To ensure that vehicles are inspected yearly, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will require car owners to be more cognizant of when their inspection sticker expires.

Under the new policy, which takes effect Nov. 1, vehicles will receive an inspection sticker showing the number of month the inspection was due, and not the number of the month when the vehicle was inspected.

For example, if a driver with an October sticker waits until December to get a new inspection, they will get a new sticker that expires in October of the next year — effectively cutting off two months between inspections. Vehicles with inspection stickers that expired in a previous calendar year will receive a January sticker, no matter the month the vehicle is inspected. That means a driver with a December 2022 sticker who delays inspection until January or February 2023 would get a sticker that expires in January 2024.

Those who get their cars inspected early or on time may not even notice a change, as they will continue to receive a new sticker with the number of month the last sticker expired.

This change does not impact the requirements for newly purchased vehicles. All newly purchased vehicles must be inspected within seven days of the vehicle registration date and will receive a sticker of the month in which it was inspected and is valid for one year.

“Motor vehicle inspections are required to be conducted yearly and play an integral part in helping to facilitate roadway safety across the commonwealth,” Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie said this week. “Vehicle owners are encouraged to proactively check their vehicle inspection sticker, and have their vehicles inspected on time to ensure that key safety items such as lighting devices, tire treads, and front ball joints are in working condition.”

Police can pull over and fine drivers with expired stickers $40 — along with any other traffic infractions they might see during the stop.