Get a vehicle inspection

Everything you need to know about where to get your vehicle(s) inspected

Get a vehicle inspection

Everything you need to know about where to get your vehicle(s) inspected
Introduction

The ultimate goal of a vehicle safety inspection is to confirm all vehicles on the road meet emissions and safety standards, ensuring driver safety.

 

Depending on the make, model, and year of your vehicle, as well as how the vehicle is being used, an inspection may be required annually or just periodically. Generally, personal vehicles (e.g., cars and trucks) do not require a safety inspection.

 

When it’s time for your vehicle to undergo an inspection, you’ll receive a notice by email or physical mail from the Connecticut DMV letting you know.

When arriving
All customers coming to the inspection lane will need to wear facial covering. To maintain social distancing, all customers should stay in their vehicles until they are told otherwise.
What type of inspection do I need?

A general inspection is for:

Location & hours
Wethersfield DMV Inspection Lane
60 State St., Wethersfield, CT 06161
Hours: M-F, 7:30 a.m. — 4 p.m.

 

A salvage inspection is for:

Location & hours

Wethersfield DMV Inspection Lane
60 State St., Wethersfield, CT 06161
Hours: M-F, 8 a.m. — 12 p.m. (customers must arrive by 11 a.m.)

 

Note: The salvage inspection fee can be paid at the inspection lane if it wasn’t paid in advance. Customers are required to provide a phone number and credit card number at the time of inspection.

 

A commercial inspection is for:

  • Commercial vehicles over 18,000 lbs. gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), commercial trailers over 10,000 lbs. GVWR, and commercial vehicles or trailers seeking a temporary registration. See “other requirements” below for additional information.
  • Driver education vehicles. A yearly inspection is needed at a DMV inspection lane.
  • School transportation vehicles 10,000 lbs. GVWR and under. Inspections will be scheduled by inspectors in the district, or vehicles can be brought to the inspection lane.
  • Service buses
  • Taxis. First-time inspections are performed at the DMV. Inspections for registration renewal are done through a Connecticut licensed dealer or repairer.

Locations & hours

Commercial inspections required by 14-137-120 for temporary registration are only performed at the following locations:

Wethersfield DMV inspection lane
60 State St., Wethersfield, CT 06161
Hours: M-F, 7:30 a.m. — 4 p.m.

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  • Other requirements
  • Additional information & fees

Other requirements

Emissions testing

Emissions tests aren’t performed at DMV offices. Please visit the Connecticut Emissions Program site for locations.


Manufacturer’s license

Vehicles that need a valid manufacturer's license from the Connecticut DMV:

  • New camping trailers and ones previously registered out of state
  • New pop-up campers and ones previously registered out of state
  • New commercial trailers (ex: trailers used by a landscape company) and ones previously registered out of state

Note: If the manufacturer doesn’t have the required manufacturer’s license, the vehicle must be presented at the Wethersfield inspection lane for a safety inspection.


Vehicles that are exempt:

  • Used camping trailers, pop-up campers, and commercial trailers registered in CT
  • New and used utility trailers used to transport personal property, including boat trailers, snowmobile/ATV, horse trailers

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) assignments

VIN assignments can only be performed at the Wethersfield inspection lane. Please call the Vehicle Identification Unit at (860) 263-5214 to make an appointment for a car or truck.


Trailer VIN assignments don’t need appointments, but they can only be brought in for inspection from Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Trailers with a gross vehicle weight of over 3,000 pounds will be charged $50 for the assigned VIN.


Learn more about Vehicle Identification Number verifications for certain vehicle types.


Commercial vehicles cont.

Connecticut Motor Vehicle Regulation 14-137-120 requires commercial motor vehicles over 18,000 lbs. GVWR and commercial trailers over 10,000 lbs. GVWR seeking temporary registrations be inspected in accordance with the North American Standard Level I inspection at a DMV facility.

Additional information & fees

Temporary plates

Temporary plates won’t be issued to a vehicle that has failed for service brakes, steering components or frame rot until repairs have been certified by a Connecticut licensed dealer or repairer as completed.


Temporary commercial registrations

Temporary Commercial Registrations for more than 10 days won’t be issued for vehicles that don’t pass inspection in full compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations at a DMV inspection lane.

 

Please see registration of a commercial vehicle for more information.

 

Title exceptions

An inspection can’t be done if the title documents are marked "not safe for the road, junk, etc."

You'll need a letter from a Connecticut licensed dealer or repairer confirming that repairs have been made and the vehicle is now safe for the road.

 

Warning tickets

If you’ve gotten a warning ticket from a law enforcement agency for window tint, VIN problems or if the officer indicates 'DMV Inspection Only', you must present the vehicle for inspection at a DMV inspection lane.

 

All other warning tickets may be presented to a Connecticut licensed dealer or repairer for inspection.

 

Tinted window requirements

Any vehicle with an after-market (or “after factory”) tint applied to the window needs to get the tint tested in order to receive a tint compliance sticker. This sticker must be affixed to the window by the DMV.

