It’s time to end the vehicle safety inspection program in Mississippi. The inspections are not actually performed. It’s just a state revenue scheme.
Plus an easy email form - Ask your legislators to allow passage of the 2014 bill to delete the requirement for MS vehicle inspection stickers.
Vehicle safety inspections were born when car parts manufacturers decided the program would help them sell many new parts. The manufacturers paid lobbyists. The lobbyists sold the idea to mechanics, who also believed they would sell more parts. The state legislature passed the bill and citizens reluctantly bought into the vehicle safety inspection idea.
By law, a mechanic can charge $5 for a vehicle safety inspection sticker. The mechanic keeps $3 and he sends $2 to the State. Mechanics are paid by the hour. The list of items to check for an inspection is long. There is no way for a mechanic to do a complete inspection without losing money on his hourly work rate. Because the inspection program isn’t profitable for a mechanic, he installs the sticker without a complete inspection.
A complete vehicle safety inspection includes checks of:
windshield for cracks, all windows for tint
horn, wipers, lights (aim the headlights)
remove a wheel to check brake linings
check for hydraulic leaks, brake hoses
check suspension parts, ball joints, tie rod ends
check tire tread depth
check exhaust system for leaks
test drive the vehicle (not on a rainy day) to test alignment, stopping ability, etc.
Some believe the program might keep junk cars off the road. Ironically, vehicles made before 1961 aren’t required to have an inspection.
Motorcycles are also required to have vehicle inspection stickers. The stickers aren't waterproof and there is no safe place to stick them on the motorcycle. Motorcyclists have to carry inspection stickers in their wallets.
Only the State highway patrol can write a ticket for an expired or missing vehicle inspection sticker. Cities and counties receive no revenue from inspection stickers, nor for tickets written for sticker violations. Many people believe the money from inspection stickers goes into the highway patrol retirement fund. That’s not true. $2 of the fee goes into the state general fund to be spent for whatever the legislature wants.
Every year since 2008, many bills were introduced to end vehicle inspections. In 2013, a bill by Representative Cecil Brown (D-Hinds) passed the House: 115 to 5 to end the inspection program.
Representative Pat Nelson (R-DeSoto) voted yes to end vehicle inspections saying, ”It started out as probably a good idea, but it’s become a nuisance. Only about a fourth of states still have them and there is little accountability that shops are even doing the checks.”
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves did not support the bill to end vehicle safety inspections. He allowed the bill to die in a Senate committee. I asked Lt. Governor Reeves on his Facebook page why he killed the bill. Someone with “Tate Reeves” as a screen name answered that the State needs the revenue.
Update: Legislators tried again in 2014 to end the fake vehicle inspection system in Mississippi. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves didn't get the inspection sticker repeal bill out of Sen. Fillingan's committee where the bill died. The House passed the bill 111-4!
Ask your legislators to allow passage of the 2015 bill to delete the requirement for MS vehicle inspection stickers.
SEC. 49-1-43. Powers and duties of director of Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
(1) The director shall have general supervision and control of all conservation officers, and shall enforce all the laws and regulations of the state relating to wild animals, birds and fish, and shall exercise all necessary powers incident thereto not specifically conferred on the department.
(7) Nothing in this section shall be construed as granting conservation officers general police powers.
Office of the Attorney General
State of Mississippi
Opinion No. 1999-0495
September 17, 1999
Re: Inspection Sticker Violations
Councilman, City of Tupelo
Tupelo, Mississippi 38801
Dear Mr. Doty:
Attorney General Mike Moore has received your letter of request and has assigned it to me for research and reply. Your letter asks:
I need an opinion as to whether or not a municipality may writeNext Term a tickets for inspection sticker violations or to carry it a little further, can sheriffs’ departments and, also, other county lawmen and all or just State troopers?
In response, it has long been the opinion of this office that only the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol may enforce the Inspection Sticker Act. This opinion is based on Chapter 317, House Bill 274, General Laws of 1977 (copy attached). The title of Chapter 317, Laws of 1977 clearly indicates that the intent of the act is “to provide that enforcement of the act be placed solely in the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol.”
If we may be of further service to you, let us know.
Very truly yours,
David K. Scott
Special Assistant Attorney General
1999 WL 1075189 (Miss.A.G.)