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