What Trailers Need Safety Inspections in Illinois

by Corr S. Pondent
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If you want to operate a trailer in the state of Illinois, you will have to get it through a state safety inspection first. In order to promote the safety of the public, the state applies this law to a variety of vehicles. However, the state law doesn't require inspections of all trailers.

Trailer Safety Inspections

The Illinois safety-inspection requirements apply to second division motor vehicles that pull a trailer, semitrailer or pole trailer, with a gross weight of more than 8,000 pounds. These trailers have to go through the state inspection and get a certificate of safety before you can operate them.


Wagon trailers, and any other trailers and farm implements that you use in agriculture-related work, need not go through this safety inspection in Illinois. Also exempt from the safety inspection requirements are semitrailers, pole trailers, and trailers with a gross weight of 5,000 pounds or less, including the weight of the vehicle and its load. If you have a house trailer that you use for your living quarters, you don't need a safety inspection. Registered Illinois government vehicles also don't have to go through the safety inspection.

Safety Inspection Procedures

Safety testing in Illinois involves testing various parts of the vehicle, such as its brakes, lights, horns, mirrors, windshield wipers, and other safety devices and appliances. The trailer, too, will have to go through safety tests. For trailers and semitrailers, Illinois conducts the safety test in accordance with the Federal Highway Administration's standards. Merely passing the safety test does not preclude the state from prosecuting anyone for operating an unsafe vehicle in the state.

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