All newly purchased or acquired New Hampshire registered vehicles require a safety inspection to be conducted within ten (10) days of the registration. After the initial inspection, registered vehicles must be re-inspected every year, no later than ten (10) days after the end of the owner's birth month. When a vehicle changes owners, it must be inspected in the new owner's name within ten (10) days of the registration date, even if the original inspection sticker has not expired. Please note that antique motor vehicles must be inspected in the month of April (Saf-C 3224).
Please review the Administrative Rules, Saf-C 3200 for more information regarding the inspection process.
Where to Get a Vehicle Inspected
Vehicles may be inspected and OBD tested at any state licensed inspection station or an authorized New Hampshire automobile dealer. Not every mechanic is certified to perform inspections but all authorized stations are required to post a notice indicating that the station is an authorized inspection station. The State of New Hampshire does not mandate the amount a station may charge for an inspection. Prices generally range from $20 to $50 per vehicle.
Inspection information from both the safety and emission inspections will be entered into a computer system and electronically transferred to the DMV. Vehicles which pass both the safety and emissions inspections will be issued an inspection sticker. It will be valid for the same time period as the vehicle's registration. The mechanic is required to give a copy of the official Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) to the motorist every time the vehicle is inspected.
Below is a list of items which are included in the general inspection process:
- Registration, plates, registration certificate and vehicle identification number.
- Steering, front end and suspension.
- Brakes, including parking brake.
- Odometer and speedometer.
- Electrical system, horn and defroster.
- Lights and reflectors, including headlight aim.
- Glass, glazing and mirrors.
- Exhaust system.
- On-board diagnostics system.
- Body, chassis and bumper height.
- Fuel system.
- Tires and wheels.
Emissions/On-Board Diagnostics (OBD)
In addition to a physical safety inspection required for all vehicles, vehicles with a model year 1996 or newer must have an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) test as part of the inspection process. On-Board Diagnostics is a computer-based system built into all 1996 and newer light-duty passenger vehicles to monitor the performance of some of the engine's major components, including emission control components. The OBD system helps the motorist know if their vehicle has a defect that could cause excess pollution. In addition, it helps mechanics accurately diagnose problems and make effective vehicle repairs.