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Vehicle Inspections

Your vehicle must pass inspection by DC DMV before you can register it with DC DMV. Once your vehicle passes inspection, you must display the valid, inspection sticker on the front passenger side, lower corner of the windshield.

Note: DC DMV no longer requires an inspection for motorcycles and motorized bicycles.

Personal vehicle inspection is valid for 2 years.

Commercial vehicle inspection is valid for 1 year.

Note: Commercial motor vehicles based in the District with a manufacturer’s GVWR exceeding 8,501 lbs, but less than 26,000 lbs. GVWR shall be equipped with a side guard. If the side guards are not installed, or not installed properly, the vehicle fails safety inspection and cannot be registered in the District.

For more information, please visit the Side Guards webpage.

Taxi and for-hire vehicle inspection is valid for 1 Year.

Note: New personal, non-commercial, and non for-hire vehicles that have a manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (the title for a new vehicle) will automatically receive a 4-year new car inspection sticker upon registration through the dealership. Therefore, the new vehicle should not be physically taken through inspection.

The law still requires all vehicles to display a valid inspection sticker. If you have a 4-year inspection sticker, your inspection will expire on the last day of the month. You will be charged a late inspection fee immediately after expiration of inspection and each 30-day period (not to exceed $480).

To get your vehicle inspected, you must drive it to the DC DMV Inspection Station and get in line with with the other cars. The vehicle inspection fee is not paid at the inspection station; instead, it is paid at the time of vehicle registration. Vehicles are inspected in the order they arrive during normal hours of operation.

Please note that inspection late fees ($20 for each 30-day period) are assesses for late inspections. 

Self-Service Vehicle Emissions Inspection Kiosk

DC DMV Self-Service Vehicle Emissions Inspection KioskDistrict residents can perform their own vehicle emissions tests on a 24 hour, 7 days a week basis. The kiosk is only available for (1) private/pleasure class vehicles model years 2005 or newer, and (2) vehicles previously inspected by DC DMV.

For vehicles that pass or fail the self-inspection, the kiosk will print a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) and a temporary paper inspection certificate to be displayed on the vehicles’ dashboard. Any vehicle displaying a valid temporary certificate issued by DC DMV will not be ticketed for vehicle inspection violations. DC DMV will mail a two-year or fail inspection sticker to the vehicle owners’ address of record. A visual tutorial on this new technology is available.

The kiosk is located at the Takoma Recreation Center on 300 Van Buren Street, NW, Washington, DC 20012 (Entrance is on 3rd Street, NW).

Self-Service Vehicle Emissions Test Kiosk Press Release

View more information on DC DMV Inspection fees.

Additional information available at the links below.

Contact TTY: