FAQs for Law Enforcement
General Inspection Questions
There is a five (5) day grace period for motorists to get their inspection sticker. An inspection certificate expires on the last day of the month that is indicated on the windshield. Therefore, you have until the 5th day of the following month to have your car inspected.
Do I have to pay to get my car re-inspected, if it fails the inspection?
NO. Should your vehicle fail the inspection, have the item(s) repaired and take it back to the inspection station that originally performed the inspection within 15 days for a free re-test. If you choose not to take it back to the station that originally performed the inspection or should you present the vehicle after the 15 days, then your vehicle is no longer eligible for the free re-test.
Have you accidently scraped off the wrong sticker from your windshield?
If your vehicle is registered in one of the emissions counties and you require an emissions sticker replacement you can obtain a replacement, for a reduced fee, from one of our DPS challenge/waiver stations. Give them a call to make an appointment and to obtain further details on obtaining your replacement.
If your vehicle is not registered in one of the emissions counties, then you will have to get the vehicle reinspected at one of the local inspection stations in your area. Currently, there are no replacement procedures for non-emissions county motorists.
Note: Due to the increased inspection fee in emissions counties (up to $39.75 for the test as opposed to $14.50 in non-emissions counties) a replacement process was developed to reduce the financial burden on motorists. Replacement stickers are only valid for the remainder of time left on the old sticker.
There is a two-year initial inspection period for passenger cars or light trucks meeting the following criteria:
Reference Transportation Code §548.102.
Inspection Station/Inspector Related Questions
If you have a complaint concerning an inspection station please use our secure web form to contact DPS. Be sure to have inspection station information, such as station name, station id (if possible) and inspector. All complaints must be submitted in writing.
General Vehicle/Driving Related Questions (Non-Inspection Related)
Contact NHTSA for federal regulations pertaining to recalls, air bags, vehicle importation & certification, safety defects, child safety seats and other hot topics.
Odometer tampering complaints should be addressed to the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division.
Who should I contact to report a smoking vehicle?
To report a smoking vehicle visit the Smoking Vehicle Program at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or call toll free 1-800-453-SMOG 7664).
View Transportation Code
View Sec. 548.605. Dismissal of Charge; Administrative Fee
How many license plates am I required to display?
State law requires vehicle owners to display two license plates, one at the exterior front and one at the exterior rear of the vehicle. Plates must be securely fastened in the horizontal position of not less than 12 inches from the ground, measuring from the bottom. Texas Administration Code, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, 217.22
* This guidance is referenced in Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) requirements to properly display the registration certificate. DPS does not inspect the license plate itself, but instead inspects the license plate lamp. View DPS Rules/Regulation Inspection Criteria
Operation of a vehicle without registration insignia is an offense. Additional information on offense and compliance is specified in the Texas Transportation Code, 502.473.