New York is of the few states which still requires an annual vehicle inspection for proper registration. It also requires an annual emissions test to make certain your vehicle is not spewing more than its fair share of toxins into the air.

The New York inspection law has been in place for decades, so people who have lived there or grown up there are already used to the process. If you are a new comer to the state, however, you might be a little lost when it comes to how, when and where you have your vehicle inspected and what are the repercussions if you don’t.

Fortunately, the web site for the New York Department of Motor Vehicles keeps it simple:

How often must I get a vehicle inspection?

All vehicles registered in New York State must get a safety inspection and an emissions inspection every 12 months. Both inspections are also required when the ownership of a vehicle is transferred. (Some vehicles are exempt from emissions inspections.) Both inspections are done at the same time by a DMV-certified inspector at privately-owned inspection stations licensed by DMV.

If you buy a vehicle from a NYS dealer, the dealer must have the vehicle inspected. The inspection must occur within 30 days of the date of sale and prior to delivery.

You receive an inspection extension if you buy or get a vehicle from an out-of-state source. After you register the vehicle in NYS, you are allowed ten days to complete the vehicle inspections. Any inspection issued to the previous registrant is not valid after you register the vehicle.

If you have more questions you should visit the web site, stop by a local DMV branch or get your hands on a copy of the DMV brochure. Failure to have your vehicle properly inspected can result in suspension of registration, citations and the possible impounding of your vehicle.