Starting next month, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission will begin rolling out some major changes to its vehicle inspection program.

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Perhaps the most prominent of these new policies is that vehicles which fail initial inspection must now be re-inspected at private inspection facilities, for a fee to be paid by the vehicle owner, rather than the state hosting those secondary inspections at its facilities for no charge.

Initial inspections will still be conducted free of charge at state-operated stations. The NJMVC website indicates this change will go into effect no sooner than this summer.

Of more immediate concern to drivers, NJMVC will cease tailpipe emission testing effective May 1. What that means is that vehicles produced for model year 1995 and earlier will no longer require inspection in the Garden State. Registrants of these vehicles will receive written notice of the new policy six to eight weeks prior to their next scheduled inspection. They are instructed to remove their inspection sticker once it expires, and keep the notice with their vehicle.

Law enforcement has been apprised of these changes, so as to prevent unnecessary stops of vehicles without inspection stickers. However, drivers of vehicles no longer eligible for inspection will still be responsible for proper maintenance of those cars, and may be cited at any time for malfunctioning or missing equipment.

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