Florida Car Inspection Laws
Florida no longer requires vehicle inspections. The state does not require emissions inspections to check the pollutants your vehicle produces, either.
However, that does not mean you can drive a vehicle in any condition in the state. Florida has several laws and regulations that cover the safety standards for vehicles on the local roads. Non-compliance with these laws could expose a driver to a traffic citation, a fine, and liability for any car accidents that occur due to unsafe vehicles.
Read on to learn about the equipment standards for vehicles in Ocala, Florida, and the state’s car inspection laws.
Table of Contents
How Allen Law Firm, P.A. Can Help After an Accident in Ocala
Allen Law Firm, P.A., is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help accident victims. The firm’s Ocala car accident lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience representing clients who have been injured by the negligence of others. Over that time, the lawyers have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in injury compensation for Florida accident victims.
Significant outcomes of the firm’s traffic accident cases include:
- A $10 million car accident settlement
- A $1.1 million rear-end car accident settlement
- A $940,000 side-impact car accident settlement
The firm’s lawyers can assist with your case by:
- Documenting the extent and cause of your damages
- Investigating your case to collect evidence
- Negotiate on your behalf to reach a fair settlement, and bring your case to trial if the other party doesn’t negotiate in good faith
How Do Car Inspections Work in Florida?
Florida does not require you to have your vehicle inspected before registering it or renewing its registration. However, this does not insulate your vehicle from inspection requirements.
Under Florida law, a police officer can pull you over and inspect your vehicle any time it appears to be unsafe. Under Florida law, the officer only needs to have “reasonable cause” to stop you.
This means that a police officer only needs to have a factual basis for questioning your vehicle’s safety. Smoke issuing out of the tailpipe, a burned-out turn signal, or a clunking or rattling sound could give a police officer enough reason to pull you over.
In 2021, Florida law enforcement agencies issued over 38,000 tickets to drivers of unsafe vehicles.
If you get a ticket for having an unsafe vehicle, you can get your car fixed and take it to the agency that issued the ticket for re-inspection.
For example, if you received a ticket from a sheriff’s deputy, you would take your car to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office for inspection.
If the agency finds that you made the requested repair within 30 days after getting the ticket, the court will reduce your fine to $10. If you do not make the requested repair, the court will fine you $60.
If you do not make the requested repair and get your vehicle reinspected, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) can also add points to your driving record. Specifically, the FLHSMV can add points if you got a ticket for broken or missing:
- Brake lights
- Turn signals
Since the state does not require annual safety inspections, you will need to check your vehicle periodically to make sure you remain compliant with Florida’s vehicle equipment laws.
Accidents Caused by Equipment Failure
Florida’s car inspection laws only apply if a law enforcement officer pulls you over for driving an unsafe vehicle. Otherwise, you will not need to get your car inspected under current Florida legislation.
Traffic accidents caused by faulty equipment rarely happen. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration NHTSA), only 2% of car crashes result from vehicle malfunctions. In fact, in 2020, the FLHSMV reported no crashes caused by equipment failure.
According to the NHTSA, tire and wheel failures are the most common causes of equipment-related crashes. These failures cause about 15,000 crashes in the U.S. every year.
Other equipment-related failures include faulty brakes, steering, suspension, transmissions, and engines. The NHTSA reports that brake failures cause about 10,000 crashes every year. The NHTSA blames steering, suspension, transmission, and engine problems for about 2,000 accidents per year.
Equipment-related crashes can happen for many reasons, including:
- Equipment age
- Manufacturer defects
- Damage from prior crashes
- After-market modifications
- Defective repairs
Any kind of injury can happen when a vehicle malfunctions. But if a malfunction causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle, the vehicle could roll over.
For example, in the 1990s, defective tires led to hundreds of rollover accidents that caused over 200 deaths. Rollover accidents can also lead to severe head, neck, and back injuries that could paralyze victims.
Liability for crashes caused by vehicle malfunctions could fall on the vehicle’s owner if they knew about the problem and chose to drive a vehicle anyway. Liability could also fall on the vehicle or part manufacturer if they made or sold a defective product. A repair shop could also bear liability for substandard repairs.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Ocala Car Malfunction Accident Lawyers
Most people do not inspect their cars regularly. The State of Florida no longer requires an annual car inspection. This means that some vehicles on the state’s roads could have a deadly defect and the vehicle’s owner might not even know about it.
To discuss the injuries you received when a vehicle malfunctioned, contact Allen Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with an Ocala car accident attorney.