How to Become a Certified Mobile Vehicle Inspector (State Car Inspector Certified) in New York

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The state of New York requires that all registered vehicles be inspected for safety once every year, and any time the title changes hands. Only certified inspectors, working at state licensed inspection stations, may inspect vehicles for safety. Certifications are awarded by the state, and can offer those seeking an automotive technician job an excellent way to build their resume.

New York vehicle inspector qualifications

In order to become a vehicle inspector in the state of New York, an applicant who is at least 17 years of age must submit an application to the Department of Motor Vehicles. This applicant must meet one of the following qualifications:

  • Must have at least one year of experience repairing motor vehicles; this one year must have occurred within the past five years, and must have taken place in an approved study program through an auto mechanic school, or a firm in the automotive industry.

  • Must have a high school, vocational school, or college certificate from an automotive technician study program. This can be a diploma in vocational automotive trades, or a certificate of completion showing at least one year completed in an associate’s degree.

The application fee is $25, which covers both the non-refundable $10 fee, and the $15 three-year certification fee. All applicants must pass a written exam, scoring at least a 70%, given by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Licensed vehicle inspectors may inspect vehicles at any state licensed inspection station, which may include garages, transportation companies, or dealerships.

New York vehicle inspection exam

The exam given for vehicle inspection applicants is made up of three groups of questions, which each cover different parts of the vehicle inspection process.

Part one covers the ability to inspect all vehicles under 18,000 pounds, and that seat less than 15 passengers. Part two covers the ability to inspect all vehicles over 18,000 pounds, and which seat more than 14 passengers. Part three covers the ability to inspect motorcycles.

Each part contains all that is necessary to inspect for safety, emissions, and defects.

New York vehicle inspection requirements

Without a valid inspection sticker, a vehicle’s registration cannot be renewed, and the vehicle owner could receive fines or parking tickets. Most vehicles, with a few exceptions, must also get an emissions test at the same time as the safety inspection. Only the following vehicles are exempt from emissions tests:

  • Motorcycles
  • Vehicles less than two years old or more than 25 years’ old
  • Diesel powered vehicles that are older than 1997 and have a GVRW of more than 8,500 pounds
  • Electric-powered vehicles
  • Vehicles with historical plates
  • Vehicles that are subject to the heavy vehicle safety inspection

New York vehicle inspection process

During an inspection, an automotive service technician will inspect the following vehicle components or systems:

  • Seat Belts
  • Braking System
  • Suspension, Steering, Chassis, Frame, and Wheel Fasteners
  • Tires
  • Lights
  • Glass and Mirrors
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Horn
  • Fuel System
  • Emissions Systems

If you’re already a certified mechanic and you’re interested in working with YourMechanic, submit an online application for an opportunity to become a mobile mechanic.


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