BOSTON — Nearly 600,000 motorists failed to get their vehicles reinspected amid the pandemic, according to the state Registry of Motor Vehicles, which is urging drivers to get new stickers and telling police to give them a break on tickets.
On Wednesday, the agency said an estimated 548,000 vehicles have expired stickers, and it sent email notices to drivers whose contact information was on file telling them to “check ya stickah.”
“The RMV encourages any customer with an expired inspection sticker to make a plan to get their inspection and sticker updated,” acting Registrar Colleen Ogilvie said in a statement. “Resources are readily available to help customers locate a convenient inspection station and guide them through the inspection process.”
Under state law, all vehicles registered in Massachusetts must pass an annual emissions and safety inspection, which costs $35.
Driving with an expired sticker is a traffic violation that comes with a $40 citation. It can also affect a driver’s auto insurance rates.
Last year, the state gave motorists with expired stickers an extension of several months amid business shutdowns to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
But the registry said those extensions have expired and no more are planned.
The agency said it is asking law enforcement and local governments to “use their discretion” and “not cite those with expired stickers.”
Massachusetts State Police Col. Chris Mason said in a statement that he agrees “a reminder may be an effective temporary alternative to a citation” for now.
The registry posts an interactive map showing more than 1,800 vehicle inspection sites at www.mavehiclecheck.com/apps/station-locator.
Christian M. Wade covers the Massachusetts Statehouse for North of Boston Media Group’s newspapers and websites.