Every Missouri car owner knows the drill: When it comes time to renew your license plates you first have to get one of those white slips of paper that says the car passed inspection. That’ll be $12.
But there is an effort afoot in the General Assembly to do away with that requirement. Missouri House Bill 1444 is sponsored by Republican J. Eggleston of Maysville, near St. Joseph. It is co-sponsored by Republican Phil Christofanelli of St. Charles County, near St. Louis.
Currently, Missouri motorists are required to pass a vehicle inspection every two years once a vehicle is 5 years old.
During a hearing this month before the House Transportation Committee, Eggleston said the majority of states — 34, including Kansas — do not require vehicle inspections.
Predictably, the Automotive Service Association is against eliminating mandatory inspections, as is the American Automobile Association of Missouri. Many auto maintenance providers say it is a matter of public safety. An inspection can alert a driver that the tires are too worn or the brake pads need to be replaced.
But Eggleston said insurance data indicate vehicle inspections make no difference in fatality rates.
“There really doesn’t seem to be … any correlation between safety inspections and actual safety,” Eggleston said.
According to Missourinet, Republican Kevin Corlew of Kansas City is sympathetic to the elimination of mandatory inspections on the grounds that the state government is too intrusive in people’s lives.
The Missouri Highway Patrol has a frequently asked questions page about vehicle inspections.