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Old 01-30-2018, 11:03 AM
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MA Wide Tires Failing Inspection Laws

So I have been given a hard time in the past for my tires that protrude past the fenders but have never been told it will fail until MA installed their new inspection stations. I presume this will be an issue for many people. Anyway I am a bit irritated because when I tell the inspectors that MA law grants an exemption for 4wd vehicles they immediately tell me I’m wrong. Then I try to show them the law and they wont look. What do you all think the law says? I have attached Mass general law and mass CMR which are both in agreeable 4WD are granted an exemption.

MGL Chapter 19 Section 90
“Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, no passenger motor vehicle shall be operated on any way if such vehicle has the side wall or thread of any tire projecting outward beyond the outer portion of the fender or side body panel, unless such vehicle is equipped with four-wheel drive or is otherwise modified and intended for off-the-way use”

540 CMR 4.04
“Every passenger motor vehicle under 10,000 lbs. (GVWR) , except four wheel drive vehicles which are equipped with tires which extend beyond the fenders or body of such vehicle shall be equipped with flaps or suitable guards to reduce such spray or splash to the rear and side.”

One year the station printed out the page in their book and it had the exact same statement as 540 CMR but was literally missing just the part about four wheel drive vehicles!!!!

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Old 01-30-2018, 12:19 PM   #2
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Well.............. I will have printouts of both in my glovebox for my next inspection and will be interested to see how they react.... My big decision will be whether to get the inspection done at my regular spot, where they know me, or at the dealership.............

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So I have been given a hard time in the past for my tires that protrude past the fenders but have never been told it will fail until MA installed their new inspection stations. I presume this will be an issue for many people. Anyway I am a bit irritated because when I tell the inspectors that MA law grants an exemption for 4wd vehicles they immediately tell me I’m wrong. Then I try to show them the law and they wont look. What do you all think the law says? I have attached Mass general law and mass CMR which are both in agreeable 4WD are granted an exemption.

MGL Chapter 19 Section 90
“Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, no passenger motor vehicle shall be operated on any way if such vehicle has the side wall or thread of any tire projecting outward beyond the outer portion of the fender or side body panel, unless such vehicle is equipped with four-wheel drive or is otherwise modified and intended for off-the-way use”

540 CMR 4.04
“Every passenger motor vehicle under 10,000 lbs. (GVWR) , except four wheel drive vehicles which are equipped with tires which extend beyond the fenders or body of such vehicle shall be equipped with flaps or suitable guards to reduce such spray or splash to the rear and side.”

One year the station printed out the page in their book and it had the exact same statement as 540 CMR but was literally missing just the part about four wheel drive vehicles!!!!

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Old 01-30-2018, 12:36 PM   #3
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This is why I just let my Jeep look ridiculous for an hour and swap the stock tires back on for inspection. It pains me but I rather just play the game than fight with the morons who don't know the laws...
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:44 PM   #4
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Yeah but not all of us have that option. My 285/70/17's are on my stock (and only) set of wheels. I suppose I could take the time and effort to remove the wheel adapters, but then would have to deal with re-loctite the adapters and I find that more than I'm willing to deal with. And without the adapters, the 70's may still end up slightly outside the fenders!

Our government at it's finest.
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:45 PM   #5
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As a person that drives on roads, I have no problem with this.

Get some bigger fenders or mud flaps.
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:59 PM   #6
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Yeah but not all of us have that option. My 285/70/17's are on my stock (and only) set of wheels. I suppose I could take the time and effort to remove the wheel adapters, but then would have to deal with re-loctite the adapters and I find that more than I'm willing to deal with. And without the adapters, the 70's may still end up slightly outside the fenders!

Our government at it's finest.
Mine are on aftermarket wheels with a -12mm offset and they passed inspection no problem earlier this month. Stock fender flares. The only thing they gave me a hard time about was the frame around my front license plate, but we just took it of and it was fine.

