Drivers Line Up with Inspection Program on Verge of Closing

Drivers Line Up with Inspection Program on Verge of Closing

Starting Friday afternoon, the City of Memphis is getting out of the vehicle inspection business.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - Memphis drivers if your tags are about to expire, don't sweat it. Check engine light on? Don't worry about it. Starting Friday afternoon, the City of Memphis is getting out of the vehicle inspection business.

Starting Monday, Memphis motorists will be able to renew their tags with the Shelby County Clerk without proof of inspection.

"So, I am wasting my time? Anybody behind me?" Johnny Pritchard asked as he waited to get his sedan inspected at the inspection station on Washington Avenue.

"I need to turn around and go on back home then," said Raymond Lee.

Last year, the Memphis City Council voted to cut funding for the inspection program to save $2.7 million.

City leaders admit drivers who are due to get their vehicles inspected this month and don't do so won't face any penalties.

With Friday's closure, around 50 inspection employees will be out of work.

"I am taking my pension and I am going to pay my house off, so I will have somewhere to stay," Donnie Briggs said.

The move could end up costing Memphis and Shelby County. Without inspections, the County will be in violation of the Federal Clean Air Act, and could lose federal highway funds. City leaders say talks between the city, county, and the state continue.

In other parts of the state, motorists pay a small fee for inspections. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam tells localmemphis.com the only way the state would come in and run an inspection program would be if drivers pay the costs to cover the tests.

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