Transition to annual inspections

In May 1982, Pennsylvania Governor Richard Thornburgh signed legislation that changed the state's vehicle inspection frequency from twice per year to once per year for most vehicles (including passenger cars, light trucks and trailers, and motorcyles).  Trucks over 17,000 pounds, school buses, trailers over 10,000 pounds, and mass transit vehicles would continue to be inspected twice per year.

Vehicle owners with #1 and #2 stickers in the 1982-1983 cycle had their vehicles inspected as they had in the past, and received an initial inspection that covered anywhere from 6 to 15 months, with the inital spread covering the months between February 1983 and March 1984, inclusively.  The chart below determined the initial expiration month, based on the vehicle's registration expiration month (leftmost column) and the month in which the vehicle was inspected (topmost row).  As an example, if your car had a January expiration on its license plate, and you had the car inspected in October 1982, your initial expiration would be April 1983.  All subsequent inspections will expire in the same month as the vehicle registration (using my example, January 1984 and all Januarys thereafter).

  August 1982 September 1982 October 1982 November 1982 December 1982 January 1983
January February 1983 March 1983 April 1983 January 1984 January 1984 January 1984
February February 1983 February 1983 April 1983 May 1983 February 1984 February 1984
March March 1983 March 1983 March 1983 May 1983 June 1983 March 1984
April April 1983 April 1983 April 1983 April 1983 June 1983 June 1983
May May 1983 May 1983 May 1983 May 1983 May 1983 May 1983
June June 1983 June 1983 June 1983 June 1983 June 1983 June 1983
July July 1983 July 1983 July 1983 July 1983 July 1983 July 1983
August August 1983 August 1983 August 1983 August 1983 August 1983 August 1983
September September 1983 September 1983 September 1983 September 1983 September 1983 September 1983
October October 1983 October 1983 October 1983 October 1983 October 1983 October 1983
November February 1983 November 1983 November 1983 November 1983 November 1983 November 1983
December February 1983 March 1983 December 1983 December 1983 December 1983 December 1983

Newly inspected vehicles displayed a new style of sticker, in which the expiration month and year were punched out:

Due to complaints from law enforcement who had difficulty quickly identifying the stickers' expirations from a distance, this sticker style was discontinued at the end of 1983.  I have not seen any of these stickers with a 1985 expiration, but it is likely that stickers were issued in late 1983 to expire in January or February 1985, and perhaps leftover stickers may have also been used in early 1984.

© 2004-2012 Bruce Bufalini

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