Car roadworthyness legal requirement in US

Reading This thread about the parents being responsible for her driving

I get the impression that there is no MOT or eqivalent in the US (unlike the UK)…

Our cars have to pass a series of tests before it can be insured and taxed - if it fails, you can’t drive it on the road until you’ve fixed the problems. It sounds like from this thread Americans can drive whatever state their car is in and it’s their responsibility to have a mechanic tell them their tread is thin, their lights don’t work ect.

Is that right? Isn’t it dangerous?

It’s usually called a brake tag or inspection sticker over here.

It depends on the state, flapcats. For example, in Lousiana, last time I went there, you pulled into the inspection station, flashed your headlights n brights, showed your brake lights and reverse lights, demonstrated your signals, and honked your horn. If something there didn’t work, you got a temporary brake tag that’d go about 5 miles, to the nearest shop, to get things fixed.

Whereas Georgia combines a similar “roadworthiness” inspection with an emissions test.

What’s a MOT? Does it have to do with applesauce?

Automobile safety is not federal jurisdiction, so each state has their requirements for safety. Most states (maybe all) require safety inspections from time to time. Enforcement of inspections varies a lot, though.

It’s also being discussed in this thread: British Dopers: MoT certificate?

Nope (and I think I recall you being based in GA, from the GA dopefest thread).

First, emissions testing is only mandated in a dozen counties around Atlanta. The rest of the state requires nothing. The tests performed are:

So the only element of safety inspection is if the car is so unsafe that it is dangerous to test. And bear in mind that the car is stationary when tested, so this is not a high bar to clear.

Maybe twenty years ago Florida had a yearly auto inspection requirement at state facilities, as opposed to letting service stations do it. They checked your brakes, tires, lights, wipers, horn and, I think, muffler for noise. Tailpipe emissions were not checked.
Sometimes there were long lines to wait in. It sucked. I don’t remember how long it lasted or when it was stopped, but I hope they never bring it back.

Each state is responsible for its vehicle inspections. Automobiles in Texas have to get inspected once a year. If its new, you get to skip the first year. Some states are tougher than others.

The emmisions testing I believe is federally mandated for high pollution areas, much like re-formulated gasoline (another issue).
In Houston, they are required. The other larger Texas cities will, or have, likely follow(ed).

Indiana used to have vehicle inspections. They were repealed at about the same time motorcycle helmet laws were repealed. Indiana also theoretically requires liability insurance to have a driver’s license. The Indiana state legislature has refused to permit any database or other means to check drivers to see if they have current insurance, since this would “stop too many people from driving”. Thus, about half of all automobile accidents in Indiana involve an uninsured driver.

(It works like this: The license bureau requires that one bring in a written certification of having insurance. People get insurance, get the certification from the insurance company, and then stop payment on their check and cancel the policy.)

You know, I said to myself going to bed “Just watch, it’ll be some only in Atlanta thing.” But fair enough, no one cares about the rest of GA anyway, right? :smiley:

New York requires yearly inspections, where they check your brakes, seat belts, lights, windshield wipers, and other safety-related equipment. The New York City area has additional testing for emissions standards.

I lived in Augusta for six years and didn’t even KNOW until about the fourth year that they did any sort of inspections in the Atlanta area.

Louisiana inspections are a joke. All they really do is check your lights. The place I took it they check your horn by having you honk when you pull up so the guy will come out to look at the car. All it is an excuse to screw you out of some money, really.

Yea, at the Kenner inspection, it’s a miracle if the guy gets out of his chair. Or was.

I don’t know about road-worthiness inspections, but CA just upped their emissions standards. I believe that those are every-other-yearly – my car barely passed last fall, and I’m going to have to sell it once inspection time rolls around again in November of '04.

Just asked the momma, and other thand the emissions test, California does not have any sort of road-worthiness test. However, if you have a light out or something, you can be pulled over for it.

Mandatory every year in West Virginia, Its brakes, tires, exhaust, steering, lights, horn, body rust through, and insurance,maybe more.

Body rust-through is one thing we don’t really have to worry about there. :stuck_out_tongue:

Texas has had annual required safety inspections since the 1960s. They were sometimes easy to slide by, until emissions testing became mandatory in the mid-'90s.

Now they check brakes, horn, emergency flashers, signals, tires, lights (function and alignment for headlights), wipers (both blade condition and if they work), windshield, lenses, intact smog equipment and emissions. Most of the lackadaisical shops got out of it when the need to acquire emissions testing equipment came around.

Oh yeah - you need proof of insurance to get a safety sticker. Frankly, you just don’t see La Bomba on the roads here that often.

Missouri has a safety inspection where brakes, lights, and such are checked. In the counties surounding St. Louis and I think Kansas City, there are emmisions tests as well.

To add to that, I believe that all the tests on the car automatically go to a central database in Austin as it is tested. I remember back in the 80’s, the inspectors always had to “adjust” the headlights, which added about 7 bucks to the bill. My dad told me to just expect this. That does not happen anymore, but inspections cost quite a bit more nowadays.