You aren’t alone if you’ve forgotten to schedule your yearly required safety and emissions inspection; life gets busy and it’s easy to put off vehicle inspections. However, if the inspection sticker on your vehicle has expired within the last 60 days, a law enforcement officer could issue you a “No Inspection Certificate” 306(b) ticket.
If you receive a ticket, you may be tempted to pay the ticket and move on. Doing so could cause your insurance premiums to increase, and points may be added to your driving record. You could face jail time if you’re convicted twice or more in 18 months. The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers will advocate for your ticket to be dismissed, potentially saving you money in the long term. Before you pay the ticket, reach out to The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation and learn how we can help you.
Requirements for Vehicle Emissions Testing & No Inspection Tickets
Under New York traffic laws, the safety and emissions inspection must be done before the expiration date listed on a driver’s current inspection sticker. This requirement began in the 1990s, stemming from a campaign known as “Drive New York Clean.” Under the Federal Clean Air Act, states were required to conduct emissions inspections to help reduce emissions from gas-powered vehicles. Drivers can have their annual safety inspection and emissions inspection done simultaneously.
The Inspection Must Occur at an Authorized Private Inspection Facility
Not just anyone can perform the inspection. Instead, the inspection must occur at a licensed inspection station. Additionally, a certified motor vehicle inspector must conduct the inspection. If your vehicle passes, you will be given a sticker to place on your windshield, which will also state when the inspection expires. If a law enforcement officer pulled you over, he or she might check your emissions sticker to see whether it has expired and if it has, you may receive a traffic ticket.
New York law enforcement officers are becoming more strict on ensuring that inspections occur at authorized facilities. You may have taken your vehicle to get emissions tested at a facility that stated they were certified, but many unauthorized private facilities will issue fake inspection stickers. The burden is on you as a driver to ensure you take your vehicle to an authorized station. If the station is authorized, you could avoid facing a more expensive $300 ticket with an $85 surcharge. A driver could face a misdemeanor charge and up to 30 days in jail under section 306-f for using a sticker from an unauthorized inspection station. The fines and jail time associated with this misdemeanor charge increase as the number of convictions within 18 months increases.
What If My Vehicle Failed the Emissions Test?
Older vehicles may fail the emissions inspection and may not be able to be registered, although there are some exceptions for historic vehicles. The registration may not be renewed if the vehicle has already been registered and fails an emissions test. If your vehicle has been inspected for emissions testing and failed, you cannot legally drive it in New York. You can be issued a ticket for no inspection certificate regardless of why you don’t have an up-to-date certificate.
If your vehicle fails inspection, it emits more emissions than the standard required for your make and model vehicle, as specified under New York law. The inspector should give you a repair report explaining why your vehicle failed the emissions test. You will have the opportunity to take your vehicle to a mechanic who can try to fix the problem that is causing your vehicle to emit more pollutants than allowed.
The inspector should issue you a temporary sticker which gives you a month or two to take your vehicle to a mechanic and have it retested to see whether it meets emission standards. Once that temporary ticket expires, you can be ticketed for a No inspection Certificate (306b). A month can go by quickly, and it’s easy to avoid meeting the deadline, but if you want to avoid a ticket, you should try to have your vehicle repaired and inspected within that time frame.
Defending Against a 306(b) Traffic Ticket
A driver can make several legal defenses when charged with a no-inspection certificate violation. Law enforcement officers are required to fill out the information on the traffic ticket completely and accurately. When they don’t, your attorney may be able to argue that the ticket should be dismissed. The specific subsection of the alleged traffic violation needs to be written down correctly on the ticket. In other words, the subsection included on the ticket needs to match the alleged violation. Likewise, the officer needs to write evidence that the specific reason the vehicle emissions test expired and include the precise sticker number.
The Penalties for a 306(b) Traffic Ticket
If you plead or are found guilty of having an uninspected motor vehicle, you will have to pay a fine between $50 and $100 for your first offense. For your second offense in 18 months, you will have to pay between $50 and $200, and you could receive a penalty of up to 15 days in jail. Likewise, for your third conviction within 18 months, you will have to pay between $50 and $200 and face up to 15 days in jail. Additionally, you will have to pay a surcharge of $88 or $93, depending on whether you are in a city or town court.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with an Experienced No Inspection Certificate Attorney
Between work, family life, and other important obligations, life can get busy for New York drivers. If you’ve been ticketed for having an expired emissions test, you’ll benefit from working with an experienced attorney. Don’t pay the fines and suffer the penalties until you discuss your ticket with a skilled Central New York traffic ticket attorney. Contact The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers today to schedule a free case evaluation.
The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers handle No Inspection Certificate tickets throughout Central New York including Albany County, Broome County, Cortland County, Cayuga County, Erie County, Jefferson County, Madison County, Oneida County, Onondaga County, Orange County, Oswego County, Saratoga County, and Warren County.