The Ministry of Works and Transport wishes to advise the general public of relevant information regarding the inspection of motor vehicles as stipulated by the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, Chapter 48:50.
Many families these days own multiple cars and commute either to work, school and places of recreation on a daily basis. Getting your vehicle inspected on a scheduled basis is an important way to ensure that it continues to run as smoothly as possible. As a motorist, you do not want the “check engine, battery, leakage or any alarming signal lights to come on while you are travelling on the roadways, putting yourself, passengers, pedestrians and other motorists in harm’s way.
Why should you inspect your vehicle?
Having your vehicle inspected at the designated time, provides the following benefits:
Enables a safer driving experience
Completing a vehicle inspection ensures the safety of both you and other motorists on the road. Whether you are an experienced or new driver, you want the vehicle to be in the best shape possible to give yourself and passengers a safe and comfortable ride. Safety is one of the biggest reasons a vehicle fails an inspection. Every single part of the car – from the headlights to the internal combustion engine to the brakes and fluid systems, must be carefully inspected
Keep your vehicle in optimum performance
Regular vehicle inspections also help keep the vehicle running at its best. Your vehicle inspection can reveal major or minor issues that can potentially become a serious problem if it is left unaddressed. Waiting to have repairs done will only take longer and cost you more in the long run, in terms of time and money.
Saves you money and stress
Therefore, instead of waiting until a signal flashes across your dashboard screen, it is highly recommended to have your vehicle inspected at the mandated time periods. This saves money by bringing minor issues to your attention before they escalate into a more serious one. Preventing vehicle malfunctions now, saves you the time and inconvenience of shutting down, getting towed and waiting for your car to be fully repaired by a mechanic. It also saves you unnecessary stress and money on mechanic fees.
What documents do I need to have my vehicle inspected?
The following documentation is needed when carrying your vehicle for inspection at an authorized station:
- A valid form of national identification – (National ID card, Passport);
- Your driving permit;
- Your valid vehicular certificate of insurance;
- Your certified copy of the vehicle to be inspected.
Inspection of Private Vehicles
A private passenger vehicle, in the context of insurance, is an automobile used for private purposes, as opposed to business uses. These vehicles are generally used for personal transport and are not to be used to perform public transportation services or commercial transportation of goods.
Private vehicles with a manufactured date (not registration date) of five years or older are required to be inspected at an authorized testing station. For a full listing of vehicle testing stations authorized by the Ministry of Works &
Transport, please click on the link entitled, “Vehicle Testing Stations” on the homepage.
After the first inspection, all private vehicles are required to be inspected every two years at an authorized testing station. Registered owners are required to pay a fee of $TTD300.00 for the inspection.
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What does a Vehicle Inspector look for?
During the vehicle inspection, your authorized inspector should be looking and testing the following criteria to verify that there are no issues with your:
Your inspector should be looking for cracks, chips, and loose seals since these can get worse and are considered safety hazards. If you’ve got a crack or a chip, be sure to get it fixed ahead of time before it extends over your windscreen, which may eventually cause it to shatter. This way, you won’t fail your inspection, and then have to go repair your windscreen and then re-take another inspection.
Condition of Your Tires
Old, worn down tires are a safety hazard for you and passengers. Check the wear indicator bar on your tires. If the tread is worn down to that point or further, replace your tires with new ones before the inspection. The safety inspection also includes the condition of your spare tire, so checking that is critical as well. Finally, ensure the tires on your car are the same size and style. Having different sized tires could mean instability on the road and your car failing the safety inspection.
A safety inspection checks to make sure that all of your vehicle’s lights are in good working order. Apart from your headlights, this also includes your high beams, emergency flashers (front and back), turn signals (front and back), side lights, brake lights and backup lights.
Brakes are an important safety feature on your car and should be maintained and inspected carefully. If your brakes are worn or not functioning properly, your car will fail its inspection. Get your brakes checked ahead of time and get your brake pads replaced if needed before the inspection to help it go smoothly and quickly. This also includes the emergency brake. During the inspection, the mechanic will enable the emergency brake and put the car in gear to see if it stays in place.
Steering and Alignment
An auto mechanic will inspect all components of your car’s steering system. If anything is found to be loose or failing, they’ll let you know what specifically needs to be fixed to pass inspection. Slight alignments may be overlooked. However, you should consult with your vehicle inspector about the issue and seek to prevent costly alignment issues in the future.
Seat Belt Functionality
As a rule, in order to pass a vehicle inspection all of your car’s seat belts have to be easily accessible to wear, in secure shape, and works securely to prevent injury. This applies to the back seatbelts as well as the front, so all seatbelts should be inspected to ensure optimum safety within the vehicle.
