Consumer Protection: Information for Used Car Buyers

Vehicles Sold “As Is’

The term “As Is’ is not defined by Missouri state statutes as allowing a vehicle to be sold without inspection compliance documented by the seller to the purchaser.   A vehicle sold ‘As Is’ is that is statutorily required to emissions inspected by model year and fuel type (Do I Need a Test?) must be documented by the seller, whether a private individual or an automobile dealer, as meeting emissions inspection compliance prior to the sale per 643.315, Missouri Revised Statutes.  A vehicle sold ‘As Is’ that is five (5) years old or older must be documented by the seller, whether a private individual or automobile dealer, as meeting safety inspection within sixty (60) days prior to the sale date as required per

Vehicles Bought from a Missouri Automobile Dealer

Missouri automobile dealers, regardless of their location within the state, have an obligation to sell vehicles that will pass the emissions test when those vehicles are going to be registered within St. Louis City or the counties of Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles or St. Louis. (643.315.4, Missouri Revised Statutes). Dealers have two ways of meeting this obligation:

Dealers may sell a vehicle using an emissions inspection compliance certificate, whether it is a ‘Pass’ or a ‘Waiver’, obtained within the 120 days prior to the date of sale. The dealer will provide the purchaser with the emissions test certificate for the purchaser to use to register the vehicle within 120 days of the certificate date. Failure to register the vehicle within that time obligates the purchaser to have a new emissions test performed. Purchasers should understand that the vehicle may have failed the test and received a waiver. If this is the case, the vehicle may fail future emissions tests.

Dealers may also sell a vehicle without a current valid emissions inspection compliance certificate. Dealers are required to inform the purchaser in writing, on both the “Bill of Sale” and purchase contract, that the purchaser has 10 days or 1,000 miles, whichever is less, after the sale date to return the vehicle to the dealer if the vehicle fails the emissions inspection. Purchasers of such a vehicle should have the vehicle emissions tested as soon after the purchase date as possible, but within the timeframe or mileage noted to take advantage of the consumer protection the statute offers. The dealer is required to have the necessary repairs made, at no cost to the purchaser, that result in the vehicle receiving an emissions test ‘Pass,’ as no waiver is available to a dealer with this type of sale.  Dealers are obligated to accomplish this within five days, or they must come to some other mutually agreeable decision with the purchaser regarding the vehicle purchase. If the vehicle’s emissions are first tested after 10 days or 1,000 miles, whichever is less, the purchaser is responsible for acquiring the emissions compliance certificate needed to register the vehicle. If purchasers are not satisfied with a dealer’s response, they can call the Missouri Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or go on line at

Note: Vehicles sold with Junk, Salvage, or Rebuild titles or vehicles purchased at a public auction are exempt from these dealer requirements. If you purchase a used vehicle through any of these means, you are fully responsible for the cost to repair the vehicle to pass the emission inspection or receive a waiver.

Vehicles Bought from a Private Individual

Private sellers of vehicles are required to provide the purchaser with a current emissions test approval or waiver for the vehicle prior to sale. The vehicle purchaser has 90 days from the date on the emissions compliance certificate test to use it to register the vehicle. (643.315.1, Missouri Revised Statutes).

Department of Revenue Related Information

Buying a Used Vehicle - More

Selling a Used Vehicle - More

Missouri State Highway Patrol – Motor Vehicle Inspection Information