General Inspection

September 30, 2020

New Timelines for Inspections

After March 1, 2016, you must pass a vehicle inspection within 90 calendar days prior to registration or renewing your vehicle.

For commercial vehicles, you must inspect annually on the anniversary date of your current inspection. There is no grace period, and registration will be completed with your passing inspection at the time of your registration.

Inspection Sticker Removal

Beginning March 1, 2015, you may remove the vehicle inspection windshield sticker when it expires or when the vehicle has passed an annual vehicle inspection. Do not remove the registration sticker, as this serves as proof of registration and inspection. The next inspection date coincides with the vehicle’s registration expiration and will need to be inspected 90 calendar days prior to registration or renewing your vehicle.

Motorist Out-of-State When Inspection Expires

If your vehicle is out-of-state and you are unable to complete a Texas vehicle inspection to renew your vehicle’s registration, you will be able to self-certify the vehicle is out-of-state and will be permitted to register. The self-certification process is limited to:

  • Active Duty Military
  • Full-Time Students
  • Seasonal Texans, RVers
  • Apportioned Vehicles
  • Elected Congressional Officials

You will be able to renew your registration using self-certification online, by mail or in-person. Please contact your county tax office for more information about their requirements for out-of-state registration renewal. See County Tax Offices to find the contact information for your county of residence.

If you renew your vehicle’s registration using the out-of-state self-certification option, a remark will be placed on your vehicle record indicating an inspection is still due. Once you return to the state, you must complete a Texas vehicle inspection within three days of arrival at your home, duty station or destination. It is very important you keep the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) issued after completing your vehicle’s inspection in case you are stopped by law enforcement before the remark is removed from your vehicle record, which takes about 48 hours. The remark will only be removed upon payment of the state’s portion of the inspection fee and verification of a current, passing inspection.

Proof of Inspection not available at DMV

Present your current, passing Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) to DMV and they will renew your registration.

Inspection Grace Period

There is no grace period on inspections. Beginning March 1, 2015, a passing vehicle inspection is required for vehicle registration.

Free Inspection Re-Tests for Failed Inspections

You do not have to pay to get your vehicle re-inspected if it fails inspection. If your vehicle fails 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.

Safety Recall Information

Effective August 7, 2021, the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) began including safety recall information to bring motorists' attention to open recalls on their vehicles. Open safety recall information is provided on the back or second page of the VIR. For open safety recalls, the motorist should contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at the number provided or visit the website provided at the top of the VIR. Motorists also may contact their vehicle’s manufacturer for additional information. Safety recalls can be repaired free of charge by the vehicle’s manufacturer.