New Jersey may soon stop inspecting privately owned motor vehicles for mechanical defects.
Transportation officials say the move could save the state $12 million annually and partially eliminate a process that's aggravated motorists for years.
Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Raymond Martinez told lawmakers earlier this week that the plan could take effect July 1.
It would make New Jersey the 30th state that doesn't perform mechanical defect inspections.
Martinez said less than 6 percent of vehicles are rejected for mechanical problems and that there is no conclusive evidence that eliminating mechanical inspections would lead to more traffic accidents.
Vehicles would still have to be tested for emissions, but not until they are five years old. Cars up to four years old are currently exempt. The new standard would save $5.9 million annually, officials said.
Vehicles older than five years would still be tested every two years for emissions.
If the move is made, the state would have to renegotiate the contract with Parsons Corp., which conducts the emissions and mechanical inspections. The firm is only two years into a five-year, $276 million contract.
New Jersey currently conducts more than 1.94 million initial vehicle inspections each year.