"We know it's a problem with the glue. We know it's caused by ultraviolet rays," said Rob Ide, the commissioner of the Vt. Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you have a blue Vermont inspection sticker, chances are it is peeling off.
"I noticed that one corner of the sticker started to come off the windshield, so I pushed it back and then a couple weeks later, it started to pull off more," Wayne Berge said. "It hasn't come off completely, but it's not like all my other stickers on my other vehicles."
DMV first discovered the problem last spring and started working with the national manufacturer on a fix.
"We have worked with this manufacturer for a long time," Ide said. "Clearly there was something different in their process. I don't think there was a way to discover it until they were actually out in the field."
The DMV is not sure just how many faulty blue inspection stickers are out there. So, as a precaution it's ordered tens of thousands of replacement adhesive squares.
"We're telling all our inspection stations as they put a new sticker on, as a precaution to put one of these behind it. And we're making them as available as we possibly can and we hope that people who have been affected are coming in and getting them," Ide said.
The DMV says inspection stickers are a valued commodity on the black market, even when they're sticking properly. And the state worried these loose ones would be even more tempting for thieves.
"So, you want it strong enough to adhere, yet if it's tampered with you want it to self-destruct. There's a fine line in there and obviously the glue on this one didn't even allow them to stay adhered," Ide said.
Wayne Berge says he's just glad the state is offering a simple solution.
"It's not a frustration, it's not an annoyance, but I know if it falls off I'm probably going to get stopped by the police and have to explain myself," he said.
So, how does it work? Simply grab a square, peel off the paper backing and place the adhesive side over your existing sticker.
"Obviously we're very sorry that it happened," Ide said. "It did happen. Sometimes you just have to make the best out of situations and we'd like to avoid this one next year."
The manufacturer did not charge the state for the replacement adhesives.
Starting next month, all inspection stickers will go through a different manufacturing process. The free replacement adhesive squares are now available in all DMV locations and Vermont inspection stations.
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