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Law Enforcement Guide to House Bill 2305 – “Single Sticker”

HB 2305 passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature requires the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to implement a single certificate system to replace the current two certificate system to indicate that a vehicle has both passed the compulsory vehicle inspection and been registered. HB-2305 establishes a registration-based system for enforcement of motor vehicle inspection requirements.

Effective March 1, 2015, before a vehicle may be registered or its registration renewed, DMV or a county assessor-collector must verify that the vehicle has passed the required inspection, as indicated in the DPS inspection database. If the database information is not available, the vehicle owner may present a passing Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) issued for the vehicle, in order to complete the registration process. The VIR is not required to be carried for potential display to a peace officer except as noted for commercial vehicles.

Key Elements of HB 2305

Beginning March 1, 2015, stations will no longer issue inspection certificates for a passing inspection. All inspections – pass or fail - will require the issuance a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR), which will be presented to the motorist by the inspection station.

Through the last business day of February 2015, passing inspections will result in an inspection certificate issued to the vehicle.

The price charged by the station for inspections will change as the station will no longer collect the state portion of the fee. There will be no changes to the actual inspection process for any of the classes of vehicles currently requiring an inspection.VI-30 will no longer be issued beginning March 1, 2015, for vehicles previously registered in another state. VIN verification will continue to be part of the inspection process.

Key Implementation Strategies

First Year of the Program – March 2015 thru February 2016:

Vehicles having different expiration dates for registration and inspection. To avoid the possibility of a motorist having to obtain two inspections in a 12-month period, a vehicle having a current passing (unexpired) vehicle inspection at time of registration will be allowed to register. The next inspection due date will be the same as the next registration due date. The vehicle is now “in-sync.”

Vehicles having the same expiration dates for both registration and inspection.  The vehicle must be re-inspected within the preceding 90 days of the registration expiration date in order to be registered. The vehicle is already “in-sync.”

Commercial vehicles will continue to follow the current annual inspection requirements.

Second Year of the Program – March 2016 going forward:
All vehicles, with the exception of those required to obtain a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR-commercial) inspection, will be required to obtain a passing inspection within 90 days of their registration expiration in order to be registered.

Traffic Enforcement

First Year – March 2015 through February 2016
After March 1, 2015, a vehicle passing the annual inspection will not be issued an inspection certificate. If the vehicle’s registration renewal is not due until some month after March 2015, it is possible Law Enforcement Officers will see vehicles with no inspection certificate displayed. The registration decal issued to the vehicle will serve as the visual indicator that the vehicle is in compliance with the vehicle inspection requirements in Transportation Code, Chapter 548.

Texas Transportation Code §548.602, “Failure to Display Inspection Certificate,” and §548.605, “Dismissal of Charge; Administrative Fee,” have been repealed effective March 1, 2015. It will no longer be a violation of the Transportation Code to operate a motor vehicle without a valid inspection certificate on or after March 1, 2015.

Second Year – March 2016 and going forward
Effective March 1, 2016, before a vehicle may be registered or have its registration renewed, it must pass the required inspection within 90 days prior to the registration expiration date.

Commercial Inspections

For commercial vehicles subject to the requirements of 49 CFR part 396, there will be no inspection certificate issued, and the registration does not represent that a valid inspection has been performed on the vehicle within the previous 12 months. When a commercial vehicle passes its annual inspection, a receipt will be produced that identifies the vehicle with a statement that the inspection conformed to the requirements of 49 CFR Part 396.  This receipt or a copy thereof must be produced during a roadside inspection or traffic stop to show compliance with state and federal law. There is no grace period for commercial vehicles and House Bill 2305 does not provide relief from the requirements of part 396 or State law.

Registration / Inspection Scenarios

Example 1: Inspection expires December, 2014; registration expires March, 2015:
Vehicle must be inspected by Dec. 31, 2014 and the station must affix an inspection certificate to the vehicle with an expiration of December 2015. The station will collect the total inspection fee for the type inspection being conducted. When the vehicle owner seeks registration renewal in March 2015, DMV or county tax assessor/collector will verify the record of a passing inspection in the DPS inspection database and issue the renewal registration certificate to the vehicle. The owner will only pay the registration fee.

Example 2:    Registration due March 2015; inspection expires April 2015:
When owner seeks registration renewal, DMV or county tax assessor/collector will verify passing inspection in the DPS database and issue the registration certificate to the vehicle.

Example 3:    Inspection expires November 2015; registration expires March 2016:
Following the expiration of the inspection certificate in November, the vehicle may be operated without a valid inspection sticker or report (Texas Transportation Code §548.602 repealed effective March 1, 2015). To register the vehicle, vehicle owner must obtain a passing inspection report no more than 90 days in advance of registration expiration.

Further general information can be obtained by going to Two Steps One Sticker.