Vehicle Inspection

Relating to vehicle safety inspection.

What are the possible reasons for failing the OBD check?

  1. The vehicle’s OBD system connector has been removed or is otherwise not working properly. The OBD check cannot be completed if the connector is missing or is not working properly. 
  2. The Malfunction Indicator Light does not illuminate at all when the ignition key is turned to the “on” position. When the vehicle’s OBD system detects a problem, it turns on the warning light to alert the driver to a problem. However, if the light cannot illuminate because the bulb has burned out or is otherwise not working, the driver would not be alerted to the problem. 

What if my vehicle failed the OBD check?

If your vehicle failed, it must be repaired in order to receive a new inspection sticker. Your vehicle should be repaired by a qualified, trained automotive service technician equipped with the appropriate diagnostic and repair tools. Depending on your vehicle’s age and mileage, repairs may be covered by the vehicle manufacturer’s warranty. Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for specific information on warranty coverage.

Why is the OBD check needed?

Motor vehicles are the largest source of toxic and ozone-forming air pollutants in Vermont. While modern vehicles are getting much cleaner due to newer engine management technology and emission control components, emissions stay low only when all these systems are working properly. OBD technology helps to ensure that vehicles are operating as designed, and the OBD check ensures that the vehicle’s OBD system is doing its job. 

What is OBD and how does it work?

OBD technology was developed in the 1980s by vehicle manufacturers to help technicians diagnose and service the computerized engine management systems of modern vehicles. A new generation of OBD (often referred to as OBD II) is present on 1996 and newer vehicles. OBD II monitors all components of the engine management system and can detect a malfunction or deterioration of these components usually well before the driver becomes aware of any problem.

What equipment is needed to inspect OBD Systems?

A scan tool with generic OBD II capability is necessary to perform the required check. A scan tool is a very useful device which is commonly used to assist in the diagnosis and repair of a variety of vehicle problems. Many inspection stations already own scan tools which can also be used to perform the required OBD check, but those inspection stations which do not will need to have one in order to inspect 1996 and newer vehicles. At a minimum, scan tools must be capable of :

Vehicle Inspections

Inspection stations in Vermont are privately owned and operated by our business partners. Inspection stations and certified Inspection Mechanics are licensed by DMV to conduct inspections as prescribed in the Vermont Periodic Inspection Manual.

Automated Vehicle Inspection Program

  • AVIP offers instant access to required inspection procedures and rejection criteria.
  • Rejection criteria can be instantly shown to a motorist.
  • Inspection Mechanics are able to immediately view previously identified vehicle component problems and failed inspections, prompting technicians to ensure proper repairs have been made. 
  • Inspection Mechanics and inspection station staff have immediate electronic access to bulletins from the DMV, and other information such as inspection-related forms.

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Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05603-0001

Monday-Friday: 7:45am-4:30pm
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