Serious fluid leaks from the engine or radiator that pose a safety hazard to you, are an important criterion for vehicle inspectors. Before carrying your vehicle into the garage. thoroughly scan your vehicle. Don’t even think about taking it for inspection until issues with the criteria stated above are repaired. You will not pass your inspection if you do.
Remember that vehicle inspections are there to make sure that our vehicles don’t malfunction as we’re driving on the nation’s roadways, putting ourselves or other people in jeopardy. Take your safety inspection as seriously as you’d want other drivers to take theirs, so that the roadways can be a safer place for all drivers.
Vehicle inspection checklist of steps
The checklist below illustrates in greater detail the steps vehicle inspectors take to assess and determine if your vehicle is road worthy and safe:
- Record the vehicle inspector’s details
- Note the vehicle operator’s details
- Document the vehicle’s details
- Check the brakes
- Test the emergency brake
- Check front bumper
- Inspect rear bumper
- Check the horn
- Inspect the seat belts
- Make sure the front and rear defrosters
- Try out the heating
- Check for any emergency equipment
License and insurance details:
- Check the operator’s driver’s license
- Verify that the vehicle/operator has valid insurance
- Check headlights
- Make sure taillights are okay
- Test brake lights
- Check turn signals
- Check reversing lights
- Test four-way flashers
- Make sure the license plate light is working
- Check outside mirrors
- Inspect inside mirror
- Make sure the tires and wheels match
- Check tire condition
- Check wheel alignment
- Make sure the spare tire is in good condition
- Check tools for replacing tires
Under the hood:
- Check the brake fluid level
- Measure the windshield washer fluid
- Inspect the engine oil level and quality
- Examine the battery
- Check the power steering fluid level and quality
- Inspect any hoses
Windshield and accessories:
- Check the windshield
- Inspect the rear window
- Make sure the windows are in good condition
- Check the window controls
- Inspect the windshield wipers
- Give the vehicle inspection verdict
- Notify owner if the vehicle is ready for collection
- Notify owner if the vehicle has failed the inspection and provide a detailed overview of the issues preventing the inspector from giving a pass, as well as pertinent course of action to take to rectify the issues.
MVRT Act Chapter 48.50
MVRT Act No. 9 of 2017
Vehicle Testing Stations
MOWT Divisions & Units
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- Coastal Protection Unit
- Construction Division
- Drainage Division
- Environmental, Health and Safety Unit (EHSU)
- Highway Division
- Mechanical Division
- Maintenance Division
- Maritime Services Division
- Priority Bus Route Unit
- Programme for Upgrading Roads Efficiency (PURE)
- The Traffic Management Branch (TMB)
- Traffic Warden Division
- Transport Division
- The Unemployment Relief Programme
- Central Planning Unit
Driving Permit Applications & Renewals
- Applying for a Provisional Driving Permit
- Renewing your Driving Permit
- Applicant Categories
- Renewal of Driver's Permits for Ten (10) years.
Replacement of Lost Permit
- Issuance or Replacement Driver's Permit (Duplicate)
- Applicable fees if you’re applying for a replacement of an expired driving permit
Maxi Taxi Regulations
- Applying for a Taxi-Driver's Badge & Taxi Driver's License
- Associated fees for applying for a Taxi Driving Permit
- Renewing of a Taxi Driver's Badge & Driving Permit
- Fees for Replacement of a Taxi Badge & Taxi Driving Permit
- Replacing your Taxi Driver's Badge & Driving Permit
- Ownership of Maxi Taxi Services
- Maxi Taxi Operator's Permit
Class 4 & 5 Applications (Heavy T)
The applicant must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age and the holder of a driving permit of the next lower class of motor vehicle.
Registration of Motor Vehicles
- Fees for Registration of a Motor Vehicle
- Registration of Foreign - Used vehicle
- Change of Registration of a Motor Vehicle
- Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Register Notification of Change of the following particulars
Transfer of Ownership
- Transfer of Ownership of a Motor Vehicle other than by Death
- Transfer of Ownership of Motor Vehicle on Death of Registered Owner
- Colour or Engine Number
- Chassis Number
- Requirements for Visitors to drive in Trinidad &Tobago
- Requirements for Dealer's License First Issue
- Renewal of Dealer's License
- Application for Replacement of a Dealer's License
- Application for Rental Operation
Notice for Drivers
For More information on the Amendments to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, please visit the Ministry’s website – www.mowt.gov.tt and click on MVRT Act Chapter 48 50 tab.
Remember, to avoid a traffic ticket and demerit points simply obey the road traffic laws. Do not act contrary to the law outlined in the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act Chapter 48:50.
The Transport Division of the Ministry of Works and Transport wishes to advise all permit holders /motorists to ensure that their vehicles are in compliance with the TARE Weight and Maximum Gross TARE Weight in keeping with the law.