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Dallas Car Inspection Laws You Should Know

Posted October 24, 2018 | General Personal Injury

The state of Texas requires all motor vehicles to go through regular safety inspections to ensure local roads stay safe. Some counties also require vehicles go through regular emissions tests. Read on for our guide to Dallas car inspection laws, whether it’s time to renew your registration or you just want a refresher on how to keep your vehicle state-compliant.

New Texas Residents

All drivers must register their vehicles within 30 days of moving to Texas. You’ll need to complete both a vehicle safety inspection and an emissions test to register your vehicle. You must complete these tests in-state because Texas does not recognize out-of-state inspections.

Safety Inspections

All vehicles must complete a safety inspection before being registered or having registration renewed, with no exceptions. You can complete a vehicle safety inspection at any Dallas DPS-certified inspection station. All registrations require renewal once a year.

The inspection itself will cost $7.50, while the state’s portion of fees will vary depending on your vehicle’s age, type, and location. You will only need to submit the state’s fees upon registration or renewal, and not at the inspection station.

There is no state requirement to present proof of car insurance during a safety inspection, but different stations follow different policies. It’s in your best interest to bring proof of insurance with you, in case the inspector asks to see it.

You may proceed to register your vehicle or renew your registration upon passing your safety inspection. Texas also has an electronic submission process to send in your completed inspection and registration forms. Once you’ve completed all the necessary steps, you’ll receive your windshield sticker as proof of passing. It will also have the date you need to renew your registration for the next year. You should replace your previous sticker with the new one.

If your vehicle fails the safety inspection, you must complete the necessary repairs and retest your vehicle. You will not be able to complete registration or renewal without a passing test result.

Emissions Inspections

Texas does not have a universal law requiring all vehicles to have emissions inspections, but many areas and counties within the Dallas-Fort Worth area do, including:

  • Collin
  • Dallas
  • Denton
  • Ellis
  • Johnson
  • Kaufman
  • Parker
  • Rockwall
  • Tarrant

You must complete annual emissions testing if you live in any of these areas and your vehicle is two to 24 model years old and gasoline powered. Any vehicles that are less than two model years old are exempt from emissions tests. You must complete this test at the same time as your safety inspection. Many DPS-certified inspection stations also conduct emissions tests.

You may need to show proof of insurance when you go in for an emissions test. You will also need to pay the emissions testing fee. This is not a set number, and the cost will vary depending on your location and the emissions test type.

You’ll receive a Vehicle Inspection Report that states if you passed or failed. You can obtain a copy of your results for up to 13 months from your inspection date. If you fail an emissions test, you will also need to have your vehicle repaired and retested. If it fails a second time, you may qualify for a waiver or extension.

If your vehicle fails an emission inspection, you may qualify for a repair assistance voucher of up to $600. Requirements for a voucher include income, location, and vehicle requirements. If you receive a voucher, you must take your vehicle to an approved emissions repair facility.

Texas safety and emissions laws help drivers stay safe and protect the environment. If you’re a Dallas driver, make sure you have the proper inspections when it’s time to register.