Once upon a time, if you drove a car in the state of Florida, you were required to have a regular vehicle safety inspection. During this time, you’d need to have your car tested for emissions and smog. Failing to meet the safety inspections can contribute to a car accident.

Florida no longer requires safety inspections or emissions testing in most instances. Instead, the state has opted to offer incentives to owners of green vehicles.

When Are Florida Drivers Required to Have a Car Inspection?

Currently, there are only two times at which a car owner in Florida is required to have their car inspected for safety:

  • When they purchase a new vehicle from outside of the state
  • When they purchase a used vehicle within the state

If these situations apply to you, you’ll need to follow the proper inspection protocols, which may include submitting a physical imprint or copy of your VIN.

If you purchase a new car within the state of Florida, you will not need to have it inspected, as they are covered through regulations that apply to the dealers directly.

How to Maintain a Safe Vehicle

Even though car inspection laws are a thing of the past in Florida, conscientious drivers want to make sure they’re driving a safe vehicle

Keeping your car in working order is as simple as getting it checked over by a certified mechanic or inspector on a regular basis. You can do many of these checks yourself, as well.

Check for Recalls

Sometimes, manufacturers discover issues with specific components on their vehicles. Check regularly to ensure your car does not have any parts that are recalled. If you do discover a recall in effect for a component on your car, take the vehicle to the dealership immediately for a repair or replacement part.

Examine Your Tires

If you notice the tread is wearing down, there are bubbles forming, or there is metal beginning to show on your tires, get to a tire shop immediately. These are all signs of imminent danger.

As you’re getting your tires checked out, make sure to have the technician look for any alignment issues. If the tires are out of alignment, they will wear out more quickly, which can lead to car accidents.

Check Your Brakes

Another important function of your car is the braking system. You should have the entire system checked at least once each year to make sure it’s operating properly. During a brake inspection, the mechanic will check for fluid leaks or component wear, advising you of any repairs that may be necessary.

Other Systems and Components to Check

By keeping an eye on basic items such as fluid levels and tire pressure, you are less likely to find yourself broken down on the road and waiting for assistance. An annual car inspection can help you to check:

  • Windshield wipers
  • Oil level
  • Fluid levels
  • Headlights
  • Turn signals
  • Emergency flashers
  • Brake lights
  • Fuel system
  • Suspension
  • Exhaust system
  • Seatbelts
  • Defrosters
  • Window glass

The general idea is to make sure everything is operating properly on your car before you take it out on public roads. Even seemingly small issues can be a safety risk if you don’t get them fixed.

If your windshield wipers are worn, for instance, and you need to drive during a rainstorm, you may not be able to see the road in front of you well enough to safely get where you’re going. 

Likewise, if your seatbelts are not working properly, you run the risk of one of your children being injured if you hit the brakes hard and the belt does not hold them in place properly.

Although Florida laws no longer require a car inspection, it’s still a good idea to have your car checked on a regular basis.