Service Update: Inspection Readings

Mar 28, 2019 | Member News

Provided by the Pennsylvania Automotive Association

Inspection Readings

Tires and Wheels

Enter the measurement (in 32nd of an inch) of the lowest tire tread reading and the location of the tire (LF,LR, RF, RR,).

Measurement of every tire on the vehicle must be noted on the customer’s receipt or work order.

Steering, Exhaust, Fuel System, Glazing & Mirrors, Lights, wiring, and switches, body, doors, latches & brakes.

431/480 Report Blocks should have the appropriate entry.

  • Check mark (√ ) indicates the system has passed.
  • N indicates new part(s).
  • R indicates replacement of part(s).
  • A indicates adjustment.

Brake system

Record the fraction of the remaining brake lining of the wheels pulled: Remove at least two wheels on opposite corners of the vehicle.

Enter a number in the block corresponding to the wheel that was removed. The number refers to the measurement in 32nds of an inch. A letter is also placed with the number to indicate the type of brake. The letter will be either an “R” for riveted or a “B” for bonded lining.

The “OTHER” block is used for items inspected that do not fall into categories found on the recordings. Examples are inoperative windshield washers, broken engine mounts, etc.

Records Retention

(1)  The original official inspection report sheet (Form MV-431 or MV-480) shall be retained as a garage record and kept on file at the station for audit. The records shall be retained from audit period to audit period.

(2) At the close of each inspection campaign period, the official inspection report sheet shall be placed in the station’s files, even though all spaces may not have been used, and a new inspection report sheet shall be started for the new inspection period. It is not necessary to start a new book.

(3) A work order signed by the certified inspector must be available for inspection upon request by the inspection station supervisor or an authorized representative of PennDOT.

Total Cost For Inspection

The total cost shall include all repairs necessary to pass the vehicle for inspection. All items inspected, adjusted or repaired whether paid by the customer, paid by the manufacturer or paid as a dealer policy along with inspection labor and sticker posted price shall be considered the cost of inspection. This information must be recorded on the inspection report sheet. Non-related items (gas, oil, etc.) shall not be included in the total cost for repair and inspection.


(1)  Any safety inspection stickers left over from a previous campaign shall be retained by the station in a secure location and retained for audit. The auditor will verify the remaining stickers. The Department will refund 75% of the purchase price of the unused certificates of inspection after the audit has been completed.

(2)  Stickers are not transferable. They may only be affixed to vehicles which have passed the safety inspection and have been designated on the inspection report sheet by the inspection station to which the stickers were issued.

(3)  It is unlawful for any person to remove an inspection sticker from a vehicle’s windshield except under very specific circumstances. A sticker may not be removed except to replace that sticker with a renewed sticker. An inspector may not remove a sticker because he/she feels a vehicle is unsafe for the road. A PennDOT or Parsons auditor, a law enforcement officer, a salvor, or anyone applying for a certificate of salvage may remove a safety sticker. A person replacing or repairing a windshield in a manner that requires removal of a certificate of inspection shall, at the option of the owner of the vehicle, cut out the portion of the windshield containing the the certificate of inspection and deliver it to the owner of the vehicle or destroy the certificate. Owners may drive the vehicle for 5 days with the piece of glass displaying the original stickers.

Source: Pennsylvania Automotive Association