Gov. Herbert officially makes mandatory safety inspections a thing of the past

Composite background photo by Ocskaymark/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Starting in 2018, state-mandated vehicle safety inspections will no longer be necessary to complete yearly registration of noncommercial vehicles.

Gov. Gary Herbert signed HB 265, “Safety Inspections Amendments,” into law Saturday. Sponsored by Rep. Dan McKay, R-Riverton, and co-sponsored by Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, the bill passed the House in a 54-17 vote and the Senate with a 19-6 vote.

States shaded in red indicate where vehicle safety inspections are mandatory. Utah joins the gray states in 2018. | Image courtesy of the Libertas Institute, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge.

While emissions testing is still required in northern parts of the state, Southern Utah residents may simply renew their annual noncommercial vehicle registration without any kind of outside certification starting Jan. 1, 2018.

Currently, Utah is among 16 states nationally to still require the inspections; it is the only state west of Texas to require them.

“Safety inspections cost Utah families money and time, and recent research show there is no benefit to them,” McCay said in a previous interview with St. George News.

During committee proceedings and debates, various studies were presented by both bill supporters and industry lobbyists against the bill, with decidedly mixed findings depending on which side presented their study.

McCay argued that state-mandated safety inspections originated in a time before safety became a major selling point in cars and that the market has since corrected itself by building significantly safer vehicles.

Lobbyists for the bill, such as representatives from the libertarian Libertas Institute, argued that it is the responsibility of citizens rather than the state to ensure vehicles are running safely.

A fiscal analysis found that passage of the bill would save consumers about $25 million annually, while vehicle inspection stations would collectively take an approximately $25 million annual hit to revenue.

Proponents argued the money saved by consumers will go toward better maintaining their vehicles rather than being wasted on potentially needless certification.


Read more: See all St. George News reports on Utah Legislature 2017 issues

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • old school March 26, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    I for one felt victimized by some of the garages doing these inspections and am glad to see this one finally off the books! The whole thing was more or less “recreational maintenance” anyway, though for those you who still want someone to find something wrong with your car, I’m sure the are plenty of mechanic’s out there will to help you out.

    • izzymuse March 27, 2017 at 10:55 am

      I agree!

    • comments March 27, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      Yup, I’ve ranted about it several times how some of these places have victimized people. Maybe scammed or defrauded is a better word. But yeah.

  • Californicater March 27, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Smartest thing I have heard come out of legislation in a long time. Good on you, Lawmakers, for using common sense!

  • comments March 27, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Nice! A lot of these crooked garages will have to cook up a new and more clever method to scam the public (big o tire, to name one). This makes me happy. Although I wish it took effect immediately, it’s still a good result. 🙂

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