owners who first tried the DIY rust removal approach. Unfortunately, DIY rust repair will usually fail within a couple of weeks due to the nature of how rust spreads. While we can’t guarantee that rust won’t come back when we do our own rust removal, we do everything humanly and scientifically possible to keep it away.
The cost of an inspection sticker has remained at $35 (despite the fact that it costs each shop between $5,000-$7,000 to purchase the required equipment), but it’s likely that inspections will take longer now that inspectors have more points to check – and that will likely mean longer wait times and more failed inspections.
Though the additions to inspection requirements may seem like an unnecessary burden for both car owners and inspection shops alike, these criteria are actually important from a safety standpoint. The ultimate goal is to reduce sticker fraud, thereby ensuring that fewer unsafe cars will be on the road.
If you failed your last inspection because of rust on your vehicle (or are afraid you might in the near future), stop by MicroBlend. We specialize in removing rust spots quickly and at an affordable rate!