When tested, windows need to have an allowable light transmittance of no less than 35 percent, plus or minus three percent to receive a sticker.


What is an after-market tint?

A vehicle window tinted or darkened with any tinted material after factory delivery, is an after-market tint. You need to bring these vehicles to the Department of Motor Vehicles for inspection.

 

Inspection

Courtesy inspections for window tint are conducted at a DMV inspection lane—learn more about that process.

 

Medical Exemption

If a medical condition exists that requires your window tint to be between 32 percent and not less than 20 percent, a medical exemption may be granted. If this is the case, request an application and special permit for exemption from tinted window requirements (Form E-220).

The DMV’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Division validates this request after your vehicle passes tint measurement in the inspection lane at the Wethersfield, CT, DMV location.

Carry the validated form in your vehicle at all times. Compliance stickers should not be affixed to windows in exempted vehicles.

Window tint with a light transmittance of less than 20 percent fail the measurement and are not issued an exemption. You are referred to the Medical Review Unit for further review if you need an exemption.

 

Rear Windows

If the vehicle is equipped with left and right-hand side rearview mirrors, the tinting standard does not apply to the rear-most window, the back window, for example. back window).

 

MPV

If the manufacturer's certification label in the driver’s door jamb identifies the vehicle as a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), the windows to the rear of the operator may be tinted as dark as desired provided the vehicle is equipped with left and right-side rearview mirrors.

 

Trucks, motor buses, motor homes, and livery vehicles

The windows to the rear of the operator may be tinted as dark as desired provided the vehicle is equipped with left and right- side rearview mirrors.
Note: If you wish to verify that your vehicle tints are within the legal limit, you may bring the vehicle to the Wethersfield inspection lane. If the vehicle fails, you receive a warning ticket.

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  • Is it legal to have after-market lighting on my car?
  • What are the allowable colors for my after-market lighting?
  • Can I have underbody neon lights if they are shatterproof?
  • Can I have neon hubcaps or wheel covers?
  • Can I have in addition to my headlights, neon bars that don’t go on with the headlights, but are hooked up separately?
  • Are strobe lamps on my headlights and taillights legal?
  • Is it legal to have hydraulic shocks to raise and lower the car?
  • Are airbag shocks legal to raise and lower the car?
  • Are glass pack mufflers legal?
  • What are the height requirements my car can be?
  • What is a composite vehicle?
  • Can I tint my windows to black?

Is it legal to have after-market lighting on my car?

Any motor vehicle equipped with after-market lighting, other than supplied by the manufacturer, should comply with certain regulations for the State of Connecticut. As specified in Sections 14-137-100 through 14-137-104 of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Regulations manual.

What are the allowable colors for my after-market lighting?

Any light visible from the front of the vehicle shall be:

  • white
  • yellow or
  • amber

Any light visible from the forward-most edge of the rear tire of the vehicle to the front of the vehicle shall be:

  • amber or
  • Yellow

Any light visible from the forward-most edge of the rear tire of the vehicle to the rear of the vehicle shall be:

  • Red

Any light visible from the rear of the vehicle shall be:

  • red or
  • amber

(Effective July 25, 1994)

Can I have underbody neon lights if they are shatterproof?

To date, none of the manufacturers of neon lamps have certified the color and intensity of their product. If they were to become certified, then the color would be limited by the location but white, amber, or yellow, and red is the only allowable colors to be displayed while operated on the road in accordance with DMV Regulation 14-137-101.

Can I have neon hubcaps or wheel covers?

Hubcaps and/or wheel covers also fall under the same specification as neon lights. However, only amber or yellow would be allowed on the front wheels and only red would be allowed on the rear wheels to comply with DMV Regulation 14-137-101.

Can I have in addition to my headlights, neon bars that don’t go on with the headlights, but are hooked up separately?

None of the manufacturers of neon lamps have certified the color and intensity of their product.


The addition of no more than two auxiliary driving lamps, passing lamps, or fog lamps producing white or amber light, is allowed if they are mounted at a height in accordance with Connecticut State Law Title 14 Sec. 14-96o.


In addition, in accordance with Connecticut State Law Title 14 Sec. 14-96y, there may be no more than four lamps exceeding 300 candlepower illuminated at the front at any one time. This means that if the headlamp system has two lamps on each side illuminated at any time, then the auxiliary lamps must extinguish automatically.


Also, any auxiliary lamps of over 300 candlepower must only illuminate with the tail lamps and may not be independent for use on the road. Any additional lamps of less than 300 candlepower must produce amber or yellow or white light.

Are strobe lamps on my headlights and taillights legal?

Strobe lamps may only be used in operation on the road with a DMV-issued permit that is issued only for specific reasons identified in Connecticut State Law Title 14 Sec. 14-96p and Sec. 14-96q.

 

Since some parking lots are considered public access, this prohibition would also apply. If your vehicle were used indoors at shows, the operation of strobe lamps at that location would not be regulated by the DMV.

Is it legal to have hydraulic shocks to raise and lower the car?

