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With a few exceptions, if you own a car in New Jersey, you must have it inspected every two years. If your car fails inspection, you must have it repaired and retested until it passes. We all hope our cars will pass all of the New Jersey state inspections with flying colors, but if yours doesn't, here is what you need to know.

A NJ state inspection checks for excessive emissions.

Can You Challenge the Results of a Failed Inspection?

In some cases, vehicle owners suspect their cars may not pass inspection. In other cases, a non-passing designation is a complete shock. If you encounter the latter, you may be entitled to ask for a referee inspection. Here are the two reasons the state may grant a re-test:

  • You question the testing protocol used at the state or private facility that conducted the test on your car.
  • Your vehicle failed one inspection, you had it repaired by a certified emissions repair facility and it fails again.

Referee inspections are conducted at facilities in Winslow, Westfield and Asbury Park. Requesting one will not extend the expiration date on your car’s existing sticker.

Challenge or Not, What to Do If Your Car Gets a Red Sticker

If your vehicle inspector does not stick a standard New Jersey inspection sticker on your windshield but slaps on a red sticker indicating it has not passed, it is time to contact a Sussex County auto repair shop that has been designated a registered New Jersey Emission Repair Facility. You also have the option to make needed emissions repairs yourself, but most motorists readily admit they lack the knowledge, tools and patience to attempt their own repairs. Once you find a provider you’re comfortable entrusting your vehicle with, make an appointment and bring your non-passing inspection report and emission repair form with you to your appointment.

You need to take New Jersey state inspections until you pass.

Why Undergo the NJ State Inspection Until You Pass?

If your vehicle fails a New Jersey Inspection once, you’ll probably consider it a nuisance. If your vehicle fails inspection twice or more, you may be tempted to forego future inspections and hope no police officers notice, pull you over and ticket you. While taking your vehicle in to be inspected and repaired costs a little and is a bit inconvenient, the process benefits the environment and your and your loved ones’ health. Altruism is a compelling reason to continue having your vehicle serviced until it passes inspection. A more compelling reason for many people? The penalties of noncompliance. If you drive a car with an expired inspection sticker, you could be fined $100 to $200 and put in prison for up to 30 days. If those consequences aren’t enough, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission could revoke your registration privileges entirely.

If you have your vehicle emissions-tested and it is flagged with a red sticker instead of an inspection sticker, contact us at DeBoer’s Auto Service and Sales. Not only do we provide a full array of auto service and repair in Hamburg, NJ, but we are a state-licensed private inspection facility. Call 855-781-0592 to schedule an appointment.

Schedule Your  State Inspection

Bill DeBoer

Written by Bill DeBoer

William J. DeBoer (Bill Jr.) is Co-owner and Vice President at DeBoer’s Auto. As the company’s General Manager, Bill has been responsible for bringing innovations in daily operations to the full-service, high-tech auto repair facility for 20+ years. Passionate about computers from an early age, Bill’s interest in technology gravitated to cars while he was in college. By obtaining a Certificate in Automotive Technology followed by a B.S. in Business Management from Penn State, Bill was able to fuse his interests into a car technology specialization and join the family business shortly thereafter.