If you are driving from Las Vegas to Death Valley you will not be passing an inspection station. The route from Vegas takes you through the town of Pahrump, Nevada and from there either through Shoshone, Ca or Death Valley Junction, Ca. The Death Valley Junction route is the shortest and can have you at Furnace Creek in under 2 hours. The is a longer route that would take you north from Las Vegas to Beatty and Rhyolite, NV. Rhyolite is a ghost town that Ron Wisner has photographed extensively. That trip would take about 3 hours to enter the Valley. If you need any directions on how you want to go feel free to email me directly.
My vote would be to go to Death Valley Junction which is an incredible photo opportunity itself.