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As of Monday, Oct 15, the DMV Ticket Processing System is available for ticket payments and submissions of online adjudication requests. For those ticket fines which doubled on Friday, Oct 12, we will remove the late penalty, and you can pay the original fine on Tuesday, Oct. 16. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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Common Causes of Inspection Failure—Personal Vehicles

Tail Pipe Test – Typical causes for failing a tailpipe test include:

  • Air to fuel mixture may be incorrect.
  • Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve may be malfunctioning or missing *
  • Vacuum leak present
  • Exhaust Gas Re-Circulation (EGR) may be malfunctioning *
  • Ignition timing may be incorrect
  • One or more worn, damaged, or fouled sparkplugs are present
  • Catalytic converter is clogged, missing, or ineffective *
  • Malfunctioning oxygen sensor
  • Internal engine parts may be malfunctioning or damaged
  • Dirty or contaminated engine oil
  • Clogged air filter

* Indicates items that may or may not be standard equipment

OBD Test – 1996 and newer vehicles are tested by checking the vehicle OBD system (the vehicle’s computer) for problems. Causes for failing an OBD test:

  • The vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system reports a failure or problem with an emissions related component or sensor. If there is a problem, the “Check Engine” or “Service Engine Soon” light may be on. If the light is on when you come in for inspection, the vehicle will fail the test.
  • The Check Engine light is malfunctioning.
  • The diagnostic connector is missing, damaged, or not functioning.
  • During battery replacement or vehicle repair, the vehicle computer’s memory is reset.
  • If your vehicle has failed for being “not ready” and you have been operating your vehicle regularly, consult a repair technician before retest.

The VIR will provide specific reported trouble codes (up to 5 total when applicable) to further aid your mechanic in diagnosing and repairing the vehicles emissions systems.

Visual Catalyst Inspection
All gasoline-powered vehicles 1975 and newer and less than 8501 lbs. gross vehicle weight will receive a visual catalyst inspection. Vehicles will fail the visual inspection if the catalyst is missing or has been tampered with. The catalyst must be repaired prior to re-inspection.

Gas Cap Inspection
Typical causes for failing a gas cap functional test:

  • Gas cap leaks.
  • Gas cap is non-removable or missing.

In most cases, simply replacing the old or missing gas cap with a new one will allow the vehicle to pass this portion of the test.

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