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Inspection Station Inspection Process
Inspection Fee What if I Fail
Vehicle Inspection Requirements Rules and Regulations

Inspection Stations and Location

Inspections can be performed at any of the Authorized Safety and Emissions Inspection Stations.

Inspection Fee

The fee for a RI Safety and Emissions Inspection is $55.00. If your vehicle fails the initial inspection, you will be entitled to a free retest within 30 days at the same station.

Vehicle Inspection Requirements


All motor vehicles:  All motor vehicles  registered in Rhode Island with a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of 8500lbs or less are required to pass a safety and emissions inspection no less than once every 2 years.

New vehicles:  New vehicles are required to be inspected within two years from the date of purchase, or before the vehicle accumulates 24000 miles, whichever comes first.

Used (newly registered) vehicles: Used vehicles applying for registration are required to have a valid RI Inspection sticker or pass a RI safety and emissions inspection within 5 days of the date of registration.

Diesel vehicles:  Diesel vehicles with a GVWR of 8500lbs or less are required to be tested for Safety and Emissions. Vehicles 1997 and newer may be tested at any Authorized Safety and Emissions Inspection Station. Vehicles 1996 and older must pass a diesel opacity test at one of the Diesel Opacity Stations.


Antique Cars: Vehicles registered as antiques with antique license plates are limited in their scope of use and are exempt from safety and emissions testing.

            Emissions Exemptions

Electric Vehicles: Electric vehicles are exempted from emissions inspection but are required to pass a safety inspection.

Motor vehicles 25 years old or older:  Vehicles that are 25 years old or older must undergo inspection for safety and emissions. However, these vehicles will not be failed if they do not pass emissions standards.

Classic Cars: Vehicles that are insured as Classic vehicles may receive an alternate type of inspection.  

Vehicles Out of State: Vehicles out of State during the time that inspection is required (College students, etc) must contact the Safety and Emissions office of the RI DMV at 401-462-5890 to arrange for acceptance of another state's proof of similar inspection or arrange for an extension of the inspection requirement period. 

Safety Inspection Process


Safety Inspection: The vehicle must pass a safety inspection in accordance with the procedure and standards set forth in the RI Official Manual for Vehicle Inspection. This will include inspection of but will not be limited to the following items:

  1. Headlamps
  2. Horn
  3. Master cylinder
  4. Mirrors
  5. Parking lamps
  6. Parking brakes
  7. Plates and plate light
  8. Reflectors
  9. Registration certificate
  10. Seat belts
  11. Seats
  12. Side market lamps
  13. Springs, torsion bars, shocks
  14. Steering, alignment and suspension
  15. Stop lamps
  16. Tail lamps
  17. Tires
  18. Transmission
  19. Universal joints
  20. Wheels
  21. Wheel safety chock blocks
  22. Windshield wipers
  23. Windshield
  1. ABS Light
  2. Air bag light
  3. Back up lamps
  4. Ball joints
  5. Body items
  6. Brakes (ABS)
  7. Brake drums and discs
  8. Brake failure warning lamp
  9. Brake lining or pads
  10. Brake performance
  11. Brake pedal reserve
  12. Bumper (rear end protection)
  13. Check engine light
  14. Clearance lamps
  15. Directional signals
  16. Doors (front latches)
  17. Emergency brake
  18. Emissions
  19. Exhaust system
  20. Fenders and flaps
  21. Floor and other panels
  22. Fuel tank - cap
  23. Glass
  24. Hazard switch

Emissions Inspection Process


The emissions test performed on the vehicle will be determined by the vehicle model year and equipment (drive type, traction control etc.) the vehicle will receive one of the following test types:


The OBD inspection evaluates your vehicle's emissions status via its onboard computer. The OBD inspection occurs through the connection of the OBD-II SAE standardized vehicle port to the inspection analyzer.

1.      An on-board diagnosis system inspection failure occurs when either: Current Diagnostic Trouble Codes are indicated and the Malfunction Indicator Light is commanded on.

2.      The malfunction indicator light (MIL) does not illuminate at all when the vehicle is in the key-on/engine-off condition, even if no diagnostic trouble codes are present and the MIL has not been commanded on.

 3.  (a) For 2001 and newer vehicles, more than one readiness monitor in a vehicle's on-board computer is not set as ready; or

  (b) For 1996-2000 vehicles, more than two readiness monitors in a vehicle's on-board computer are not set as ready.

Connection: To start the procedure, the inspector connects a communication cable from emissions analyzer to the Diagnostic Link Connector located in your vehicle. The emissions analyzer simply reads data from your vehicle's computer; no changes are made to your vehicle or its data.

Communication: If the vehicle's OBD system is not communicating with the inspection analyzer do to a vehicle defect it is cause for failure.  

About Readiness: The computer in your vehicle performs diagnostic tests on certain emissions systems while you are driving. These system monitors are usually "Ready" or "Complete", unless there's a pending problem with a particular system. Sometimes system monitors become not ready if the vehicle's battery has been disconnected or if the vehicle computer's memory has been erased. As part of the OBD-II test, the analyzer checks to see how many of these system monitors are "not ready", If more than one (1) monitor MY 2001 and more than two (2) monitors MY 1996-2000 read "not ready", then the vehicle will fail the OBD-II test.

Maintain Your OBD-II Vehicle's Readiness Status: Some vehicles require extensive driving to reset certain system readiness monitors. Do not disconnect the battery on your vehicle. If your vehicle is in for service, ask your technician not to clear the computer's memory, since this will only unset the system readiness monitors and result in your vehicle failing the OBD-II test.

About Your OBD-II Vehicle's MIL: If your vehicle's MIL is flashing or blinking, you should have the vehicle serviced as soon as possible. The flashing light may indicate that there is an engine misfire, and extensive driving with a misfire could damage your vehicle's catalytic converter.

The Enhanced (Dynamometer) Emissions Inspection Procedure

The enhanced (dynamometer) emissions inspection procedure entails driving the vehicle through a transient drive cycle to simulate driving conditions while measuring exhaust contaminants. The vehicle fails the inspection if measured contaminants exceed defined limits.

The Two-Speed Idle Emissions Inspection Procedure

The two-speed idle emissions inspection procedure entails running the vehicle for a period of time at each of two engine speeds while measuring exhaust contaminants. The vehicle fails the inspection if measured contaminants exceed defined limits.

Diesel Vehicles

When the OBD inspection does not apply, diesel vehicles subject to this inspection program receive the Loaded Opacity Inspection.

The Loaded Opacity Emissions Inspection Procedure:

The loaded opacity emissions inspection procedure is performed on the dynamometer. The vehicle is driven to a speed of thirty miles per hour, with the load increasing as the vehicle increases speed. The vehicle fails the inspection if measured opacity exceeds defined limits.

(OBD-equipped diesel vehicles should be tested with OBD. If the vehicle is diesel and can not be tested using OBD, it will be tested with the dynamometer opacity test.  If the vehicle can not be tested on a dynamometer (such as all wheel drive vehicle), it will not be subjected to an emissions test.

What If I Fail


All failures are entitled to a free retest within 30 days at the same station. Please refer to the What if You Fail page for information on Certified Repair Technicians, Waiver Programs and additional information.

Rules and Regulations


For more information about the Rhode Island inspections, please refer to the State of Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Environmental Management's regulations, posted at:





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