Texas Vehicle Inspection Laws Overview: The New Law

For years, Texas residents have been required to get annual vehicle inspections to keep their vehicle registrations valid. The inspection covers numerous aspects of an auto and results in failure if too many issues are present. However, changes that drastically impact Texas inspection laws are officially on the way.

The Texas Vehicle Inspection Process

Currently, Texas vehicle owners must obtain a vehicle inspection sticker every year. 

Obtaining this sticker requires submitting to and passing a vehicle inspection that checks the following integral systems:

  • Brakes and braking
  • Headlights and other auto lights
  • Steering system
  • Windshields and windows
  • Tires and wheels
  • Horn
  • Seat belts and restraints
  • Exhaust and emissions
  • Mirrors
  • Blinkers

The price of the vehicle inspection for most auto owners in Texas is less than $10, which may involve a one-year inspection or a two-year inspection sticker if the vehicle is new. Additionally, residents of numerous counties must submit their vehicles for emissions testing when registering a vehicle between 2 and 24 years old. 

These counties are:

  • Brazoria
  • Dallas
  • Collin
  • Ellis
  • Denton
  • El Paso
  • Galveston
  • Fort Bend
  • Johnson
  • Harris
  • Montgomery
  • Kaufman
  • Rockwall
  • Parker
  • Travis
  • Tarrant
  • Williamson 

For new residents, Texas requires a vehicle inspection within 30 days of registration. 

Within the first 30 days of residing in Texas, residents should:

  • Have their vehicle inspected by a qualified professional, regardless of any prior state inspections that may still be current
  • Title and register the vehicle with the DMV

Keep in mind that you must get your vehicle inspected before registering it. You cannot receive a valid registration card without a completed and acceptable vehicle inspection test. Additionally, new residents will also need proof of financial responsibility. This is most often demonstrated through the purchase of a valid insurance policy.  

Changes To the Texas Vehicle Inspection Law

Changes to Texas’s vehicle inspection law are set to take effect in 2025. When in effect, the law eliminates the need for annual vehicle inspections for most Texas residents. However, a $7.50 yearly fee will still be in effect.

Commercial vehicles are not exempt from annual inspections. Additionally, the emissions testing required in some counties will remain in effect. 

Violating the Texas Vehicle Inspection Law

Violations of Texas’s vehicle inspection law are not rare. Initial violations of the law can result in a misdemeanor charge that carries a fine of $200. Although no jail time is involved, one would still have a criminal record. Subsequent failures to comply with the inspection law result in compounded problems, which may include higher fines and vehicle impoundment. 

Failing to follow the inspection law could also lead to accidents caused by an unsafe vehicle and liability. A driver could be subject to significant damages through a car accident lawsuit. 

Submitting To Inspections Until 2025

Drivers should continue to submit to inspections even though they will be largely phased out in 2025. 

Keep in mind that it is the responsibility of each vehicle owner to keep track of their individual inspection deadlines. Notices detailing when an auto should be inspected do not arrive from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Instead, it’s up to the vehicle owners to remember. 

Fortunately, the expiration date of inspection stickers corresponds with vehicle registration expiration dates. 

Dangerous Vehicles Can Injure and Kill

Once annual inspections are no longer a requirement, vehicle owners should pay more attention to their vehicles to ensure they are in safe working condition. A dangerous auto is ultimately not worth the significant risk of a car accident lawsuit. 

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Dallas, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Dallas, Texas, and need legal help, contact our Dallas car accident lawyers at Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers
2512 State St,
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 855-1420