Yearly Maine State Inspection

June 17, 2009 at 7:48 pm 2 comments

I just got my Maine State Inspection done – a great vehicle check-over value for the cost ($12.50-$18.50 depending on your vehicle year and what county you reside in).  It’s a little weird to be a licensed state inspector but not tied to an inspection station – so someone else gets to do it.

But that’s okay – I take it to a shop that gives it a full, legal state inspection review.  If they get it in and up on a lift and spend at least a half hour on it, then you’re probably with the right folks.  (I’m not sure how techs sleep at night who just give a walk by and slap a sticker on – not only are they breaking the law but they’re putting car owners at terrible risk.)  While every one of us has whined at some point about having to get it done – I know from experience that having the car checked over once a year is critical to catching safety concerns.

The Maine State Inspection manual has 30 pages of checks for passenger cars and trucks – and all those checks would normally cost significantly more that the state inspection fee.  It includes inspection of and standards for brakes, body components, fuel tanks & lines, seatbelts and airbags, battery hold-downs, the exhaust system, license plates, vehicle glass, wipers, rear view mirrors, driver’s side sun visor, the horn, lights (including headlight aiming – a crucial thing actually), the speedometer, steering and suspension, vehicle height, and tires and wheels.  One of the only things I think is missing is to check the power steering belt for wear – a major safety concern if it breaks while you’re headed down the road.

And if your shop finds something?  Then great – and thank the technician.  Seriously. Better s/he finds it while the car is in the shop, versus you breaking down on some Sunday night driving on the highway.

A little note on timing.  As you know, your Maine State inspection sticker tells you what month your valid inspection expires (it’s the number that’s cut out of the border of your sticker – in my case the 6 is missing, indicating the month of June).  A lot of folks think there’s a 30 day grace period – starting at the end of that month.  This makes your local law enforcement chuckle.

If there’s a 30 day grace period, it starts at the beginning of the month that your inspection expires.  So that I don’t forget,  I’ve put it on my Outlook calendar to pop up as reminder on the first Monday of June each year.  It feels a little geeky, but when it gets me to call and schedule my appointment I realize it saves me every time.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ryan  |  March 31, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Wait, so there is no grace period? Are you sure?

  • 2. sarahcushman  |  March 31, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Sorry, there’s no grace period – that’s straight from the State Police officer who monitored our garage when I was doing inspections. Unfortunately the grace period idea is a long-lived myth that too many of us have depended on. But at least now you know! 🙂

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