No one has yet presented a hydraulic raising and lowering system on a vehicle that complies with Connecticut DMV Regulations Sec. 14-137-24 and 14-137-25 regarding automotive suspension systems.


All hydraulic systems presented either eliminated the shock absorber or were attached to a portion of the vehicle structure that was too weak, and both these types of installation are prohibited.

Are airbag shocks legal to raise and lower the car?

Various types of air suspension systems would be allowed to raise or lower a vehicle if the minimum ground clearance of four inches is maintained. The replacement components must also meet or exceed the quality and performance standards established by the vehicle manufacturer. The installation of the replacement components shouldn’t affect the safe operating characteristics of the vehicle.

Are glass pack mufflers legal?

Per Sec. 14-80a-1a through 14-80a-10a of the DMV Regulations for "Glass Pack Mufflers" it is based on the loudness of the vehicle measured in accordance with the DMV Regulation.

The loudness is affected not only by the mufflers utilized, but also by any engine modifications. There can be two different vehicles with the same exhaust system, however, they may have different engine modifications. One of the vehicles may pass the noise level measurement test and the other vehicle may not.

What are the height requirements my car can be?

The height requirements are contained in DMV Regulations Sec. 14-137-25, which states “Height Adjustment Limitations."

What is a composite vehicle?

A composite motor vehicle is by statute, "Any motor vehicle, composed or assembled from the several parts of other motor vehicles, or the identification and body contours of which are so altered that the vehicle no longer bears the characteristics of any specific make of motor vehicle." Therefore, any vehicle not assembled by a manufacturer licensed as such in the State of Connecticut is classified as a composite motor vehicle.


Before a composite vehicle can be registered, it must pass a special composite vehicle inspection, which is only done in the Wethersfield DMV inspection lane. These inspections are done Monday through Friday from 8 am - 3 pm.

Can I tint my windows to black?

No. In accordance with Connecticut State Law Title 14 Sec. 14-99g, the side and rear windows may be tinted to the point where at least 35% light transmitted can still be transmitted through the window as darkened, provided that the reflectivity does not exceed 27% reflectivity.


Note: Persons with medical conditions can obtain a permit for tinted windows to the level where only 20% of the light transmitted through the window is tinted. The windows to the rear of the driver on trucks, buses, multipurpose passenger vehicles or MPVs (a.k.a. SUVs), trailers and mobile manufactured homes are exempt from the light transmissibility requirements.

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  • What vehicles require a safety inspection in the State of Connecticut?
  • Does my out-of-state vehicle require a safety inspection?
  • If I purchase an out-of-state vehicle, does it need to be safety inspected?
  • If I sell a 10-year-old vehicle, does the buyer need to have the vehicle safety inspected?
  • My vehicle is 15 years old; I took it off the road and now want to re-register the vehicle. Does it need inspection?
  • Can I drive my salvage vehicle in for the safety inspection?

What vehicles require a safety inspection in the State of Connecticut?

Vehicles or issues that require an inspection include:

If my vehicle requires a safety inspection, where should I bring the vehicle?

A complete listing of locations for vehicles requiring a safety inspection can be found under inspections performed at DMV.

 

Does my 10-year-old or older vehicle require a safety inspection?

No, additional information on inspection requirements can be found

Does my out-of-state vehicle require a safety inspection?

No, however, your out-of-state vehicle requires a vehicle identification number (VIN) verification. This can be done at a VIN Verification Inspection Station. Your out-of-state vehicle may require an emission test. Visit the Connecticut Emissions Testing website for further information.

 

The following list of vehicles being registered in Connecticut for the first time will require a safety inspection:

  • Composite vehicles (modified antique and street rod vehicles)
  • Driver education vehicles
  • Homemade trailers (unless previously titled out-of-state with a vehicle identification number)
  • Salvage vehicles with a ‘Salvage’ title (Totaled, Reconstructed, Modified)
  • Service buses, school buses and student transportation vehicles
  • Taxi
  • Wrecker

Additional information on the requirements for each vehicle listed above can be found under inspections performed at DMV.

If I purchase an out-of-state vehicle, does it need to be safety inspected?

No, but it is required to have a vehicle identification number (VIN) verification. This can be done at a VIN Verification Inspection Station. See also Emissions Test Requirements.

If I sell a 10-year-old vehicle, does the buyer need to have the vehicle safety inspected?

No, however, the vehicle may need an emissions test.

My vehicle is 15 years old; I took it off the road and now want to re-register the vehicle. Does it need inspection?

No, however, the vehicle may need an emissions test.

Can I drive my salvage vehicle in for the safety inspection?

A private individual cannot drive or tow the salvaged vehicle to the DMV office. Vehicles may only be brought in on a flat-bed trailer or car carrier (i.e., no wheel of the vehicle may touch the ground).


The vehicle can be driven/towed by a bonafide dealer/repairer employee with dealer/repair plates only when the dealer is the owner of the vehicle. But if it fails inspection it must be transported away on a flatbed trailer