If you want to know what service station I went to PM me.
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:02 PM   #7
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Well.............. I will have printouts of both in my glovebox for my next inspection and will be interested to see how they react.... My big decision will be whether to get the inspection done at my regular spot, where they know me, or at the dealership.............
in a similar boat, i havent upgraded yet but i have a local place ive been going to for years would hate to have to go to dealer
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:50 PM   #8
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Ask them to look in the "book" they use to dictate pass/fail. The exception is not evident on the page they would normally refer to but it IS in the book. The book I looked in at a station yesterday had it on page 13.
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:14 PM
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Ask them to look in the "book" they use to dictate pass/fail. The exception is not evident on the page they would normally refer to but it IS in the book. The book I looked in at a station yesterday had it on page 13.
Does anyone have a link to this book? I would be curious to take a look myself. Seems like whoever makes the book doesn't necessarily follow the law.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:09 PM   #10
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Don't know if it is online, Mike. The private company the state hired provides it in print to the inspection stations.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:31 AM
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Don't know if it is online, Mike. The private company the state hired provides it in print to the inspection stations.
Thanks for the info. It is interesting you say the state hires a private company to run the inspections. Seems likely this is where the discrepancy between the law and the inspection manual would occur.
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:57 AM   #12
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Never had a problem in Sudbury.

Edit: I just read the new laws! Crazy! I have 285s on my 4" backspaced wheels - I guess I will have to measure. I have to have mine done in June, but I might head to AZ then which has no inspection laws besides emissions.
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:44 AM   #13
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Quick update....... Just got my inspection sticker. 33" Duratracs on stock WW wheels with 1.75" wheel adapters. Tires protrude out ~~1.5" from the fenders. Inspector never gave it a second look. Was no problem at all.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:32 PM   #14
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I just failed my inspection for the tires sticking out beyond the flares on Saturday. I was told the real issue is that the state required cameras to be installed in the bays for 2018. These cameras will send details to the state for each inspection. That is why these stations can no longer just let it go or say the vehicle came in with smaller tires for the inspection.



I just researched those guidelines myself today and was going to ask the inspector next weekend about it. If not, hopefully the MA Gov will respond to an email. Not sure what Plan B or C may be yet.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:09 AM   #15
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I don't get it. My inspector uploaded a bunch of photos when doing my inspection. The tires sticking out beyond the fenders never came up at all. Seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the rules for 4x4's.

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I just failed my inspection for the tires sticking out beyond the flares on Saturday. I was told the real issue is that the state required cameras to be installed in the bays for 2018. These cameras will send details to the state for each inspection. That is why these stations can no longer just let it go or say the vehicle came in with smaller tires for the inspection.



I just researched those guidelines myself today and was going to ask the inspector next weekend about it. If not, hopefully the MA Gov will respond to an email. Not sure what Plan B or C may be yet.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:26 PM   #16
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My Wrangler passed yesterday at the place I have been going to for years. My tires stick out a pretty good bit. I was very happy I got my sticker!
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:46 AM   #17
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unfortunately it all depends where you go. Some shops are beyond terrified of the new laws and cameras and getting their license yanked so they will fail anything for anything close to what they think is an offense. Beyond ridiculous waste of money by the state to crack down on people modifying their vehicles in manners that don't effect safety
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:03 PM
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I just failed my inspection for the tires sticking out beyond the flares on Saturday. I was told the real issue is that the state required cameras to be installed in the bays for 2018. These cameras will send details to the state for each inspection. That is why these stations can no longer just let it go or say the vehicle came in with smaller tires for the inspection.



I just researched those guidelines myself today and was going to ask the inspector next weekend about it. If not, hopefully the MA Gov will respond to an email. Not sure what Plan B or C may be yet.
Curious if you got anywhere on this? My dads JK passed no problem with the same size tires I have on my TJ. Granted his fenders cover slightly more of the tire.
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:30 PM   #19
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I have 2 stations that I go to, right across the street from each other. The first station is where I always take my cars for work and he said straight up "Ill fail you because your tires stick out too far. Id like to pass you but I don't want my license getting pulled. Take it across the street"
I took it across the street and the dude goes, "cool Jeep. Heres your sticker"

Even with the new cameras, I guess its still varies where you go
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:48 PM   #20
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Simply because they all don't take the time to read and understand the laws.....

