As with other states, part of the car registration process in Alabama is taking your car to an inspection. On your end, a vehicle inspection can help you determine safety concerns with your vehicle. When it comes to the law, though, most Alabama inspection requirements must determine your vehicle identification number matches the numbers on your title.
Safety Inspections Prior to Transfer of Ownership
In Alabama, a vehicle must undergo a safety inspection prior to transfer of ownership. This includes purchasing a new or used vehicle from a dealership, selling your vehicle to another individual, or other transfers. The inspections must happen at the Motor Vehicle Title and Tag office before registration.
After this safety inspection is complete, you do not need to have your vehicle inspected again while it remains in your possession. If you intend to transfer ownership of your vehicle, then you must put it through an inspection beforehand.
If your vehicle fails the safety inspection, you will need to complete any necessary repairs before you can transfer ownership. You do not have to worry about a time limit for these repairs.
Inspection as Part of the Motor Vehicle Registration Process
When registering your vehicle, the licensing official will perform an inspection. However, you do not have to complete emissions testing to receive your vehicle registration in Alabama. Instead, you will need to present an odometer disclosure statement and your insurance information at the time of registration.
If you are moving into Alabama and have an out of state registered vehicle, you will need to complete a VIN inspection. This inspection confirms that your vehicle matches with your out-of-state registration. When you pass this test, you can then complete your registration process for Alabama.
Both out-of-state transfers and new vehicle registrations have 20-day deadlines. You must complete your registration in this period to follow state laws. Afterward, you must keep all registration documents inside your vehicle. Failure to do so is a violation and can result in fines if you cannot provide law enforcement with your proof of registration upon request.
Although the state doesn’t require emissions testing, the law does allow for any city to pass laws to that effect. Remain aware of your city’s laws and stay up-to-date on any required tests. Privately owned facilities can conduct emissions inspections and are located across the state.
Benefits of Emissions Inspections
Emissions inspections help play a role in preventing excessive levels of pollution from vehicles. For this reason, many environmental groups have begun the push to require these inspections by law. Though Alabama has yet to establish such a law, there are still green driver benefits. These do not relate to emissions inspections, but green-minded drivers can receive auto insurance discounts and tax breaks.
When you take your vehicle for an emissions inspection, you’re ensuring that you keep your vehicle safe from harmful emissions as well as contribute to reducing your impact on the environment.
If your vehicle fails the inspection, the lack of a state emissions inspection means you can continue driving without any legal ramifications. However, if you have concerns about the potential environmental impact of your vehicle, many emissions inspections stations also provide repair services, which can help you resolve your vehicle’s issues.
While state law does not require you to complete regular emissions or safety inspections, it’s still in your best interest to do so. A safety inspection is one of the best ways to decrease your risk of an accident by keeping all parts of your vehicle in good working order.