COVID-19 Update: State DMVs Extend Deadlines For Vehicle Inspection Stickers, License, and Registrations
Across America, drivers with vehicles in states that require an annual inspection have a problem. Those with March stickers will see them expire tomorrow. However, the COVID-19 travel restrictions, stay-in-place orders and the closing of non-essential businesses mean that getting a new sticker may be tricky. Venturing out to get a safety inspection may actually be unsafe. State department of motor vehicles and registry of motor vehicles know this and are extending deadlines.
COVID-19 State Safety and Emissions Inspection Deadlines Extended
We started with the "Registry" our home state of Massachusetts. The "Commonwealth," as we like to call it. Sure enough, registry officials have extended the state inspections by an additional two months. Here is what we found with a quick keyword search about the state vehicle inspection extensions in Mass.:
-All commercial and non-commercial vehicle inspection stickers that expire on March 31, 2020(designated by a number 3 on the inspection sticker) must be inspected by May 31, 2020.
-All commercial and non-commercial vehicle inspection stickers that expire on April 30, 2020 (designated by a number 4 on the inspection sticker) must be inspected by June 30, 2020.
AAA RMV and DMV Locations Closed
We also noticed that some of the AAA registry services in Massachusetts appear to have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are from Massachusetts, you know that almost everyone tries to do their business through this private entity rather than actually go to a state registry location to conduct needed vehicle business. Check with your local AAA location before heading over. John Paul, of AAA Northeast, tells us that some branches do remain open.
We could run down all 50 U.S. states for our readers, but it is really not necessary. Simply use a keyword search in your favorite browser (Google) and include "Vehicle Inspection Deadline Extensions" and the name of your state.
COVID-19 DMV and RMV Changes And Extensions
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the residents of New York City. This U.S. region has been hardest thus far by the COVID-19 pandemic. While we think it is crazy to own a car in NYC, those who do should be aware that the state is extending pretty much every deadline. Here are just a few alerts we were able to quickly uncover on the New York DMV site:
-ALERT: All Licenses, Non-Driver ID's, and Registrations with an expiration date of March 1, 2020, or later are extended. Inspections due in March 2020 are extended until further notice.
-ALERT: All DMV Offices are closed and road tests are suspended until further notice, and Traffic Violation Bureaus are adjourned through April 17th. All reservations have been canceled. You can still do most transactions online.
-ALERT: As DMV responds to the impact of COVID-19, the processing of some transactions and the provision of some services may be delayed. Thank you for your understanding.
Do Not Go To The DMV Or Registry!
Registry and DMV locations in many states have severely restricted access. Most now require an appointment. Many branches are simply closed. Open branches have reduced their operations dramatically. Since the deadlines are being extended, the reasons to be inside a DMV building are all but eliminated. All modern RMV and DMV departments are mostly online operations today. Given the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, they have gone even further to prevent you from having to stand in line, take a ticket, and sit in that plastic chair designed to make your back hurt.
We hope this story serves as a warning to our readers that business as usual has stopped at most state RMV and DMV locations. Be sure you know what you can do before you try to conduct any vehicle business in your state.
If you have had to conduct business at your state DMV during this scary period, please tell us in the comments below how your experience went.
John Goreham is a life-long car nut and recovering engineer. John's focus areas are technology, safety, and green vehicles. In the 1990s, he was part of a team that built a solar-electric vehicle from scratch. His was the role of battery thermal control designer. For 20 years he applied his engineering and sales talents in the high tech world and published numerous articles in technical journals such as Chemical Processing Magazine. In 2008 he retired from that career and dedicated himself to chasing his dream of being an auto writer. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin.