Texas Car Inspections

Car Inspection Laws in Texas.

In Texas, it is of the utmost importance for drivers to understand and adhere to the laws surrounding vehicle inspections. Keeping up with your state car inspection not only helps keep you from being pulled over but also contributes to keeping roads safe from accidents caused by expired inspections. Unfortunately, many crashes occur every year as a result of outdated inspections. By familiarizing yourself with these essential laws, you can help play a part in preventing traffic accidents on Texas roadways.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been involved in an accident with a driver who was operating a vehicle with an expired inspection, the best course of action is to contact an experienced car accident lawyer right away. A skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair settlement for any expenses incurred due to the crash.

Annual Safety Inspection

If you live in Texas and have a car, it’s important to know how often you need to inspect it. According to state regulations, every registered vehicle must undergo an annual safety inspection. This rule applies without exception, even if you have a multi-year registration or are just in the state for college.

The same yearly inspection requirement applies if you have a multi-year registration. New residents have 30 days from the day they move to Texas to get their vehicle inspected; otherwise, they may face ticketing. And out-of-state students living in Texas must have their vehicles inspected while keeping their out-of-state registration.

Ultimately, understanding the inspection requirements of your state is key to staying legal and up-to-date on your vehicle maintenance. Stay informed about the regulations relevant to your situation to drive safely, lawfully, and with peace of mind.


When registering a vehicle in Texas, the cost of an inspection will vary depending on its age. For cars made two to 24 years ago, the standard fee in DFW is $25.50 and must be paid at the inspection station.

Vehicles aged 25 years or older qualify for a safety-only inspection, which costs $7.00 at the inspection station. However, it’s advisable to stay informed as fees are subject to change according to the type of vehicle being registered and inspected. For more up-to-date information, visit the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website.

What is Inspected?

In Texas, vehicle inspections are required annually to ensure that all vehicles on the road are safe to operate. During a Texas car inspection, the following items are typically checked:

  • Emissions: Vehicle emissions are tested to ensure that they meet state requirements for air quality.
  • Brakes: Brake pads, rotors, and other components are checked for wear and damage.
  • Lights: Headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals are checked to ensure they work properly.
  • Tires: Tires are checked for proper inflation, tread depth, and wear.
  • Steering and suspension: The steering and suspension system is checked for proper alignment, wear, and damage.
  • Windshield wipers: Wiper blades are checked to ensure they are in good condition and working properly.
  • Horn: The horn is tested to ensure it is audible and working properly.
  • Mirrors: Side and rearview mirrors are checked to ensure they are properly positioned and in good condition.
  • Registration and insurance: The vehicle’s registration and insurance are checked to ensure that they are current and up-to-date.

Having the required documents with you is essential to pass a Texas State Vehicle Inspection. This includes valid liability insurance and a current and valid photo ID. Additionally, you must pay the fee for the inspection regardless of whether your vehicle passes or fails. Payment can be made at the official inspection station with cash, check, Visa, or Master Card. By ensuring you have all these documents, you can ensure your state vehicle inspection goes as smoothly as possible.

Overall, the Texas car inspection aims to ensure that vehicles on the road are safe and comply with state regulations. It’s important to note that inspection requirements may vary depending on the age, type of vehicle, and other factors.

Emissions Test

An emissions test is required for Texas car inspections in certain counties. Vehicles registered in the following counties are required to have an emissions test as part of their annual inspection:

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

If your vehicle is registered in one of these counties, it must pass an emissions test before it can pass its annual inspection. However, if your vehicle is exempt from emissions testing, such as those newer than a certain model year or those that run on alternative fuels, you may not need to undergo an emissions test. It’s best to check with the Texas Department of Public Safety or your inspection station to determine your specific requirements.

Where can I get a Texas Car Inspection in Dallas?

There are many locations throughout Dallas where you can get a Texas car inspection. Here are a few options:

  • Jiffy Lube has many locations throughout Dallas and offers Texas car inspections. You can find a location near you on their website.
  • Kwik Kar has several locations in Dallas where you can get a Texas car inspection. They offer fast and affordable inspections.
  • Firestone Complete Auto Care also offers Texas car inspections throughout Dallas. They have ASE-certified technicians who can perform the inspection.
  • Midas offers Texas car inspections at their Dallas locations. They also offer other services, such as oil changes and brake inspections.
  • Your local mechanic – You can also get a Texas car inspection from your trusted local mechanic. Just make sure they are certified by the Texas Department of Public Safety to perform inspections.

These are just a few options for getting a Texas car inspection in Dallas. It’s best to call ahead to make sure the location you choose offers inspections and to check their hours of operation.

Common Causes of TX Inspection Failure

A vehicle safety inspection is essential to ensure the safe operation of any car on the road. There are many reasons why a vehicle may fail its inspection, such as tire wear and tear, defective brakes, nonfunctioning lights, cracked or obstructed windshields, damaged wiper blades, and excessive window tinting.

Wear and tear on tires can compromise drivers’ safety. Thus, inspectors will pay close attention to the tread depth. If the treads are too low, the car will not pass the inspection. Similarly, inspectors check all brake components to ensure they function properly. If they are not, the vehicle will fail.

Inspectors will also assess a car’s lighting system to ensure it works correctly. If there are any burned-out or misaligned lights, the car will not pass the inspection. Additionally, windshield cracks within the driver’s field of vision can increase the likelihood of an accident, so inspectors will not pass cars with cracked windshields.

Wiper blades must be in good working order to pass inspection. They must be properly installed and free from tears, bends, and cracks. Lastly, window tinting must comply with legal limits for darkness, reflectivity, and placement. If a car goes beyond these limits, it will not be approved.

Completing a vehicle inspection is essential for any driver to stay safe on the roads. Properly inspecting the various parts of a car can help detect any potential issues that may affect its performance and prevent serious accidents.

How dark can tint on windows be for the vehicle to pass inspection?

In Texas, all vehicles must have at least 25% light transmittance in their windows to be deemed as passing a vehicle inspection. This regulation was created to ensure that excessively darkly tinted windows do not jeopardize road safety. This applies to the two windows on each side of the driver, stating that both the driver’s and passenger’s windows must meet the 25% light transmittance requirement to pass inspection.

Dallas Car Accident with Expired Inspection

If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision, you may be wondering if the fact that the other vehicle had an expired inspection sticker is a defense for you. The answer is no – the expired inspection sticker itself is not generally relevant to the accident or admissible as evidence in court. However, if you can demonstrate that the brake lights were not working and that the inspection sticker was expired, then the expired sticker becomes relevant since it contributes to explaining the cause of the crash.

In this case, your testimony alone may be sufficient to admit the expired inspection sticker into evidence. If the testimony is found to be credible by the judge, then you should be permitted to use this evidence in your defense. This being said, some judges might want something more before admitting such evidence into court – such as an independent witness or admission from the other driver. Without such additional corroboration, there is potential for people to fabricate matters like expired inspection stickers to get otherwise inadmissible evidence into their case.

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