New York State's new print-on-demand vehicle inspection stickers.

New York State's new print-on-demand vehicle inspection stickers. Credit: NYS Department of Motor Vehicles

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is rolling out new inspection stickers that will allow inspection centers and auto shops to print new stickers on demand.

The new stickers will have enhanced security because shops will print the stickers and log vehicles directly with the state DMV. The new stickers will have the date of the inspection and vehicle information directly on the stickers including vehicle identification numbers, license plate numbers and mileage. It can also be accessed by authorities via a QR code.

The colors will continue to change based on the expiration year, following this year’s yellow stickers.

When do you need a vehicle safety inspection?

All registered vehicles in New York must have a valid safety and emissions inspection every 12 months or when the ownership of the vehicle is transferred, according to the DMV. Motorcycles, vehicles less than two years old and certain other vehicles are exempt from emissions inspections.

If inspections are not updated, registration cannot be renewed and fines can range from $50 to $100.

What makes the DMV inspection stickers more secure?

The DMV is working with law enforcement to recognize legal and valid stickers with a QR code to confirm the sticker is legitimate.

“This change adds security and prevents fraud because it enables inspection stations to print the stickers on demand and provides vehicle-specific information,” said New York DMV spokesman Tim O’Brien. “The new stickers include vehicle-specific information to prevent stickers from being removed from one vehicle and placed on another. The QR code also links back to an electronic record of the inspection that was conducted.”

How much do DMV vehicle inspection stickers cost?

The cost for the state safety and emissions inspection is still $37. There is no additional cost to consumers.

Stickers are being rolled out by the end of the year with some of the new stickers already being distributed. The state does not absorb any additional costs with this upgraded program, officials said. The previous stickers may be issued and are valid until the program is fully launched by the end of the year.

What do experts and inspection shops think of the new stickers?

The new stickers will primarily allow police to tell at a glance if a vehicle is fully inspected based on the year’s inspection color and information on the sticker, said AAA Northeast spokesman Robert Sinclair.

Some shops on Long Island began issuing the new stickers in December while other shops are still waiting for the new software. The new inspection equipment can cost some mechanics $3,000 to $8,000.

Jimmy O’Brien, a mechanic and Mineola shop owner, said he is still waiting to go online and expected some delays for customers. He said the on-demand stickers would eliminate the potential theft of stickers or altered stickers to pass inspection.

“I no longer have to worry about running out of stickers. Before, you’d have to buy books of stickers with fear of getting them stolen. Now it’s only going to print inspections for a certain vehicle,” O’Brien said.

Miltner & Sons Auto Care in Greenlawn began printing stickers in December.

“It’s about the same,” Bob Miltner said. “Now it prints it and as soon as we do it, the DMV has a record of vehicles.”

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