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Pennsylvania State Inspection: What gets checked, when you need one, and what you should bring with you.


If you live in the state of Pennsylvania and own a car, annual state inspections are required each year to keep your car roadworthy. State inspections run through a checklist of items that get assessed in your vehicle. State inspections are also a time for drivers to get parts of their car fixed including lights, issues triggering your check engine light, and other parts of your car that keep it functional. 

So what actually gets looked at during a PA state inspection? 

When you take your car in for a PA state inspection, the mechanic or garage employee will go through a list of items to check on your vehicle. From a high level, these items include

  • Suspension 
  • Steering 
  • Brake System 
  • Tires and Wheels
  • Lights and Electrical System 
  • Glazing
  • Mirrors 
  • Windshield
  • Fuel System 
  • Speedometer/Odometer
  • Exhaust System 
  • Vehicle Body 
  • Chassis 

When do I need to renew my inspection? 

This answer is different for everyone. The short answer is every 12 months, but depending on when your last inspection was, it could be any month of the year. If you’re unsure when your inspection is due for renewal, you can easily find the date on your car. If you get in the driver’s seat and look at the bottom left-hand corner of your windshield, a sticker with your inspection date should be there. 

When it’s time to take your car in for your annual inspection, we recommend making your appointment a few weeks beforehand. At the end of each month, garages get busy and everyone else who’s inspection is up for renewal tries to squeeze in their appointment, too. To prevent your car from being undrivable due to an overdue inspection, plan ahead. 

What do I need to bring with me to my appointment? 

Before you hop in your car and arrive for your inspection appointment, the garage will need you to bring a few things with you. Be sure to bring a copy of your valid vehicle insurance, your vehicle’s title, your vehicle’s VIN by an authorized inspection mechanic, notary public, or issuing agent, and your vehicle registration. 

Ready for your next inspection? Give us a call! We can schedule an appointment for you before your current inspection expires.



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