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State To Track Vehicle Inspections In New Computerized System

A new system for conducting annual vehicle inspections in Vermont will make it easier for the state to gather information and identify inspection problems.

The new computerized system, called Automatic Vehicle Inspection System, or AVIP, will replace a paper-based system that Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Robert Ide says has made it hard for the state to track problems with vehicles and with inspections.

“It mostly just piles up,” Ide says of the current paper system. "We’re trying to make our safety inspections more consistent."

There have long been stories about mechanics who are willing to look the other way for some inspection violations.

Ide says it’s a significant issue and the new system will enable the state to better track the problem.

“We’ll be able to notice of someone’s vehicle fails at an inspections station then somehow ‘miraculously’ passes the same exam at a different inspection system that same day,” Ide says.

The automated system will require the state’s roughly 1,600 inspection stations to spend about $1,600 to purchase tablet computers to record data and take photos of vehicles.

The new system will increase the cost of inspections. Each inspection will include a $2.21 fee charged by the system’s vendor. 

The state charges $6 per inspection. The total cost varies and is determined by each inspection station. Ide says whether to charge for a failed inspection is also up to the individual inspection station.

Data collected under the new system will be posted online. Ide says someone purchasing a used vehicle will be able to check to see whether that vehicle had any inspection problems in the past. The information can be accessed using a vehicle’s VIN number.

Ide stresses that the requirements for a vehicle to pass inspection won’t change.

What might change is whether your local mechanic still does inspections. Ide expects some will drop out of the program because of the cost of purchasing the new equipment.

The system will go into effect in March.

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