What to Know About Car Inspections in Kansas City

Vehicle owners in Kansas City are responsible for keeping up with the laws and requirements according to the state in which they’ve registered their vehicles. Both Kansas and Missouri require motor vehicle examinations and inspections in certain situations; the rules are different in each state. Failing to adhere to the car inspection requirements in your state could result in the inability to register your vehicle, fines, and other consequences. Here’s what you need to know about car inspections in Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas).

Missouri Car Inspection Requirements

The Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) makes it mandatory for all vehicles to undergo inspections every two years. Inspections involve checks of the vehicle’s safety as well as its smog and emissions outputs in some counties. These counties include St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, and Jefferson. The DOR requires successful completion and passing of all necessary inspections before a driver can register a vehicle in Missouri.

If you’re new to Kansas City, Missouri, you have 30 days to register your vehicle in the state. Your vehicle must first pass the safety inspection, as well as the smog check if you live in an applicable county. The DOR will ask for proof of these inspections before you can register your vehicle. Your vehicle will also need to undergo inspections to renew your Missouri registration, to sell a vehicle, after an accident, and if a police officer orders you to do so.

A vehicle might be exempt from safety and/or smog inspections if the vehicle is five model years old or newer; is a trailer; if it weighs 26,000 pounds or more and registered less than 12 months; if it’s registered with the DOR for interstate commerce; if it displays an historic license plate; if the owner is selling it for junk or salvage; if it is a low-speed vehicle; if it is out of state at the time of renewal; or if its model year and registration expiration date are in contrasting calendar years (e.g., an even model year with an odd calendar year expiration date).

Kansas Car Inspection Requirements

In Kansas City, Kansas, drivers have 90 days after entering the state to apply for new titles and registrations. Like Missouri, vehicles will need to pass an inspection before the state will grant vehicle registration. They do not, however, need regular inspections every few years. In Kansas, vehicles must have a Motor Vehicle Examination with the Kansas Highway Patrol before the owner can register it if the vehicle fulfills one of the following:

  • Has an out-of-state title or out-of-state bill of sale
  • Is an antique vehicle model year 1950 or newer purchased in Kansas
  • Is a non-highway or salvaged vehicle the owner wants to rebuild
  • Is a boat trailer weighing more than 2,000 pounds that has a title in Kansas

The Motor Vehicle Examination will assess safety and emissions. There is a $20 inspection fee drivers must pay for an inspection in Kansas. The fee for a Missouri vehicle inspection is $12. Kansas offers incentives for drivers who own vehicles that generate low or no emissions, such as tax breaks and discounts on auto insurance.

Keep an Eye Out for Changing Missouri Vehicle Inspection Laws

House Bill 1444 might soon be changing the requirements for vehicle inspections in Missouri. This proposed bill would eliminate mandatory inspections in the state, making it more like its neighboring state of Kansas. Drivers would not need to have their vehicles inspected every two years in Missouri if the bill passed; nor would their vehicles need to pass inspections before licensing. Similar bills have both failed and passed in other states. The last action on this bill was its drop from the current House calendar in May 2018.


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