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Massachusetts R Inspection Sticker


When you go and get your car inspected in Massachusetts, there's 3 possible outcomes
  1. You get a sticker with the number of the month when you need to be inspected again
  2. You get a sticker with a Black R
  3. You get a sticker with a Red R

But what's the difference between the three?

In the first instance, your car passed both the Safety and Emmissions sections of the inspection, and you're free to go for another year.

But what about a Black R?

Massachusetts R inspection stickerA Black R represents that you passed Saftey, but failed Emissions. Something is wrong with your vehicle, but its safe to drive. By law, you have 60 days to fix the problem and return to the original shop for a FREE re-evaluation.

And what about a Red R?

A Red R means that your vehicle failed the Safety inspection. Technically speaking, it is not safe to drive. You have the right to take the vehicle home, or to any service shop, but it should not be on the road at all. A tow truck is going to be the safest bet, but you can always roll the dice and hope you don't get pulled over. As with a Black R, you have the right to one FREE re-inspection within 60 days from the original inspection station.

So I got an R, now what?

In the paperwork associated with the inspection, your mechanic should have written down what needs to be accomplished in order to pass Safety or Emissions. For me (hey, how do you think I took that picture), the recommendation was "Drive for 300 miles to let the emissions sensors start running clean, then come back", but it can be anything from "install new tires", "fix the brakes", all the way down to "replace failing ball joints".
Get this taken care of as soon as possible, then return back to your inspection station, and roll away with a brand new, valid for 12 months sticker.


Your website seriously has helped me, I'm a NH transplant and there was a lot of good (and entertaining) info here.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 12, 2011 10:59 PM by Malicia
Took my truck to Sullivan tire for sticker got a black R. Apparently now. I have "play" in my ball joints if I go back there could that black R turn to a red one?
Posted @ Saturday, July 13, 2013 10:19 AM by tony g
What about intermittent hazards that work 90% of the time?,
Posted @ Monday, June 23, 2014 12:31 PM by Lonny
Received a Red R for a few things on my car, got them all taken care of (600 dollars later) but can't qualify for a new sticker until I drive 200 miles to reset the computer. How can I drive 200 miles on a Red R if I am not supposed to drive it at all?? I'm afraid to chance it and get pulled over, any suggestions?
Posted @ Wednesday, April 08, 2015 8:51 AM by Meg
The state of Massachusetts is out to get all the money they can from the drivers of vehicles. Drive so a many miles until check engines light goes on. It sucks.
Posted @ Friday, May 29, 2015 12:59 PM by Camille o'keefe
Went to monument square service station in Saugus. They inspected entire truck and the tech was ready to install a sticker. The new owner came over and tells the tech to fail the truck because he did not like the green plate. 
I told him iit is clearly visible from 60' has all reflective surfaces intact. Why are you failing it and why didn't you tell me before you started the inspection? 
He said the State wants to get rid of the green plates go to the registry and get a new one. 
Asked a state police officer that is my neighbors son if he thought it was illegible . He laughed and said it only looks a little dirty, was it off. 
With the red reject sticker I can't even park on the street or drive it.  
Filing a complaint with DMV. 
Don't go to monument service. New owner is a jerk. 
Posted @ Friday, July 31, 2015 4:35 PM by Mark
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