Mechanic doing inspection(l), Woman talking(c), Woman showing sideview mirror(r)

Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock @prettygirlzsmoketoo/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I hate this state’: Driver can’t believe the reason her car failed inspection. But is more common than you think

‘The little old man that does mine just sticks the sticker on my windshield and lets me go.’


Phil West


A driver in Virginia complained about her car failing inspection for an issue she didn’t think was that big of a deal.

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The video comes from creator MJ’s Boutique (@prettygirlzsmoketoo), in which she declares, “I hate this state” in reference to its vehicle inspection policy. Since going up on April 2, the video has received more than 536,000 views and 26,000 likes.

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“This is literally what my car failed inspection for,” she starts, with the camera trained on her driver’s side mirror, “So as you can see, … the mirror’s stationary right now, but when I turn the car on, it flips outwards.” Indeed, it bizarrely turns itself to point to the front of the car, where it’s not at all helpful.

“You see, it just flips like that, but it’s always done that since I’ve gotten it,” she explains, and then pushes it back into its proper place manually. “As you can see, it’s back in this spot, so all I have to do is literally click it back, and we’re fine. We’re good to go.”

However, she maintains that’s not good enough for the Commonwealth of Virginia. As she sums up, “They failed me because of that. I have a rejection sticker because of that. Welcome to Virginia.”

What does it take to pass?

According to the Virginia State Police site, mirrors must meet three standards. Those include:

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  • Rigidity of mounting.
  • Condition of reflecting surface.
  • Check for road visibility 200 feet to the rear. (Truck mirrors must extend at least halfway beyond edge of body.)
@prettygirlzsmoketoo I hate this state. #fyp #virginia ♬ Enough (Miami) – Cardi B
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The Wiygul Automotive Clinic site provides a little more insight into the process, stating, “If your car fails a Virginia State Inspection, a rejection sticker will be placed where the previous approval sticker was on your vehicle’s windshield. You have 15 days from the day of the rejection to properly fix the faulty equipment for which your vehicle failed to pass the inspection. The rejection sticker does not restrict you from driving your vehicle, but it does not prevent you from being issued a summons for operating your vehicle with defective equipment. This applies with a rejection sticker or an approval sticker.

If you take your vehicle to the original station that rejected it within the 15 day period of receiving the rejection sticker, the inspector is only required to check the items that were previously rejected. You may be charged a $1.00 fee. If you take it somewhere other than the original station that rejected your vehicle, the inspector will have to do another complete inspection and charge you accordingly.”

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Commenters reacted to the creator’s sense of injustice.

One suggested, “Take out the fuse for the folding mirrors. Mirror no longer moves and you should be able to pass.”

Someone else offered, “You probably have tried this, but try clicking the mirror button when it folds out like that. I know there is a way to reset it once the motor goes out of wack like that, i just don’t know it.”

The creator answered back, “Because that’s all they did when I brought it to the dealership the first time. Idk how to do it now though lmao.”

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Another, luckier than the creator, noted, “The little old man that does mine just sticks the sticker on my windshield and lets me go.”

The creator responded, “I need a little old mannnnn.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator via TikTok direct message and Facebook direct message and to Virginia State Police via email.

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