Car Inspection Laws in Missouri

For a brief period in the 1970s, the majority of U.S. states required vehicle safety inspections. Since then, most states have eliminated their requirements for vehicle owners to obtain an annual safety inspection. Only 15 states have mandatory vehicle safety inspections to register a vehicle.

Missouri is one of them. Under Missouri law, vehicles over ten years old must pass a vehicle safety inspection to obtain or renew their registrations. These inspections are intended to reduce the risk of car accidents caused by unsafe vehicles.

Were you hurt in a collision in St. Louis, MO? Whether it was caused by an unsafe vehicle or something entirely different, Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Contact our St. Louis car accident attorneys at (314) 444-4444 for a free case review to learn more.

How Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Car Accident in St. Louis, MO

How Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Car Accident in St. Louis, MO

Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers has been serving accident victims in St. Louis, Missouri since 2010. Since then, our attorneys have recovered over $100 million in financial compensation for injured clients.

Our St. Louis car accident lawyers help by providing victims with the following:

  • Free consultations to educate clients and help them make informed decisions
  • Contingency fee representation so clients can start on their claims without paying any upfront fees
  • Over a century of combined experience fighting on behalf of accident victims

Car crash injuries can leave you with mental trauma and physical disabilities.

We handle all types of car accident claims, like:

Contact Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your losses and how you can pursue compensation for them.

Do Unsafe Vehicles Cause Collisions?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicle defects only cause about 2% of all traffic accidents. For comparison, the same study blamed driver errors for 94% of traffic crashes. But 2% is still a significant number. Across the U.S., this translates to over 44,000 crashes per year.

In Missouri, state crash statistics for 2022 included 3,138 crashes caused by vehicle defects. The state did not describe the nature of the defects that caused the crashes. According to the NHTSA, the most common causes of vehicle defect crashes include:

  • Wheels and tires
  • Brakes
  • Steering and suspension
  • Engine and transmission

2022 crashes caused by vehicle defects in Missouri resulted in the following:

  • 22 fatal injuries
  • 1,125 non-fatal injuries

These numbers might seem large. But the state had 242,338 total traffic crashes in 2022. Vehicle defect crashes only accounted for roughly 1.3% of all traffic accidents that year.

Missouri’s Vehicle Safety Inspection Requirements

Car inspection laws in Missouri are meant to find unsafe vehicles and keep them off of state roads. The law requires that all vehicles over ten years old must get a safety inspection every two years to register the vehicle. 

This law applies to all registrable personal vehicles including:

  • Cars
  • Pickup trucks
  • Vans
  • Sport utility vehicles (SUVs)
  • Motorhomes
  • Motorcycles and motor tricycles

The state determines when your safety inspection is due based on the model year. Odd model years must get safety inspections when renewing registrations in odd years. Vehicles with even model years need safety inspections for even-year renewals. Thus, a 2010 car needed a safety inspection when renewed in 2022 but not in 2023.

In addition to requiring a safety inspection to renew the registration, you must also have a safety inspection certificate less than 60 days old to sell a vehicle or give it as a gift. This requirement applies regardless of the model year.

Commercial Motor Vehicles

The state’s annual safety inspection law does not apply to commercial motor vehicles (CMV). 

These vehicles must comply with a different set of state and federal trucking regulations that cover the following:

  • Vehicles over 10,000 pounds
  • Semi-trucks and trailers
  • Buses
  • Trucks carrying hazardous material

These vehicles get inspected more often and must meet more strict safety standards under rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These laws are designed to identify unsafe CMVs before they cause truck accidents.

Exemptions from Safety Inspections

The law exempts low-mileage vehicles with fewer than 150,000 miles. The law also exempts all trailers and antique vehicles with historic plates.

Liability for Crashes Caused by Unsafe Vehicles in St. Louis, MO

If you get injured due to a defective vehicle, you might have three potential compensation claims:


Manufacturers may be strictly liable for airbag injuries, seatbelt injuries, and more caused by defective products. To prove your product liability claim, you must show that the auto part or vehicle was defective when it left the manufacturer’s hands and was not significantly changed afterward. 

Thus, if you were injured because the tire separated due to faulty manufacturing, you may have a valid product liability claim.

Repair Shop

Repair shops owe a duty of care to customers. If a repair shop performs repairs negligently, they may be liable for injuries. Thus, suppose that you had your brakes serviced, and the shop installed the brake pads incorrectly. You might have a claim against the shop.

Vehicle Owner

The owner of a vehicle might be liable for crashes that result from unsafe conditions known to the owner. If the owner knew the vehicle was unsafe and failed to take reasonable steps to fix it, you might have a claim against the owner.

Schedule a Free Case Assessment With Our Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers

Car accidents can cause serious injuries regardless of the reason for the crash. Contact Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your injuries and who might be liable for them.

Additional St. Louis Car Accident Resources

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