Getting an expired inspection sticker citation can be annoying and costly. But does it also impact your car insurance rates? In most cases, an expired vehicle inspection ticket alone won’t directly raise your premiums. However, ignoring the citation and continuing to drive uninspected can lead to consequences that may influence what you pay for insurance.
This guide examines how expired inspection stickers, related tickets, and your overall driving record can factor into what you pay for car insurance.
Do Insurers Check for Expired Inspections?
In states that require regular vehicle safety and/or emissions testing, an expired inspection sticker means your car no longer complies with the law. Law enforcement will ticket drivers with outdated stickers during routine traffic stops.
When you apply for or renew car insurance, companies will check your motor vehicle record (MVR) for violations and citations. However, an initial expired inspection ticket is usually not considered a moving violation.
Most insurers only pull the driving infractions that carry points against your license when calculating your rates. Since expired inspections themselves don’t add points in most states, they typically won’t appear on your MVR driving history summary.
Key Takeaway: An initial expired inspection citation generally won’t show up on your driving record, so it likely won’t directly impact your car insurance costs.
Fines and Fees for Expired Inspections
The penalty for an expired inspection sticker depends on state laws. Most jurisdictions fine drivers between $25 and $150 for a lapsed inspection.
When you get ticketed, officers usually give you 10 to 30 days to complete the inspection and avoid further fines. Some areas let you dismiss the citation once you show proof of getting inspected.
If you ignore the ticket and continue driving uninspected, states can impose much steeper fines up to $500. You may also face:
- License suspension
- Registration suspension
- Tack-on court fees
- Compounding late fees
- Warrants for repeat offenses
Key Takeaway: The fees, suspensions, and compounding penalties for repeatedly driving uninspected can hurt your wallet. But the biggest risk is accumulating points on your license.
How Points for Multiple Citations Can Raise Insurance Rates
Most states use points systems to track driving offenses on your record. Points remain active for 2 to 5 years depending on the state. The more points you accrue for violations, the more your car insurance costs will rise.
Infractions like expired registrations and initial missed inspections don’t carry points. But continuing to drive with an expired sticker can lead to more tickets and penalties that do add points.
For example, an insurer likely won’t penalize you if you get one ticket for an overdue inspection. But if you get pulled over multiple times in a few months for accumulated offenses like the expired sticker, speeding, and reckless driving, you could quickly end up with 12+ points.
Most states classify drivers with 6+ points as high-risk. This can raise your car insurance premiums by 40% or more for several years.
Key Takeaway: The citations that often accompany an invalid inspection can accumulate points and make your auto insurance costly.
Additional Factors That Determine Your Insurance Rates
Along with your driving history, insurers apply dozens of other factors when setting premiums. Some elements that impact your risk profile and rates include:
- Age and experience
- Vehicle make, model, and age
- Marital status
- Location and commute
- Credit score
- Coverage limits and deductibles
- Mileage driven annually
- Safety features
The more safe driving behaviors you exhibit, the bigger discounts you can earn to lower your insurance costs. Maintaining a clean record is one of the best ways to secure affordable car insurance.
Key Takeaway: An expired inspection ticket alone won’t decide your rates. But avoiding points for multiple violations will help keep your premiums down.
How to Handle an Expired Inspection Citation
If you get pulled over and ticketed for an outdated inspection sticker, stay calm and take these steps:
- Comply politely during the stop to avoid additional citations.
- Review the ticket carefully and note the fine amount, court date, and any grace period or dismissal terms.
- Schedule an inspection at a registered facility immediately.
- Pay the fine by the court date if required in your state.
- Keep your inspection receipt and new sticker to provide proof if needed.
- Contact your car insurance agent and inform them of the citation.
- Consider traffic school options that may help prevent points on your record.
Acting promptly can help contain the consequences to just the original ticket fine in most cases.
Check Insurance Rates Annually
The points on your license and other risk factors can change over time. That’s why it’s smart to shop for competitive car insurance rates every 6 to 12 months.
Comparing quotes from multiple insurers ensures you find the best deal available based on your specific profile. Rates vary between companies, so switching providers may save you hundreds per year.
The process only takes a few minutes when you use an online quote comparison tool. Simply enter some basic information and you can quickly see side-by-side insurance estimates tailored to your situation.
Expired Inspection Effects on Insurance Rates
To summarize, an initial expired vehicle inspection ticket generally doesn’t count as a moving violation or directly raise your car insurance premiums in most states. However, ignoring the citation and continuing to drive uninspected can lead to consequences like:
- Additional fines each time you’re ticketed
- Suspended registration and license privileges
- Points on your driving record
- Classification as a high-risk driver
Too many points for repeat offenses will definitely increase your insurance rates for 3 to 5 years until they expire. Maintaining a clean driving record by proactively renewing your car’s registration and undergoing proper safety and emissions inspections on schedule is the best way to secure affordable car insurance over time.
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