Watch out for a kinder, gentler police force in Massachusetts when it comes to expired inspection stickers.

Instead of immediately issuing a ticket for an expired inspection sticker, more Massachusetts police will be urging drivers to take care of the inspection as soon as possible. The shift is coming as a courtesy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The important thing to know is that the RMV knows when your inspection sticker is expired. It knows the last time your vehicle underwent an inspection. It knows how many miles you've driven since your last inspection. It knows what your emissions readings are. The RMV is Big Brother. It knows all.

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The RMV reports that there are 584,000 registered vehicles here in Massachusetts that are being driven with an expired inspection sticker.

When the pandemic first hit, a grace period was given to people who had expiration dates between March and May of 2020. The RMV released a statement today stating that while the official grace period is long gone, it would like to see drivers simply renew their stickers rather than slapping them with fines.

Driving a vehicle with an expired inspection sticker is considered a moving violation in Massachusetts. You are subject to being ticketed with a violation that may impact your car insurance rate.

However, that being said, the RMV is suggesting that Massachusetts state and local police take a kinder, gentler approach to cracking down on expired stickers. The RMV is asking law enforcement to take the pandemic into account and "use their discretion" to help "remind" drivers to renew their stickers as opposed to issuing citations.

"The Massachusetts State Police and local law enforcement are aware of the difficulties...caused by the pandemic and agree that a reminder may be an effective temporary alternative to a citation during the current period," said Massachusetts State Police Colonel Chris Mason.

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