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Expired Sticker? How the State is Handling Vehicle Inspections During a Pandemic

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Did your inspection sticker expire at the end of April? There is some good news: You don’t have to worry about it – for the most part.

Here’s a paradox: That inspection sticker on your car might have expired on the first of the month. Or maybe it expired on the first of last month. If that’s the case you are, in fact, breaking the law. State Police will overlook it until August. But spokeswoman Corinne Geller wants to make sure you know that you’re still required to get your vehicle inspected, and the expiration date on your sticker has not been extended or suspended.

“So, we have worked with our certified inspection stations in Virginia," she says. "We reached out to all of them and talked to them about how they can still provide a valid inspection of your vehicle but can do it without getting into your vehicle or requiring you to get out of your vehicle.”

Local police departments across Virginia are still enforcing some expired inspection stickers, says Dana Schrad at the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police.

“Local law enforcement has still been doing some inspection enforcement," Schrad explains. "Particularly in those cases that appear egregious where it’s obvious that there are some problems with bad brakes, lights out, that kind of thing.”

Governor Ralph Northam has issued an executive order suspending enforcement of inspection stickers, updating expired driver’s licenses and registering a new vehicle. That order is effective through July 31st, although it applies only to the state police, not your local police department.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.