Louisiana Car Inspection Checklist


Vehicles are required to be inspected and receive a vehicle inspection sticker yearly in Louisiana. Drivers must present a valid driver's license, a current vehicle registration from Louisiana and proof of valid automobile insurance before the inspection. Service stations throughout the state provide inspections for a nominal fee, which is not the same in all parishes. Vehicles registered in Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston and West Baton Rouge parishes are required to be inspected in one of those parishes, and the fee as of October 2010 is $18. The fee is $10 in all other parishes.

Test-Driven Inspection

  • Brakes are tested slowly after achieving a speed of 20 mph. The speedometer/odometer, inside and outside mirrors, seat belts and parking brakes must be present and in working order. According to the Louisiana State Department of Public Safety and Corrections, the steering wheel is checked to ensure there is no "excessive play, binding or tightness." No holes or rusted areas are allowed in the passenger compartment floor pan.

Visual Inspection

  • The vehicle is inspected for the presence and good working order of horn, windshield wipers and washers, fenders, bumpers, doors and windows, sheet metal and body, hood latch, suspension and shock absorbers. Lamps that are required and to be in working order are headlamps (maximum height: 5 feet 4 inches, minimum height: 24 inches), front and rear turn indicator lights (white or amber-colored light only), white-light only backup lamps (when the vehicle is placed in reverse gear) and a license plate lamp.

    According to the regulations, "Stop Lamps: May emit red-colored light only. Lens cannot be broken, and no white light may be allowed to show to the rear of the vehicle. Must have original type lens. No tape allowed. High Mount Brake Lamp: Must have at least 4 1/2 inches of exposed red light. Cannot be obscured by any aftermarket item."

    Also, "Windshields: Acute Area (directly in the driver's line of vision) -- Cannot have any cracks and no more than two stars, nicks, chips, bull's-eyes, or half moons in excess of 1/2 inch. Critical Area (area other than the acute area which is cleaned by the normal sweep of the windshield wiper blades on the driver's side only) -- Cannot have any star larger than 2 inches in diameter, two or more stars larger than 1 1/2 inch in diameter, or two or more cracks which extend more than 8 inches. Sunscreening and Glass Coating: Windshield -- No more than 5 inches from the top of the windshield and must be transparent. Cannot be red or amber in color. Front Side Windows: Must have at least 40 percent light transmission. Side Windows: Must have at least 25 percent light transmission. Rearmost Glass: Must have at least 12 percent light transmission. All window tint must be checked with approved light meter, and no sunscreen may have more than a 20 percent light reflectance."

Other Items

  • Again, according to Louisiana regulations: "A visual inspection must be conducted on the following items:

    Passenger cars and light trucks, 1980-1983: catalytic converter, air injection system, PCV valve, EGR Valve, choke aystem, thermostatic air intake system. Passenger cars and light trucks, 1984 and later: all of the above as well as oxygen sensor, misfire. Special items to be inspected: gas cap pressure."

    Finally there can be "no excessive noise, smoke or fumes" from the exhaust system.

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