Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) sensors watch over tire pressure, warning us if it gets too low. This helps keep us safe on the road and saves fuel.

The cool thing is, these sensors usually don’t cause inspection failures. During checks, inspectors look at our tires to make sure they’re in good shape – with enough tread, not damaged, and safe. They also check for bulges or holes.

So, will a tire pressure sensor fail inspection? Usually not. To get a clearer understanding, keep reading the information below!

How Your Tires Can Cause A Vehicle Inspection Failure?

Keeping your tires in good shape isn’t just about staying safe on the road, it’s also super important for passing inspections. Here’s why tire problems might make your inspection fail:

1. Tire Damage

If your tires have cuts, bulges, or other visible damage, it’s a problem for inspections. Things like hitting potholes or road junk can mess up your tires.

Inspectors check for any damage that could make your tires risky to use. If they spot something that could cause a blowout or loss of control, your inspection might not pass.

2. Bald Tires

When your tires don’t have much tread left, it’s trouble for inspections. Tread helps your tires grip the road, especially when it’s wet.

Inspectors, see how much tread your tires have. If they’re too worn and can’t grip well, they might fail your inspection.

3. Uneven Tire Wear

Tires wearing out unevenly could mean trouble. This happens if your wheels aren’t straight or if you don’t move your tires around enough.

Uneven wear messes up how your tires work and how safe they are. Inspectors keep an eye out for this during inspections and might think it’s not safe.

To make sure your tires pass inspection, look after them. Check the tread, keep the right tire pressure, move them around when needed, and fix any damage quickly.

TPMS Inspection Requirements

Did you know that if the TPMS light is on in your car, it might not mean you’ll fail your safety inspection in some US states? Yep, it’s true! But here’s the deal: your tires must have the right air pressure.

Each state in the US has its own rules for TPMS inspections. In some places, even if your TPMS light is on, you can still pass if your tire pressure is good. So, as long as your tires are pumped up right, that light won’t automatically fail your inspection.

Now, over in places like the UK and Ireland, they’re a bit stricter. If your TPMS light is on during inspection, you won’t pass. They take checking tire pressure super seriously to keep everyone safe. For them, your TPMS system needs to be working perfectly for your car to pass.

To make things super easy, there’s a handy “Chart by State” that explains these inspection rules across the US. Check it out to see how your state handles TPMS inspections!

