Two Steps One Sticker

AUSTIN, February 2, 2015 - Beginning March 1, 2015, your vehicle will no longer be issued an inspection sticker and your registration sticker will serve as combined proof of inspection and registration.

Step 1: From March 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016. You may renew your registration if your vehicle has a current, passing inspection. However, if your inspection and registration stickers both expire in the same month your vehicle will need to pass inspection prior to registration renewal. To find your nearest inspection station, please visit the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) website.

Step 2: Renew your annual registration online, by mail, or in-person at your county tax office. At the time of registration, your inspection status will be verified electronically. A current, passing inspection is required for registration renewal.

Starting March 1, 2016, you will have a convenient 90-day window to complete both your inspection and registration. Remember, your registration is valid through the last day of the registration expiration month. Find your inspection window with the calculator on the homepage.

Fees

While “Two Steps, One Sticker” will bring a welcomed change to your windshield, it will not impact your wallet. Your inspection fee is the same, but you will pay it in two steps if your vehicle is inspected on or after March 1, 2015:

  1. The inspection station’s portion of the fee will be due at the time of inspection.

    The state’s portion of the fee will be collected at the time of registration. The state’s portion of the inspection fees will be line-itemed on your registration renewal notice.

  2. Inspection Type Counties State Portion
    One-Year Safety Counties except the emissions counties listed below $7.50
    Safety-only (vehicles 25 years or older) Statewide $7.50
    Two-Year Safety (new vehicles) Statewide $16.75
    Commercial Statewide $22.00
    Trailer/Motorcycle Statewide $7.50
    Safety Emissions El Paso $8.25
    Safety Emissions Travis, Williamson $10.25
    Emission test for vehicles model-year 1995 and older Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant $8.25
    Emission test for vehicles model-year 1996 and newer Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant $14.25
    Emission-test-only vehicles Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, El Paso, Travis, Williamson $2.75

Registration Renewal Process

Here’s a more detailed overview of how renewing your vehicle’s registration will take place after March 1, 2015.

Before issuing your registration renewal notice, TxDMV will check the state inspection records for your last inspection. If your inspection record cannot be found, is expired or failing, you will not receive a registration renewal notice. Instead, TxDMV will send you an Inspection and Registration Notice informing you that no record could be located. The notice will remind you that an inspection must be completed in order to renew your vehicle registration.

Here are more details related to your renewal method choices:

  • Online

    If you have a current, passing inspection in the database, you will be able to complete your online renewal and your new registration sticker will be mailed to you.

    If you do not have a current, passing inspection in the database and you are unable to certify that the vehicle is out of state, you will need to obtain a passing vehicle inspection or visit your local county tax assessor’s office and present your current vehicle inspection report (VIR) to complete your renewal.

  • By Mail

    If you have a current, passing inspection in the database, your local county tax assessor’s office will process your renewal and your new registration sticker will be mailed to you.

    If you DO NOT have a current, passing inspection, your renewal will not be processed. Your county will request that you provide verification of inspection.

  • In-Person

    If you have a current, passing inspection in the database, the clerk will proceed with your renewal. Inspection will be verified electronically at the time of renewal.

Most inspection records will be available in real time, but there may be instances when the record is not immediately available. If your vehicle passed inspection but the system is unable to electronically verify it, you may present the current, passing VIR you received from the inspection station to the county at the time of renewal. Your inspection will be verified manually, and you will be permitted to renew your vehicle registration.

If you are renewing your registration at a county subcontractor location, such as your local grocery store, they may not accept your VIR as proof of inspection. Each county will determine whether their subcontractors can verify inspection via VIR. If a subcontractor is not permitted to verify via VIR, you will be directed to the county office to complete your renewal.

Lost Your VIR?

If you misplace your VIR and need a copy to complete your vehicle’s registration, please contact your inspection station to receive another copy.

Special Circumstances

Out of State Motorists

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

  • Active duty military
  • Full-time students
  • Seasonal Texans, RV’ers
  • 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. To find the contact information for your county of residence, please visit the TxDMV website.

If you renew your vehicle registration using the out-of-state self-certification option, a remark will be placed on your vehicle record indicating that 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 that you keep the VIR issued after completing your 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.

Multi-Year Registration

As part of “Two Steps, One Sticker,” only new passenger cars and light trucks purchased from a dealer which have two years of initial inspection will be eligible to receive two years of initial registration at time of title.

If you currently have a multi-year registration, it will remain valid until it expires. However, you will still need to pass an annual vehicle inspection. You will receive a notice from the TxDMV on the month of your registration instructing you to get an inspection and pay the state’s portion of the inspection fee to the county tax assessor- collector’s office. If you do not complete your required inspection and remit the state’s portion of the fee to your county office within 30 days of your registration month, the remark “Verify Inspection” will be placed on your vehicle record for law enforcement purposes.

New Texas Residents

You must get your vehicle inspected and registered within 30 days after you move to Texas. The state’s portion of the inspection fee will be due at the time of registration if the inspection was completed March 1, 2015 or later. For more information on new resident registration requirements, please visit the TxDMV website.

Title Transfer and Private Vehicle Sales

If someone transferred ownership of a vehicle to you or if you purchased a used vehicle via private party sale and the inspection has expired, the vehicle will need a current, passing vehicle inspection before it can be titled and registered. The state’s portion of the inspection fee will be due at the time of registration if the inspection was completed March 1, 2015 or later.

Vehicles Exempt from Inspection Requirements

If your vehicle does not currently require an annual inspection, it will not require an inspection for purposes of registration once the new program goes into effect. For information regarding whether your vehicle is subject to state inspection requirements, please visit the DPS website.

 
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