Will Car Pass Inspection With Airbag Light On?


Repairing an airbag is expensive. This is why many people ponder whether they have to take these steps to turn off the Airbag or ABS warning light before having their cars inspected. They fear that if their airbag light is on, the inspection will fail, and they won’t be able to drive the car until it is corrected.

Luckily, a car will most likely pass the inspection even if the airbag light is ON. In most states, the airbag light is not a safety concern. However, the light can signify additional problems leading to a failed inspection. A few states also mandate it be taken off.

The Airbag Light and DMV Inspections

In any case, a lit warning indicator is not ideal when attempting to meet the requirements for passing the safety inspection required by most states. It indicates that something is wrong, and these tests only take one thing to fail. The best solution is to fix the problem, but this may not always be possible before your car’s inspection date.

Thankfully a standard safety inspection is not a test. They cannot pass or fail your vehicle. As a result, a lit airbag indicator has no effect on the outcome. It will only fail an enhanced safety inspection that looks for airbag flaws. Enhanced safety inspections are done for stolen vehicles and vehicles involved in a disaster like a flood or a fire.

You should still fix whatever is causing the light to shine, but you should have no problems with your car’s yearly safety inspection in most states.

Airbag Car Inspection Rules In Different State In America.

Most states will only issue a warning if the airbag light is ON during the inspection. Under certain conditions, the light may be flagged as a hazard or danger, but never on its own. As a result, you should not be concerned about whether your vehicle will pass or fail the inspection.

These inspections, however, are conducted differently in each state. While most states will let you off the hook with a lit airbag indicator, some will not, especially if you take no action to fix it. This is because these states apply the enhanced inspection rules for everybody, but not all states apply them uniformly.

The states and their inspection rules are listed below alphabetically to help you understand the differences.


  • Alabama: No special rules
  • Alaska: No special rules
  • Arizona: No special rules
  • Arkansas: No special rules


  • California: No special rules
  • Colorado: No special rules
  • Connecticut: No special rules


  • Delaware: No special rules
  • District of Columbia: No special rules


  • Florida: No special rules


  • Georgia: No special rules

  • Hawaii: Airbags are not required.


  • Illinois: No special rules
  • Indiana: No special rules
  • Iowa: No special rules
  • Idaho: No special rules


  • Kansas: No special rules
  • Kentucky: No special rules


  • Louisiana: No special rules


  • Maine: Requires airbag light to be off
  • Maryland: Standard inspection, no special rules
  • Massachusetts: Requires airbag light to be off
  • Michigan: No special rules
  • Minnesota: No special rules
  • Mississippi: No special rules
  • Missouiri: No special rules
  • Montana: No special rules


  • Nebraska: No special rules
  • New Hampshire: No special rules
  • New Jersey: No special rules
  • New Mexico: No special rules
  • New York: No special rules
  • North Carolina: Airbag light ignored unless missing or exposed
  • North Dakota: No special rules


  • Ohio: No special rules
  • Oregon: No special rules
  •  Oklahoma: No special rules


  • Pennsylvania: No special rules


  • Rhode Island: No special rules


  • South Carolina: No special rules
  • South Dakota: No special rules


  • Tennessee: No special rules
  • Texas: No special rules


  • Utah: No special rules


  • Vermont: No special rules
  • Virginia:  Requires airbag light off


  • Washington: No special rules
  • West Virginia: No special rules
  • Wisconsin: No special rules
  • Wyoming: No special rules

Things That Could Turn On An Airbag Warning Light

While a lit airbag warning indicator will pass a safety inspection, you should never ignore it. A lighted airbag warning light indicates that your vehicle’s airbag system is affected and may not function properly, such as during an accident.

However, before you can fix the problem, you must first properly identify it. A malfunction in an airbag system’s intricately connected parts will cause the warning light to flash. 

The following is a list of issues that turn on an airbag light:

  1. Wet Airbag Module
  2. Damaged Clock Spring
  3. Faulty Sensors
  4. An Accident or Crash
  5. Electrical Fault
  6. A Tampered Steering Wheel


The airbag system warning light alerts you of problems with your vehicle’s airbag system. The issue could be a minor electrical issue or something that prevents the airbags from properly deploying. However, most states do not consider the light to be critical. They may raise an eyebrow if an indicator light is on, but your vehicle will still pass inspection.