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Safety Inspector Recertification Exam Process Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is required to take the exam?
2. When can I expect to get my notice?
3. What license classes are required?
4. Once I take and pass the recertification exam, when will I be required to recertify?
5. When will I be required to take the exam and optional training?
6. How early can I access the on-line exam and optional training?
7. How are the inspection stations notified of this change?
8. How much will it cost?
9. How do I determine what the categories are?
10. Can I drop a category from my credential, prior to taking the exam?
11. What is the process if I lose my card?
12. Am I required to go to a school to take the training?
13. Is anyone exempt from taking the inspector recertification exam?
14. How long do I have access to the training materials?
15. What is the process to get my new credentials (updated identification card)?
16. If I fail the exam, will I be informed as to which areas/topics I need to improve?
17. How many times can I fail the test?

1. Who is required to take the exam?
PennDOT’s vehicle safety inspector recertification program for safety inspectors and document reviewers is changing. Safety inspection regulations (67 Pa. Code § 175.28) have been updated to expand the period of recertification from three years to five years. Additionally, a new five-year recertification exam is being introduced.

PennDOT has worked with the industry associations on the exam and training recertification development.

2. When can I expect to get my notice?
All safety inspectors whose certification expired in 2016 were mailed a notice in January 2016 informing them of the new process. Individual renewal letters are also being provided with specific instructions. The renewal letter directed the technician to a website to register and a toll-free number. Inspectors may renew their certification by passing the required examination within 180 days of their expiration.

3. What license classes are required?
All license classes are subject to recertification and are based on the inspector’s current license code(s).

4. Once I take and pass the recertification exam, when will I be required to recertify?
Once you pass the recertification exam, you will be required to recertify every five years thereafter.

5. When will I be required to take the exam and optional training?
The on-line exam and training portal became available April 2016. The individual inspector’s renewal notice will provide all the necessary details.

6. How early can I access the on-line exam and training portal?
You can only access the on-line exam and training portal when you are 180 days from expiration. Your renewal notice will contain all the necessary details for accessing the portal.

7. How are the inspection stations notified of this change?
Notice was sent by Official PennDOT Bulletin in January 2016.

8. How much will it cost?
Pricing will be determined by the class of certificate that the inspector is recertifying for. The full pricing schedule is as follows:

As training is optional, you may take the: 

Exam only option: On-line exam and scoring, which includes all relevant categories, is $59.99. (80% is passing grade. A failing grade will require taking the full training package. There is no free retest option.)

- OR -

Full Training Package: Includes all training materials, baseline test and one category, on-line exam and scoring, plus one free retest for $89.99

Full Training Package: Includes all training materials, baseline test and two categories, on-line exam and scoring, plus one free retest for $89.99 + $9.99

Full Training Package: Includes all training materials, baseline test and three categories, on-line exam and scoring, plus one free retest for $89.99 +$9.99 +$9.99

Full Training Package: Includes all training materials, baseline test and four categories, on-line exam and scoring, plus one free retest for $89.99 +$9.99 +$9.99 +$9.99

Certified Document Reviewer: Includes all training materials, on-line exam and scoring, plus one free retest for $29.99

Full Training Package Retest: $24.99 (This paid retest is available one-time only after the Full Training Package free retest is taken and the technician did not receive a passing grade.)

9. How do I determine what the categories are?
Your current certifications are included on the back of your existing credential. The categories, also referred to as your inspector license code, are as follows:
Code 1 – Inspection of passenger cars, trucks 17,000 pounds or less and trailers less than 10,000 pounds;
Code 2 – Inspection of motorcycles;
Code 3 – Inspection of trucks over 17,000 pounds, trailers over 10,000 pounds and buses;
Code 4 – Inspection of vehicles;
Code 5 – Inspections under codes 1 and 2;
Code 6 – Inspections under codes 2 and 3;
Code 7 – Inspections under codes 1 and 3;
Code J – Enhanced vehicle safety inspection.

Example: If you have a Category 7 certification, you may choose the Exam Only option for $59.99 or choose the full training/exam package, which includes the baseline and one category for $89.99, and an additional $9.99 for the additional category.

10. Can I drop a category from my credentials, prior to taking the exam?
If you want to drop a category - e.g., you haven’t done motorcycle inspections in years and want to drop that certification - you must contact PennDOT prior to your online registration. You will complete the Safety Inspection Category Removal form. Upon receipt of the form, PennDOT will update your record. Once this is completed, you may register online through the on-line exam and training portal and your exam will no longer contain any questions regarding the category that was removed. Once you request that a category be dropped, you will have to retake the course/exam in order to become reestablished, should you desire to have it reinstated.
 
11. What is the process if I lose my card?
You may order a replacement card online through the on-line exam and training portal. The fee is $8.95, which includes the cost of materials, shipping and handling.

12. Am I required to go to a school to take the training?
Training is optional. The inspector will have the option to take the training and exam from their personal computer or at an official PennDOT-approved school. Schools may charge an additional fee. Participating schools will be listed on the website after you register on-line.

13. Is anyone exempt from taking the inspector recertification exam?
No. Effective January 3, 2017, Act 165 signed into law on November 4, 2016, removed the exemption for pre-1983 certified inspection mechanics.

14. How long do I have to access to the training materials?
Training materials and all updates will be available during your five-year recertification period, as long as you remain certified.

15. What is the process to get my new credentials (updated identification card)?
Your renewal letter will direct you to the on-line exam and training portal for registration. Updated identification cards are mailed to the inspector after successful completion of the on-line exam. Inspectors who successfully complete their exam will automatically receive their updated identification card included as part of the exam package.

16. If I fail the exam, will I be informed as to which areas/topics I need to improve?
In the event you do not pass the exam, your exam results will include the specific areas of study that you need to concentrate on.

17. How many times can I fail the test?
You have three attempts to pass the exam. Should you fail to pass in each of those attempts, you will be required to retake the initial baseline exam and tactile test at a PennDOT approved school. Upon passing the initial course of study, you will be certified for three years, and recertify at the end of that three-year period for a five-year period.

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