Connecticut Car Inspection Laws And Requirements

A Connecticut car inspection is required before you register certain vehicles. Some of these vehicles include ambulances, homemade trailers, street rods, taxis, grey market vans and trucks, Kit cars and vehicles used for school transportation. The complete list can be found at the Department Of Motor Vehicles website. We’ll be happy to provide the link and help you find the right information.

If you have bought a vehicle at an auction, and it is more than 10 years old, it may require attention. If you make a purchase out of state, the VIN may have to be verified at a local office. This will protect yourself as well as a potential new owner that may not be familiar withe origination or background of the vehicle. Often, at auctions, you are not able to view potential problems that could arise at a later date.


Ambulance and taxi inspection fees in Connecticut are only $20. Fire apparatus fees would increase to $25, service buses would be $40 and service buses more than 13 tons would cost $80. Payments are accepted at license locations, AAA offices and branch/satellite offices. Of course, we realize that most of you do not drive taxis and ambulances!

Typically, you can pay fees by money orders, cash, checks, most credit cards and most debit cards. Some locations may not accept credit cards or cash so it’s best to call in advance.


As indicated above, many cars and trucks are required to have inspections. Depending on the type of vehicle, a qualified dealer or repairer may be able to be used. However, often, the initial appointment  may have to be done at the Department Of Motor Vehicles. There are many available locations.

School buses must arrange theirs by appointment and an out-of-state vehicle has two months to register. Meanwhile, if the serial number of the vehicle must be verified, many offices may handle that task including locations at Norwich, Danbury, Bridgeport, Hamden, Waterbury and Enfield. More specific details can be found at the DMV website.

Drunk Driving

Here’s an easy one. Don’t drive if you have been drinking. Like most states, CT laws are designed to protect consumers and will come down hard if you get a DUI. Any time you are on the road, you can be asked to take a test to check your blood alcohol level. If it above .08, you are considered drunk. This figure drops to .02 if you are under 21.

If you are guilty, it is classified as  a criminal offense. Your vehicle will be immediately towed away and you will be transported to local police headquarters. Until you meet bail, you’ll stay in jail.

CT Safety Requirements For Car

Keep Your Car Safe When Driving In Connecticut

Failed Safety

If your vehicle does not pass the safety inspection, you must pass a second one at an approved location. If the failed attempt occurs at a repairer or car dealer, then the second one can take place at that location. However, serial number and windows that are tinted must take place at an authorized location by the DMV here in Ct.

Emissions Testing

Every two years, your vehicle must be tested and typically you receive a notice in the mail. The cost of the test is only $20 and it must be completed in order for you to legally drive your car. Testing dates and times are very flexible and appointments can be set in advance. There are hundreds of sites located throughout the state, so it’s unlikely you’ll have to drive very far for the procedure.

Usually, you can find a location within 20-30 minutes away. They  always have a sign in front (or on the side) of their location with a visible ID number shown. Inside, you can monitor the procedure from an enclosed glass area. Occasionally, some of the centers close and a nearby option will have to be used.

We urge all  drivers to get the test done at least a few months before the due date. You are allowed to schedule an exam up to three months in advance. If you fail the exam, you have two months to correct the issue and re-test. Although you can repair the vehicle yourself, we highly recommend you go to a facility that has the proper certification. You will not have to pay for the re-test. However, if you fail a second time, you will be charged a fee.

What About Motorcycles?

Yes, motorcycles must also be seen and the VIN number must be easily readable by the inspector. Braked must be working (front and back) along with working tail lights and stop lights. A drive chain and odometer is required and the license plate must be shown at the back of the bike. Also, if you have a trailer and it weighs more than 10,000 pounds, it will have to be looked at.

Additional information is available here.  We strive to bring you current and updated information regarding state inspection laws, requirements and saving money on car insurance rates.

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