EQUIPMENT OF VEHICLES
266:1 Inspection Authorized.
I. The director may require the inspection of any vehicle, except an OHRV, snowmobile, moped, roadable aircraft, or any other vehicle exempted under this chapter, to determine whether it is fit to be driven. Such inspection shall be made at such times and in such manner as the director may specify, subject to the requirements set forth in this section.
II. Any vehicle registered under this title, except an OHRV, snowmobile, moped, roadable aircraft, or other exempt vehicle, shall be inspected once a year, during the month in which the birth date of the owner is observed, if the owner is a natural person. An inspection sticker shall be valid for the same duration as the vehicle's registration, which shall not exceed 16 months. If the month in which the anniversary of the owner's birth occurs will be one of the next 4 months, an inspection sticker may be issued, with an expiration date of the birth month in the following year, of the first person named on the title application. Nothing in this paragraph shall require any person who has registered and had inspected a vehicle with temporary plates to have the vehicle reinspected upon receipt of permanent motor vehicle plates. An inspection sticker shall not expire when a vehicle is transferred to a licensed dealer.
II-a. Notwithstanding RSA 266:1, II, if the month in which the anniversary of the owner's birth occurs will be one of the next 4 months, and the vehicle owner provides written verification of absence from New Hampshire during the entire anniversary month, an inspection sticker may be issued, with an expiration date of the birth month in the following year, of the first person named on the title application.
III. If the owner of the vehicle is a company or corporation or other than a natural person, the annual inspection shall be made during the month designated by the director as the registration month for such legal entity. Vehicles registered as antique motor vehicles and antique motorcycles and which are 40 years old and over shall be inspected biennially. Antique motor vehicles and custom vehicles shall be inspected in the month of April. Without regard to the owner's birth date or registration month, motorcycles, autocycles, and recreational vehicles shall be inspected annually by July 1.
IV. Notwithstanding paragraphs II and III, newly registered vehicles, other than vehicles transferred to a licensed dealer, OHRVs, snowmobiles, mopeds, roadable aircraft, and vehicles, other than vehicles transferred to a licensed dealer, OHRVs, snowmobiles, mopeds, and roadable aircraft, the ownership of which has been transferred, shall be inspected not later than 10 days after the registration or transfer of ownership of said vehicle. However, if a new vehicle is purchased at retail from a licensed dealer, as defined in RSA 259:18, the vehicle shall be inspected not later than 20 days after the date of transfer. A used vehicle for which a dealer has issued a 20-day plate pursuant to RSA 261:109 shall be inspected by the dealer or an authorized inspection station on behalf of the dealer at the time of the attachment of the plate unless a valid inspection sticker issued by the dealer is in place, in which case the vehicle shall be inspected within 20 days or before the sticker expires, whichever occurs first. All other expired motor vehicle inspections shall be subject to the 10-day grace period in RSA 266:5.
V. The director may authorize properly qualified persons to make inspections without expense to the state at stations designated by the director, and may at any time revoke such authorization or designation; provided, however, that inspections conducted at such stations at the request and under the direction of a police officer or a state trooper or authorized employee of the department of safety shall be paid for as follows:
(a) In the event violations of this section are uncovered, by the owner of the vehicle.
(b) In the event no such violations are uncovered, by the agency represented by the police officer or state trooper or authorized employee of the department of safety.
The biennial fee to be paid by the inspection station upon authorization to make inspections shall be $50 and shall not be refundable nor prorated, however, applications submitted during the second year of the license cycle shall be subject to a fee of only $25.
V-a. An inspection station may, upon request, be designated a "motorcycle only" inspection station. A "motorcycle only" inspection station may inspect only motorcycles and shall not be required to conduct OBD II emission testing under RSA 266:59-b or to purchase or lease any equipment relating to the OBD II emission testing program.
VI. Each inspection station shall conspicuously post on its premises a notice, in a form and size approved by the director, indicating that the station is an authorized inspection station.
VII. Each inspection station shall conspicuously post on the outside of the building a sign showing the inspection fee charged and the additional fee charged for OBD II testing under RSA 266:59-b. No inspection station shall include of the cost of OBD II testing or reporting in the inspection fee charged for a vehicle not subject to the OBD II requirements under RSA 266:59-b.
VII-a. (a) The director is authorized to require inspection stations to submit inspection data to the department electronically, provided that if electronic submission is required the following inspection stations shall be allowed to submit inspection data electronically or on a designated schedule and form prescribed by the department:
(1) Inspection stations that are authorized to inspect only motorcycles.
(3) Fleet motor vehicle inspection stations for non-OBD II vehicles.
(4) Municipal and county government inspection stations.
(b) The department shall not require an inspection station to transfer inspection information electronically for any vehicle of model year 1995 or older.
VIII. A new vehicle which has been delivered in this state with a certificate of origin in the form prescribed by the director is exempt from the inspection requirements contained in this section until it is sold at retail. Upon retail sale of such a vehicle, the owner shall be required to have the vehicle inspected pursuant to paragraph IV and as provided in this section and the rules adopted under this chapter.
IX. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, all school buses exceeding 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight shall be inspected semiannually. The month for the first inspection shall be the month in which the birth date of the owner is observed, if the owner is a natural person; if the owner is other than a natural person, the first inspection shall be conducted during the month designated by the director as the registration month for such legal entity. In either case, the second inspection shall be 6 months later.
X. The director may authorize properly qualified persons to inspect any motor vehicle, except an OHRV, snowmobile, moped, roadable aircraft, or any other vehicle exempted under this chapter, which has been involved in a fatal accident or an accident involving serious bodily injury as defined in RSA 625:11, VI, to determine whether the vehicle was in compliance with state inspection requirements.
XI. (a) The department may impose an administrative fine upon any inspection station for any violation of an inspection law or rule adopted under the provisions of this chapter. The authority to impose such a fine shall be in addition to any other remedy or penalty that may be imposed, but in no event shall the department impose both a fine and a suspension of inspection privileges in the same proceeding. The maximum amounts of the fines which may be assessed shall be as follows:
(1) For the first violation, $250.
(2) For the second violation, $500.
(3) For the third violation, $750.
(4) For the fourth violation, $1,000.
(5) For 5 or more violations, $2,000.
(b) No fine shall take effect unless approved by the commissioner. The commissioner shall have the authority to modify the amount of the fine assessed.
Source. 1931, 80:1. 1939, 199:1. RL 116:11. 1951, 20:1. RSA 260:14. 1965, 240:6. 1969, 84:1; 291:1; 488:2. 1975, 121:1. 1976, 4:9, 10. 1978, 38:5. 1981, 146:1; 538:8. 1986, 218:1. 1988, 45:1; 288:9, 13. 1989, 305:16. 1990, 79:8. 1992, 282:8, 9. 1995, 3:2; 41:2. 2001, 115:1. 2005, 14:1; 203:7; 267:4, 5; 296:2, 6, I, 7. 2006, 83:1; 90:11. 2007, 91:1; 372:5. 2010, 353:4. 2012, 38:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2013. 2014, 234:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2015; 245:3, eff. Sept. 19, 2014. 2015, 222:8, eff. July 1, 2015. 2020, 33:35-37, eff. Sept. 22, 2020.