Georgia Car Inspection: Requirements, Costs & How to Prepare

Unsure if Georgia requires a car inspection? Learn about the state’s vehicle inspection laws and emissions testing requirements in this legal guide.

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Understanding Vehicle Inspection Laws in Georgia

Did you recently buy a car, or are you considering buying one in Georgia? If yes, you may be wondering if you need to perform car inspections. Most states have basic vehicle inspection laws mandating annual vehicle inspections. All vehicles should pass the inspection to be on the road legally. This is especially true for commercial vehicles.

This article will explain car inspection laws in Georgia and when you are required to perform an inspection. If you need further help or personalized advice, don’t hesitate to contact the Dressie Law Firm. We are a dedicated personal injury law firm in Atlanta, Georgia, and we have been helping injured victims recover maximum compensation for decades.

What Is a Car Inspection?

A vehicle inspection is a check mandated by the state to determine a car’s condition and whether it conforms to the regulations. The parts mainly inspected during a vehicle inspection process include:

  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Engine
  • Steering wheel
  • Lights
  • Transmission

    Does Georgia Require Car Inspections?

    Unlike other states, Georgia doesn’t have car inspection laws, which means no annual car inspections are required on the state level. You can legally use your vehicle in Georgia for years without proving it is safe.

    Even so, this does not mean that Georgia drivers can neglect vehicle inspections. Things can take a downturn if you are involved in an accident because of poor car maintenance. It would help if you learned about the mechanical failures that lead to car accidents to avoid this situation and have your vehicle inspected as often as possible to have them checked.

    If you were involved in a car accident, consider seeking the help of an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney.

    Although Georgia does not demand an annual inspection on the state level, 13 counties have local car inspection requirements. These counties are:

    • Clayton
    • Coweta
    • Cherokee
    • Cobb
    • DeKalb
    • Douglas
    • Forsyth
    • Fulton
    • Fayette
    • Gwinnett
    • Rockdale
    • Paulding.

    You may need to schedule annual vehicle inspections if you live in any of these counties. If you just moved into one of these counties, you must visit a testing station within 30 days of your arrival. However, not all types of vehicles in these counties require inspection. The types exempted are:

    • Recreational vehicles (RVs)

    • Alternative fuel vehicles

    • Motorcycles

    • Diesel-powered vehicles

    • Cars models that are 25 years old and over

    • Cars models that are three years or newer

    Georgia residents who are above 65 years old are also exempted from vehicle registration if:

    • They drive for less than 5,000 miles annually

    • Their vehicle is at least ten years old

    These seniors may report to the Georgia Clean Air Force center for their exemption to be considered.

    The Vehicle Inspection Process in Georgia

    If you live in one of the 13 counties that require vehicle inspections, here’s what you need to know about the process:

    • Schedule an appointment: You can schedule an appointment at any state-approved Georgia inspection station. Some state vehicle inspection stations also allow walk-ins.

    • Bring necessary documents: You will need to bring your driver’s license, registration papers, and proof of insurance. If your vehicle is exempted from inspection, you may need to bring proof of exemption.

    • Prepare your vehicle: Make sure your vehicle is clean inside and out before heading to the inspection station. A dirty or cluttered car may delay the process. You should also make sure your gas tank is at least one-fourth full.

    • Inspection process: Once you arrive at the inspection station, an inspector will check your vehicle’s condition for about 15 minutes. They will check the parts mentioned above and may use a computerized system to check emissions.

    • Pass or fail: After the inspection, you will be informed if your vehicle has passed or failed. If it fails, the inspector will provide you with a report outlining the issues that need to be addressed.

    • Retest and repairs: If your vehicle fails the initial inspection, you have 30 days to retest after making necessary repairs. The retest should be done at the same inspection station. Repairs can be made at any licensed repair facility.

    Does Georgia Require Emissions Testing?

    Emissions testing is done on your car’s engine to determine the amount and composition of exhaust it emits. In Georgia, emissions tests are done by the Georgia Clean Air Force. Like car inspections, annual emissions tests are not mandatory statewide in Georgia. However, you may need to undergo emissions testing if you live in the Atlanta Metro area and the counties mentioned above, where vehicle inspections are done annually.

    Additionally, cars moving to these counties need to undergo emissions inspections within 30 days of moving in. Emissions testing is optional if you live in the other 146 counties. However, this does not mean you should not go for emissions inspections. This inspection helps ensure that your vehicle operations are clean and efficient.

    Where Is Car Inspection and Emissions Testing Done in Georgia?

    If you need car inspection services, you can visit any motor vehicle service station with a sign indicating it is an inspection station. Some inspection stations may not be equipped to inspect cars of all models, especially those manufactured before 1996.

    What Inspection Tests Are Done?

    The safety inspection process followed is determined by your car’s age. If the car’s model year is before 1995, your car goes through tests like:

    • A gas cap seal test
    • Accelerated simulation mode test
    • A two-speed idle test
    • Visual catalytic converter inspection

    On the other hand, if your car’s model is 1996 or newer, the tests done are:

    • OBD II test
    • Gas cap seal test
    • A visual catalytic converter inspection

    The average time spent during the inspection is about an hour, but you may be at the inspection station longer during peak hours.

    What Is the Cost of a Georgia Car Inspection?

    There is no standard cost for an emissions test or vehicle inspection. While testing stations are free to set their preferred prices, this service often costs less than $25.

    Should I Perform Inspections When Renewing My Car Registration in Georgia?

    If you live in one of the 13 counties in the Atlanta Metro Area where annual emissions testing is mandatory, your car needs to undergo an emissions inspection before renewing its registration. The Georgia Clean Air Force recommends getting an emission test about a month before renewal. Otherwise, Georgia residents outside these counties are not required to perform an inspection.

    Can My Vehicle Fail the Inspection Test?

    Your car could fail the inspection test if its current state doesn’t meet the car inspection requirements. Possible reasons why your car could fail the inspection requirements include:

    • A lot of dirt and debris in the air filters
    • Broken spark plugs
    • Malfunctioning fuel cap
    • Malfunctioning EGR valve
    • There were leaks in the vacuum system
    • A malfunctioning oxygen sensor

    If your vehicle fails the inspection or emissions test, you may need to take it to a qualified auto repair shop.

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    Vehicle owners and commercial vehicle drivers who aren’t aware of local laws, their rights, and their obligations are at higher risk of causing car accidents.

    Experienced attorneys at the Dressie Law Firm can provide the guidance you need concerning local car inspection requirements and laws. If you find yourself involved in a car accident due to someone’s negligence, our car accident lawyers can help you.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!