NY extends car inspection, registration expiration dates again

Staff reports
The Chronicle Express

ALBANY — New York has again extended the expiration date of annual vehicle inspections, registrations and driver’s licenses that otherwise would have lapsed during the coronavirus pandemic, validating them for at least another month.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order early Monday making the change, allowing the documents to remain valid until Nov. 3. The order, which had been set to expire Monday, applies only to those that lapsed since March.

It made no such declaration about vehicle inspections and driver’s licenses, allowing the possibility that portion of the order could be extended again.

Cuomo first paused the expiration dates in March at a time when the state was hit harder by COVID-19 than any other state in the nation. He has extended his order several times since.

New York inspection shops had performed 739,000 fewer inspections from March through August 2020 than they had the same period the prior year, according to the state DMV.

Inspection stations have been asking the state for clarity regarding the inspection order, noting they will need advance notice when it expires to ensure a flood of drivers needing their cars inspected don’t overwhelm the shops.

The DMV, meanwhile, has been urging drivers to get their vehicles inspected even while Cuomo’s order remains in place.

In recent weeks, the DMV’s expiration notices have stopped notifying drivers of Cuomo’s extension, instead simply notifying drivers of their pending expiration date. 

“The required annual New York State inspection is due by 10/31/2020 for the registration listed below,” a recent notice reads.

The state allows drivers to renew their license online without having to visit a DMV office, though a driver has to go to a certified eye doctor to receive an eye exam.

Vehicle registrations can be renewed entirely online. Inspections must happen at a certified inspection shop.