QUINCY – The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is ramping up customer communication efforts to encourage anyone driving one of over 584,000 registered vehicles with an expired Massachusetts’ inspection sticker on their vehicle’s front windshield to make a plan to get their annual inspection and update their sticker as soon as possible. All vehicles registered in Massachusetts must pass a yearly vehicle emissions and safety inspection, also known as the Massachusetts Vehicle Check Program, which is essential to the safety of the Commonwealth’s environment and roadways.
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, some extensions were granted to annual inspection stickers expiring between March and May of 2020, however those extensions have since expired and no further extensions are planned. There are 1,800 local inspection stations, many of whom are small businesses, across Massachusetts that are open for business and conducting inspections in accordance with state public health guidelines and safety protocols. Customers are encouraged to visit the Inspection Station Locator to find a location near them and plan their trip to update their sticker.
“Annual motor vehicle inspections are an integral part of helping ensure that vehicles travelling on roadways across the Commonwealth are deemed safe and not releasing dangerous emissions that can be harmful to individuals and the environment,” said Acting Secretary of Transportation and CEO Jamey Tesler. “We are thankful for all of the work and collaborative efforts that are currently underway with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts State Police, local law enforcement, and key businesses partners and stakeholders to remind customers with expired inspection stickers to have their vehicles inspected as soon as possible.”
“The RMV encourages any customer with an expired inspection sticker to make a plan to get their inspection and sticker updated,” said Acting Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie. “Resources are readily available to help customers locate a convenient inspection station and guide them through the inspection process, following all safety and social distancing protocols to keep customers and inspection station staff safe.”
The RMV is teaming up with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), Massachusetts State Police (MSP), local law enforcement, and other business partners to remind customers of this time-sensitive requirement. While driving any motor vehicle without a valid inspection sticker is a traffic violation that may result in a fine and impact individual insurance rates, the RMV is asking law enforcement to use their discretion at this time and help remind and not cite those with expired stickers it’s time to renew.
“The emissions and safety inspection ensures motor vehicles operating in Massachusetts are safe, properly maintained, and not emitting excess air pollutants in our communities, which will improve air quality for us all,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “MassDEP, along with our program partners, encourages Massachusetts residents to renew their stickers to ensure that their vehicle emission systems are inspected yearly.”
“The Massachusetts State Police and local law enforcement are aware of the difficulties of prompt vehicle inspection renewal caused by the pandemic and agree that a reminder may be an effective temporary alternative to a citation during this current period,” said Massachusetts State Police (MSP) Colonel Chris Mason.
“We encourage individuals to proactively check the current status of their motor vehicle inspection stickers, and not wait to schedule a safety inspection, if warranted,” said Chelsea Chief of Police and President of the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police Association Brian Kyes.
“You’re safe with us,” said New England Service Station and Automotive Repair Association President Edgard Fayad. “The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has been dynamic and intense for all of us in the past year. Our inspection stations have implemented thorough safety measures designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for both our staff and customers including clear signs to adhere to social distancing, increased cleanliness and hygiene practices, monitoring customer access to waiting areas, and masks required at all times. From the start of this pandemic, gas and service stations have been considered essential and we continue to be committed to helping the families and communities we serve stay safe.”
RMV records show that approximately 584,000 active vehicle registrations in Massachusetts currently have an expired inspection sticker. An email reminder will be sent to the 437,000 individuals with an address on file. Other communication efforts will include social media outreach, reminders to RMV business partners and law enforcement, and buck-slip reminders will be included in registration mailings to encourage customers to “Check Ya Stickah” and take appropriate steps as needed.