State Does inspection fail for TPMS fault? Inspection type & frequency Inspection requirements
Alabama (AL) Confirming with DMV Safety: Non-standard – Safety inspection is only required prior to the sale, prior to the transfer of ownership, or when rebuilding salvaged vehicles.
Alaska (AK) Not applicable Not required – Emissions tests were required but stopped in March 2012.
Arizona (AZ) Confirming with DMV Emission: Every 2 years – Emissions tests are done in Phoenix and Tucson metro areas only.
Arkansas (AR) Not applicable Not required – The state encourages citizens to test their own vehicles for pollutants. Click here.
California (CA) Confirming with DMV Emission: Every 2 years
VIN: Non-standard
– Emissions tests are dependent on the area – Check ZIP here while smog check is required for all out-of-state vehicles. Emissions test for any newer vehicle up to 6 years old, hybrids, electric vehicles, motorcycles, trailers, natural-gas-powered vehicles heavier than 14,000 pounds, diesel-powered vehicles made before 1997, and any vehicle made in or prior to 1975 is exempt.
– VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
Colorado (CO) Confirming with DMV Emission: Every 2 years
VIN: Non-standard
– Emission and smog tests are only required for Boulder, Denver, Broomfield, Douglas, and Jefferson, as well as parts of Adams, Larimer, Weld, and Arapahoe counties. Check the map. However, new cars up to 7 years old, all-electric vehicles, farm vehicles, motorcycles, or 1975 model years or older are exempt.
– VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
Connecticut (CT) Confirming with DMV Emission: Every 2 years
VIN: Non-standard
– Some safety inspections are required for commercial types of vehicles, like taxis, trailers, and driver-education cars.
– Emission tests are required throughout the state and depend on the type of vehicle. Inspections however must be done by an authorized facility.
– VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
Delaware (DE) No. Confirmed by the DMV Safety: Every 2 years
Emission: Every 2 years
– Newer cars up to 5 years old are exempt from all tests.
– Emissions tests for newer cars up to 5 years old or models manufactured before 1967 are exempt.
Florida (FL) Confirming with DMV VIN: Non-standard – VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
Georgia (GA) Confirming with DMV Emission: Every year – Emissions testing is only required for some metro counties. Newer cars up to 3 years old and older cars above 25 years old are exempt, which includes motorcycles, RVs, diesel-powered vehicles, and motor homes.
Hawaii (HI) Yes. TPMS needs to be functioning properly in order to pass inspection Safety: Every Year – Newer cars up to 2 years old are exempt and inspections need to be done at authorized facilities.
Idaho (ID) Confirming with DMV Emission: Every 2 year
VIN: Non-standard
– Emissions testing is only required for Ada and Canyon counties.
– VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
Illinois (IL) Confirming with DMV Safety: Every 2 year
Emission: Every 2 year
VIN: Every 2 year
– Inspection every 2 years applies to vehicles in specific zip codes, including Chicago and St. Louis metro areas.
– Newer cars up to 4 years or cars before 1967 are exempt
Indiana (IN) Confirming with DMV Emission: Every 2 year
VIN: Non-standard
– Emission testing every 2 years applies to vehicles in specific zip codes, including Lake County and Porter County
– Inspections are to be done at authorized service stations.
– Cars built after 1976 are exempt from inspection.
– VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
Iowa (IA) Not applicable Not required – Salvaged vehicles and the commercial trucking industry will need some form of testing
Kansas (KS) Confirming with DMV VIN: Non-standard – VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
Kentucky (KY) Confirming with DMV VIN: Non-standard – VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
Louisiana (LA) No. Confirmed by the DMV Safety: Every year
Emission: Every year
– Emission testing every year applies to vehicles in Baton Rouge metro parished
Maine (ME) No. Confirmed by the DMV Safety: Every year
Emission: Every year
– Emission testing every year applies to vehicles in Cumberland county
Maryland (MD) Confirming with DMV Safety: Non-Standard
Emission: Every 2 years
– Safety inspection is required only prior to a sale or transfer of vehicle ownership.
– Emissions testing is required in the following county: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Calvert County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Charles County, Frederick County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County and Washington County in Maryland. Emission testing is exempt for vehicles built in 1976 to older, all-electric or diesel-powered, farm vehicles, a motorcycle, historic vehicles, or any of these other exemptions.
Massachusetts (MA) No. Confirmed by the DMV Safety: Every year
Emission: Every year
– Emission testing is for cars older than 15 years are exempt
Michigan (MI) Not applicable Not required
Minnesota (MN) Not applicable Not required
Mississippi (MS) No. Confirmed by the DMV Not required – Inspection is only required for vehicles with tinted windows
Missouri (MO) No. Confirmed by the DMV Safety: Every 2 years
Emission: Every 2 years
– Safety inspection for newer cars less than 5 years and historical plates are exempt Emissions testing is only required in St. Louis City and County, Franklin County, St. Charles County, and Jefferson County.
Montana (MT) Not applicable Not required
Nebraska (NE) Confirming with DMV Safety: Non-Standard
Vin: Non-Standard
– Safety checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle but trailers, motorboats, salvaged vehicles, and some other types of vehicles are exempt.
– VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
Nevada (NV) Confirming with DMV Safety: Every Year
Emissions: Non-Standard
Vin: Non-Standard
– Safety checks for newer vehicles less than 2 years old post-registration or built before 1968 including motorcycles and hybrids for the first five years are exempt
– Emissions tests are only required in Las Vegas and Reno
– VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
New Hampshire (NH) No. Confirmed by the DMV. Safety: Every Year
Emissions: Every Year
Vin: Non-Standard
– Inspection is due the month of your birthday when your transfer or buy a new car
– Emissions tests for cars built before 1996 are exempt
New Jersey (NJ) No. Confirmed by the DMV. Safety: Non-Standard
Emissions: Every 2 Years
– Safety Inspection is only required for commercial vehicles
– Emissions tests for vehicles less than 5 years are exempt. All commercial vehicles need to be tested every year. However, motorcycles, farm vehicles, collector and historic vehicles, trailers, mopeds, and certain diesel vehicles based on size and model year are exempt.
New Mexico (NM) Confirming with DMV Emissions: Every 2 years
Vin: Non-Standard
– Emissions testing is only required for Bernalillo County and surrounding Albuquerque areas. Vehicles from 1982 or earlier, all-electric cars and diesel cars are exempt
– VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
New York (NY) No. TPMS is inspected but it is not grounds for inspection failure Safety: Every Year
Emissions: Every Year
– Emission testing for vehicles 26 years or older and two model years or younger are exempt
North Carolina (NC) No. Confirmed by the DMV Safety: Every Year
Emissions: Every Year
– Safety inspection for car models 35 years or older are exempt
– Emissions testing is done in 48 countries (out of 100) while cars manufactured on or before 1995 are exempt, in addition to newer cars within 3 model years and less than 70,000 miles, diesel-powered cars, and farming vehicles.
North Dakota (ND) Not applicable Not required
Ohio (OH) Confirming with DMV Emissions: Non-standard – Emissions test is only required in Cleveland metro areas where newer vehicles up to four years or vehicles 25 years or older are exempt (Frequency of testing is dependent on even or odd model years).
Oklahoma (OK) Confirming with DMV Vin: Non-Standard – VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
Oregon (OR) Confirming with DMV Emissions: Every 2 Years
Vin: Non-Standard
– Emission tests are only required in the Portland and Medford metro areas whereas cars manufactured prior to 1975 are not required to test.
– VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
Pennsylvania (PA) No. Confirmed by the DMV Safety: Every Year
Emissions: Every Year
Vin: Every Year
– Safety inspection is carried out every year (except Commercial vehicles over 17,000 pounds like buses, taxis, and tractor-trailers are required to be inspected semiannually) and must take place at authorized stations.

