Is Your Car Safe? The Texas Vehicle Safety Inspection
If you own a motor vehicle registered in Texas, you know that your vehicle is required to pass an annual inspection to ensure that it complies with state safety standards. This law is in effect statewide; emissions testing is also required for vehicles inspected in 17 Texas counties to comply with federally mandated clean air requirements. Gasoline-powered vehicles two to 24 years old are required to have an emissions inspection. All inspections include a comprehensive safety inspection.
Vehicle inspections are performed at Official Vehicle Inspection Stations licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The county of registration and the type of inspection required will determine the cost of your vehicle’s inspection. Texas sets upper limits on safety inspection fees (details at https://www.dps.texas.gov/rsd/vi/ ).
What to bring to your Texas vehicle inspection:
- You’re required to bring with you proof of your vehicle insurance from any state insurance provider. If you have less than full coverage, that is, liability coverage only, your insurance must be with a Texas provider.
- You need to bring payment of the inspection fee. Texas requires that you pay the fee whether your vehicle passes or fails the inspection. Different inspection stations have different policies regarding the form of payment they’ll accept, so you may want to call in advance to make sure you have the correct kind of payment.
- You need to bring a current and valid driver’s license or photo ID.
The inspection usually takes about 15-30 minutes. It’s a good idea to pre-check to items that will be inspected, so you can get them fixed or replaced before you take your vehicle in for inspection. The inspected items will include your vehicle’s horn, windshield wipers, mirrors, steering, seat belts, brakes system (including the parking brake), tires, wheel assembly, exhaust system, exhaust emission system (for gasoline cars 2 – 24 years old), beam indicator, tail lamps,
stop lamps, license plate lamp, rear red reflectors, turn signals, headlights, motor/serial/vehicle identification number, gas caps (for cars 2 – 24 years old), and window tint.
Good luck with your vehicle inspection, and always drive safely!
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