Heads up, Rhode Islanders. Failure to get an inspection sticker or get your inspection sticker renewed will lead to the suspension of your vehicle. I learned this fun little fact thanks to a letter I received in the mail, so if your time is up on your sticker, here is what you need to know.

How Did I Get In This Mess?

In 2020, I purchased a new vehicle and I didn’t concern myself with retrieving an inspection sticker. In the state of Rhode Island, new vehicles are exempt from inspection for two years from the date of purchase or until the vehicle accumulates 24,000 miles. It turns out, my two years are up, and the RIDMV wasted no time informing me.

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Failure to Obtain An Inspection Certificate in Rhode Island

Getting mail from the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles is already unsettling and opening a Notice of Action made my stomach turn.

The document stated I needed to renew my inspection sticker by Jan. 23, and failure to do so would result in an indefinite vehicle suspension.

“The vehicle indicated must pass a RI Safety and Emission Inspection prior to the effective date listed or the vehicle will be suspended from use on public roads,” said the document.

The action does not affect my license, but if I don’t hurry to the nearest approved body shop, I’ll have an illegal vehicle on my hands.

What About Massachusetts?

Turns out the Bay State has no such penalty. A Massachusetts driver is required to pass a yearly vehicle inspection, and if the driver fails to renew their inspection, they cross their fingers they don’t get pulled over for a moving violation. If the moving violation goes unpaid, only then will that vehicle be subject to suspension.

To my fellow Rhode Islanders, take my story as a warning. Don’t takes your chances with an expired sticker, or you’ll be up the creek without a paddle.

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