Gainesville, GA Car Inspection Laws
If you drive a vehicle in Gainesville, there are several important reasons to make sure your car is regularly inspected. For one, you may be required to get your car inspected when you renew your registration every year. You also want to make sure your vehicle is safe to drive. If you don’t regularly inspect your vehicle, you might miss a worn or broken part that could eventually cause an accident.
The Weaver Law Firm can help if you’ve been in an accident with a vehicle that isn’t in compliance with Georgia’s inspection laws.
Our Gainesville, GA, car accident lawyers have more than 20 years of experience helping crash victims with personal injury cases. Since we opened our office, we’ve helped our clients recover significant compensation for their injuries. We are prepared to fight vigorously for your best interests if you hire our firm.
Get a free initial consultation today to learn more.
Car Inspection Laws in Gainesville, GA
When people refer to car inspections, they’re often talking about emissions tests, which measure the pollutants present in a vehicle’s exhaust. While some states have broad laws regulating which vehicles must undergo emissions inspections, Georgia does not.
According to the state Clean Air Force (the agency that oversees emissions tests), there are 13 counties in Georgia where drivers are generally required to get an annual emissions test. Those counties are:
- Cherokee County
- Clayton County
- Cobb County
- Coweta County
- DeKalb County
- Douglas County
- Fayette County
- Forsyth County
- Fulton County
- Gwinnett County
- Henry County
- Paulding County
- Rockdale County
Who Conducts Gainesville Vehicle Inspections?
You can get a vehicle emissions inspection done at most auto repair shops and other businesses that offer oil changes or similar services.
The main thing to be aware of when choosing where to get your inspection done is the model year of your vehicle. Some inspection stations are only equipped to test vehicles made in 1996 or later, while others can test any passenger vehicle. If you’re not sure whether the inspection station where you wish to take your vehicle can carry out your emissions test, give them a call ahead of time.
Which Vehicles Require Emissions Testing
If you live in any of the 13 Georgia counties where emissions tests are required, there’s a good chance you’re required to get an inspection every year. The Georgia Clean Air Force states most passenger vehicles and all light trucks weighing less than 8,500 pounds from the 1997 model year onward must pass an emissions test annually if you live in one of the counties where a test is required.
Which Vehicles Are Exempt from Smog Testing?
Passenger vehicles from the three most recent model years are exempt from emissions testing requirements, though you’ll need to start getting your vehicle inspected once you’ve had it for a few years. Other vehicles that are exempt from emissions test requirements include:
- Certain vehicles that use alternative fuels (hybrids, electric cars, etc.)
- Vehicles that are 25 years old or older
- RVs and motorhomes
Additionally, drivers over age 65 can be exempt from having their vehicles inspected for emissions if they meet the qualifications for a senior exemption.
Safety Items Inspected on Cars
When a vehicle’s emissions are tested, whoever’s doing the test will frequently conduct a safety inspection as well to make sure the car is in good working order. Some of the parts that fall under a car safety inspection are things like:
- Seat belts — Malfunctioning seat belts might suffocate or strangle a driver or passenger if they’re too tight, or they could fail to keep a driver positioned correctly in a crash if they’re too loose.
- Brakes — Worn brakes can fail in an emergency, leaving a driver unable to stop or slow their vehicle to avoid a crash.
- Suspension — Keeping a car’s suspension in good condition is crucial. Otherwise, the vehicle may become unstable or difficult to steer, leading to an accident.
- Chassis — Damage can affect more than how a car looks. Frame damage can affect a vehicle’s handling, increasing the chance of an accident.
- Tires — Worn or old tires might fail while a vehicle is moving, leading to a blowout that can cause drivers to lose control. In addition, worn treads can lead to lost traction or hydroplaning in some circumstances.
- Lights — Working headlights, taillights, and turn signals are crucial safety equipment for vehicles. Broken or faulty lights should be repaired as soon as possible.
- Windshield and other glass — A cracked or broken windshield is much more vulnerable to breaking in the event of a collision, and glass shards can severely harm occupants inside the vehicle.
- Horn — Your car’s horn can help alert others on the road to a potentially dangerous situation, but you can’t warn anyone if the horn doesn’t work.
- Mirrors — Being aware of what other vehicles around you are doing is vital to driving safely, and broken or missing mirrors make this task much more difficult.
- Fuel leaks — Fuel leaks are a significant safety hazard because fuel can ignite and start a fire inside a car.
What Happens If a Vehicle Fails State Inspection?
If you live in one of the 13 counties in Georgia that requires an emissions test, you’ll need a record of a passed test before you can renew your registration every year. Driving without a valid emissions test and registration could cause legal trouble.
Can a Driver Be Held Liable for a Crash Involving an Uninspected Car?
Not getting an emissions test done may not be relevant in a car crash case. However, if a driver hasn’t done an adequate job of ensuring their vehicle is in safe working order, that might be considered negligence if you have evidence to support your claim.
Contact the Car Accident Attorneys at Weaver Law Firm
The Georgia car accident attorneys at Weaver Law Firm fight for justice and fair compensation for those who’ve been injured in accidents in Gainesville. After an accident, the first step you should take is to call our firm or reach out to us online for a 100% free and confidential case evaluation.