The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles is changing the way it handles late vehicle inspections - and it could wind up costing some drivers more money.
Effective Nov. 1, any vehicle owner that is late in getting an inspection sticker will receive a new one dated for the following January, regardless of the month of the inspection. Owners who get their inspection on time will still get a new sticker with the month of the inspection, valid for a full year.
The change will not affect requirements to pass inspection or time requirements for getting an inspection for newly purchased vehicles, which must pass within seven days of the vehicle registration date.
Driving with an expired sticker or driving an uninspected vehicle can mean a ticket, fines or even a suspension.
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RMV officials said the change is to promote safety and also to keep an eye on vehicle emissions to reduce pollution.
“Vehicle owners are required to have the inspection done one year from the month the last inspection was done. We are asking all vehicle owners to place safety first and make sure to check your inspection date, and don’t be late," Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie said in a press release.
Another change - this one effective Oct. 1 - drivers will no longer receive a printed version of the inspection report. Reports can be viewed online using the online Mass Vehicle Check or by scanning a QR code at inspection sites. That one is aimed to save paper and reduce waste.
For more information on inspection stickers, visit the Massachusetts RMV website.