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Time to get your inspection sticker and registration updated, at least if you park in Boston

No more Covid-19 excuses for getting your car inspected and your registration renewed: Boston says it will begin ticketing vehicles past their freshness date starting March 1.

The city will also begin street sweeping on March 1 in the North End and the South End and on Beacon Hill , which means cars parked where they shouldn't be could be towed. Street sweeping in the rest of the city will start April 1.

The city had eased its registration and sweeping restrictions last spring due to Covid-19.

Failure to move a vehicle during posted street sweeping hours results in a $40 fine; the fine is $90 in Charlestown, and $90 for overnight street sweeping. An expired inspection sticker or vehicle registration will result in a $40 fine.

Guide to Boston ticket fines.

Free tagging: 



7 days notice. I’m sure word will spread and everyone will comply by Monday.

Every vehicle in my driveway is registered, insured and inspected. For those who have had issues, it might be considerate to give a bit more than one week's notice.


About 20 years ago, I got pulled over in a rain storm in Framingham on January 3rd and slapped with a $50 fine because my inspection sticker was expired (by 3 days!) Ever since then, I always look (my family would call it an obsession) for expired stickers when I'm walking through a parking lot. If there are 15 cars, I'll always find at least one that is expired. They are EVERYWHERE.


I park off street so I won't get a parking ticket but I forgot about the inspection and just realized last week that it was due and I forgot all about it. but I need to get it done in case I roll past the wrong police car where the computer checks.

Those who kept theirs up will be in fine shape.

Those who waited will now run into a crowd of disorganized people. Although you don't have to get one in the city, as you need to drive the vehicle for 15 minutes first anyway.

Mine was in December and I just took care of it mid-month as a "lunch break" in a way that I never could have during normal office life (I don't much car commute).

Note that you can be dinged on the back end if you don't get it done on time - I don't think you get the bonus month(s) anymore.

as you need to drive the vehicle for 15 minutes first anyway.

That was the case when they had the tailpipe test, but is not necessary for the current OBD test.

And you are correct. There is no longer a two month grace period for inspections. I believe that ended last August.

What if I have Covid? It would not be a good idea for me to be exposing others to move my car. Surely, if I put go out and put a sign on my car, it will be okay, no?

It's weird to lump together inspection and registration. Ticketing parked cars for inspection stickers is just a cash grab by the city. But a car with expired registration shouldn't even be on the road.

Why? Inspection is (theoretically) to ensure safety and clean emissions. Registration renewals only exist to raise money for the state.

but technically, you probably don't need an inspection if your car is newer than 5 years old. That would effectively be a poor tax though...

Mind you, it was that whole "your green plate is unreadable" nonsense, but the general idea that there can be those little things like a burnt out tail light is why it is done.

They should just banhammer any transfers of green plates and be done with it.

Where people still care about keeping the old things around. I mean, think about it. The concept of a "low numbered plate" has such appeal that they have to run a lottery to redistribute the numbers.

Still pisses me off that I had to get rid of my green plate. I went and got one of those "help the environment" plates just so I could never have one of the Spirit of America ones.