– Emissions testing is done for vehicles in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia regions and other 25 of our 67 counties, however, diesel-powered vehicles are exempt.

– VIN checks are done as part of the annual safety inspections

Rhode Island (RI) Yes. TPMS needs to be functioning properly in order to pass inspection. Safety: Every 2 Years
Emissions: Every 2 Years
Vin: Non-standard
– Safety Inspections are to be carried out by authorized stations for all cars including antique cars with antique plates, however, brand new cars less than 2 years old are exempt.
– Emissions tests are however exempt for antique cars
– VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
South Carolina (SC) Not applicable Not required
South Dakota (SD) Not applicable Not required
Tennessee (TN) Confirming with DMV Safety: Every Year
Emissions: Every Year
– Safety inspections for vehicles from 1975 or earlier, vehicles registering for the first time, motorcycles, or heavy vehicles weighing more than 10,500 pounds are exempt. Inspections are done every year at authorized stations.
– Emissions inspections are required in Sumner, Hamilton, Rutherford, Davidson, Williamson, and Wilson counties
Texas (TX) No. Confirmed by the DMV Safety: Every Year
Emissions: Every year
– Safety inspections for newer vehicles for up to 2 years are exempt after which inspections are done every year and must be carried out at authorized stations.
– Emissions tests are required in 17 counties near Austin, Dallas (and Fort Worth), Houston, and El Paso and they slightly differ in the specific area. Vehicles more than 25 years old, diesel-powered vehicles, and motorcycles are exempt.
Utah (UT) No. Confirmed by the DMV Safety: Non-standard
Emissions: Non-standard
– Safety inspection is done in intervals of four, eight, and ten years based on the model and annually thereafter.
– Emissions tests (except for vehicles manufactured in 1967 or earlier and diesel-powered vehicles) are done every 2 years until vehicles are 6 years old and then done every year after that, however, they are required only in Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, Utah, and Weber counties
Vermont (VT) Yes. TPMS needs to be functioning properly in order to pass inspection Safety: Every Year
Emissions: Every Year
Vin: Non-standard
– Safety inspections are required every year and must be done at authorized stations
– Emissions inspections are required every year however cars manufactured in 1996 or later are exempt.
– VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
Virginia (VA) Confirming with DMV Safety: Every Year
Emissions: Every 2 Years
– Safety inspection is done every year and valid tickets from other states can be transferred until they expire
– Emissions testing is required in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford cities however vehicles that are 25 years or older, vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or more, all-electric, all-solar, or all-natural gas vehicles, qualified hybrids and motorcycles are exempt.
Washington (WA) Confirming with DMV Emissions: Non-standard
Vin: Non-standard
– Emissions testing is only done in Clark, King, Pierce, Spokane, and Snohomish counties where the frequency is based on model number. Hybrids, newer diesel vehicles (2009 or newer), and motorcycles are exempt
– VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.
West Virginia (WV) Yes. TPMS needs to be functioning properly in order to pass inspection. Safety: Every Year – Safety Inspection at an authorized facility is required to be done annually. Inspections previously done in New York, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Utah, Texas, and Wyoming can be transferred and valid until the expiry.
Wisconsin (Wi) Confirming with DMV Emissions: Every 2 Years – Emissions tests are required in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Kenosha, Racine, Sheboygan, Waukesha, and Washington counties. All cars must be tested out in authored facilities and Diesel cars before 1996 are exempt from inspection.
Wyoming (WY) Confirming with DMV Vin: Non-standard – VIN checks are required when registering an out-of-state vehicle.

Do You Need to Fix the TPMS Light Before the Inspection?

In some US states like Hawaii, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is a big deal for car inspections. If the TPMS light shows an issue—like low tire pressure—you’ve got to fix it before the inspection. If not addressed, your car could potentially fail its inspection.

But here’s the thing: not all states care about the TPMS during inspections. In many places, even if the TPMS isn’t working or the light is on, it won’t fail your inspection. Still, keeping your tires pumped up right is always important.

If you’ve sorted the TPMS problem or your state doesn’t need a fully working TPMS for inspection, you might still need to reset it. Different cars need different methods—some need a manual reset by pressing buttons, while others do it automatically.

Check what your state wants for TPMS during inspections. If it’s needed, fix any problems before your inspection. In other places, fixing TPMS issues is just a smart move for your safety on the road.

Conclusion

Worried if a tire pressure light means you fail inspection? Most states won’t fail you just for that. Inspectors check if your tires are in good shape.

So, keep them healthy! It’s not just about the light; they care about tire health. Keep those tires pumped right.

Remember, during inspections, fixing the light won’t break your wallet. But healthy tires? They keep your ride smooth and safe. Take care of your tires, and you’ll pass inspections with ease!