Latest News

Some State Inspection Stations Erroneously Failed Vehicles

Aug 06, 2008

Recently, NJ CAR heard from a Bergen County dealership that reported a customer’s vehicle was failed by the State Inspection Facility in Paramus for having a transparent oil change reminder (cling-on) in the upper corner of the windshield. The customer reported that, when she reached the end of the line and was told of the failure, she was told that she could remove the sticker and go through the line again. The customer did so and the vehicle passed inspection.

This customer’s incident, or that of another consumer whose vehicle was failed by the same facility, generated a series of e-mails that have crisscrossed the State.

Upon contacting the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC), the Coalition learned that the Commission issued a memo to Inspection Facilities in response to the City of Hoboken’s requirement that parking decals be placed on the windshields of its residents’ motor vehicles. The parking sticker’s size, composition and placement were in violation of the NJMVC’s regulations; however, the NJMVC memo was interpreted by some State Inspection Facilities as a mandate that a vehicle should be failed if it has “any” sticker (other than a NewJersey Inspection Decal) on the windshield.

The NJMVC’s regulations require that vehicles, which go through NJMVC Inspection Lanes or to Private Inspection Facilities, may not have signs, posters, stickers or other non-transparent material placed on the front windshield. The regulations apply to, but are not limited to, parking stickers, law enforcement association stickers, or any other sticker not approved by the NJMVC’s Chief Administrator. Transparent stickers, which are routinely placed on vehicles to remind drivers of oil changes, may be placed no lower than six inches from the top of the front windshield.

The NJMVC has since sent an advisory which clarifies its regulation, and it notes that transparent oil change reminders are permissible, if properly placed on a vehicle windshield. Hopefully, this matter is now resolved; however, should you hear from a customer that has failed inspection for this reason, please contact NJ CAR.