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I have 2 stations that I go to, right across the street from each other. The first station is where I always take my cars for work and he said straight up "Ill fail you because your tires stick out too far. Id like to pass you but I don't want my license getting pulled. Take it across the street"
I took it across the street and the dude goes, "cool Jeep. Heres your sticker"

Even with the new cameras, I guess its still varies where you go
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:37 AM   #21
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I'll be inspecting mine a month early before I put on my lift and tires just in case
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:49 AM   #22
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Wait till they start giving you guys shit about lift height. You can't be above 2" from factory height or it fails in mass also. That's how they look at it. There's a formula you can use to get more lift depending on vehicle but most shops will fail for lift and tires in mass now. Last year tires could come out an inch, now it's no poke. But yet dump trucks don't need a cover on beds full of loose stone and can huck stones down the road and you can put stacks in the bed of a diesel and no one says anything. Commy mass laws. I've had more issues with mom and pop shops than dealers with this. Most dealers sell built jeeps anymore too


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Old 09-06-2018, 11:10 AM   #23
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Not sure you're correct here:

MGL Chapter 19 Section 90
“Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, no passenger motor vehicle shall be operated on any way if such vehicle has the side wall or thread of any tire projecting outward beyond the outer portion of the fender or side body panel, unless such vehicle is equipped with four-wheel drive or is otherwise modified and intended for off-the-way use”

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Last year tires could come out an inch, now it's no poke.
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Old 09-06-2018, 11:42 AM   #24
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Not sure you're correct here:



MGL Chapter 19 Section 90

“Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, no passenger motor vehicle shall be operated on any way if such vehicle has the side wall or thread of any tire projecting outward beyond the outer portion of the fender or side body panel, unless such vehicle is equipped with four-wheel drive or is otherwise modified and intended for off-the-way use”


Believe that means from the factory, oem parts. Just what I've been told and experienced with my rigs. The local police are cool, the stateys get a hard on pulling people over for inspection crap. That means the vehicle isn't your main on road vehicle, like ag plates essentially. Can be on road, just to travel to where you are going. Think most just enforce it when they are bored


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Old 09-06-2018, 11:45 AM   #25
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Read the law again. "IF THE VEHICLE IS EQUIPPED WITH FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE" which of course all wranglers are, right from the factory.
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Old 09-06-2018, 02:58 PM   #26
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That’s how I interpreted the law as “equipped with 4WD”.
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Old 09-06-2018, 06:18 PM   #27
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I saved my oem tires and rims and I only went 2.5" lift. So tossing tires back on and adding some sand bags into the the rear seat are should put me in the no bubbles no troubles area for my inspection. Hopefully police local or state dont become to much of a hassle. Mines only 2" lift and 2" tires over stock thats sounds like its legal by the law but we all know that does not mean they will interpret it the same way. That can change from officer to officer and from town to town.
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Old 09-08-2018, 05:46 PM
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I have seen the book that the inspection stations are given and the four wheel drive exemption phrase is absent. This means whoever created the guidelines for inspection stations deliberately removed that phrase.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:20 AM   #29
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I have seen the book that the inspection stations are given and the four wheel drive exemption phrase is absent. This means whoever created the guidelines for inspection stations deliberately removed that phrase.
and unless you want to get in an expensive and drawn out legal battle, this is all that matters, the shop's interpretation of the rules.

they're being threatened with serious loss of business and money already invested in these new camera setups (which the state made them pay for) so a big percentage of all the shops will not be taking any chances at least for a period of time while they feel out the new enviroment
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:21 AM   #30
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I saved my oem tires and rims and I only went 2.5" lift. So tossing tires back on and adding some sand bags into the the rear seat are should put me in the no bubbles no troubles area for my inspection. Hopefully police local or state dont become to much of a hassle. Mines only 2" lift and 2" tires over stock thats sounds like its legal by the law but we all know that does not mean they will interpret it the same way. That can change from officer to officer and from town to town.
no law enforcement will give you a hard time over a 2.5" lift as long as your sticker is good

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