Free Case Evaluation




FREE Case Evaluation

100% Free Consultation


FREE Case Evaluation

Car Inspection Laws in Texas – Houston, TX

Posted on: May 15, 2023

PN Editor
May 15, 2023

Car Inspection Laws in Texas – Houston, TX

Current Car Inspection Laws in Houston, TX

Vehicle inspections are mandatory in Texas to ensure that vehicles on the road are safe and meet certain emissions standards. In Houston, the inspection process is overseen by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and performed by licensed inspection stations. The current car inspection laws in Houston require all vehicles to undergo an annual safety inspection and emissions test.

Safety Inspection

The safety inspection includes a check of various components of the vehicle, such as brakes, tires, lights, steering and suspension systems, windshield wipers, mirrors, seat belts, and more. The goal is to make sure that the vehicle is safe to operate on the road.

Emissions Test

The emissions test checks for harmful pollutants emitted by the vehicle’s exhaust system. This test is required for most vehicles registered in Houston but there are some exemptions which we will discuss below.

Exemptions from Emissions Testing

  • New vehicles: Vehicles less than two years old or with fewer than 24,000 miles do not require an emissions test.
  • Electric and hybrid vehicles: These vehicles are exempt from emissions testing as they do not produce harmful pollutants.
  • Agricultural vehicles: Vehicles used exclusively for agricultural purposes are exempt from emissions testing.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failing to comply with car inspection laws can result in penalties such as fines or even impounding of your vehicle. It’s important to stay up-to-date with your inspections to avoid these consequences.

Recent Changes to Car Inspection Laws in Texas

As of March 2019, the state of Texas no longer requires annual vehicle safety inspections for most vehicles. This change applies to all personal vehicles except for commercial vehicles, which still require an annual inspection. However, emissions testing is still required in certain counties in Texas.

New Requirements for Emissions Testing

For those living in areas where emissions testing is required, there are new requirements that went into effect on September 1st, 2019. These requirements include a more comprehensive test that checks for more pollutants than before. Additionally, the cost of emissions testing has increased from $18.50 to $25.50.

Exemptions from Emissions Testing

  • Vehicles that are less than two years old or have fewer than 24,000 miles on the odometer do not need an emissions test.
  • Vehicles powered by electricity or natural gas are exempt from emissions testing.
  • Vehicles registered outside of an emissions testing area do not need an emissions test.

Frequency of Vehicle Inspections in Houston

In Houston and other parts of Texas where inspections are still required, personal vehicles must be inspected annually. Commercial vehicles must be inspected every six months. The inspection sticker is valid until the last day of the month displayed on the sticker plus one year for personal vehicles and six months for commercial vehicles.

Different Types of Inspections for Different Vehicles

The type of inspection a vehicle needs depends on its age and type:

Safety Inspections

  • All gasoline-powered vehicles less than 25 years old require a safety inspection.
  • All diesel-powered vehicles less than 14 years old require a safety inspection.

Emissions Inspections

Emissions inspections are required in certain counties in Texas. The requirements for emissions testing are outlined above.

Vehicle Parts Typically Inspected in Texas

During a safety inspection, the following vehicle parts are typically inspected:

  • Seat belts and airbags
  • Lights, including headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals
  • Tires and wheels
  • Brakes
  • Steering and suspension systems
  • Mirrors and windshield wipers
  • Horn and exhaust system
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)

Possible Reasons for Failing an Inspection in Texas

A vehicle may fail a safety inspection for a variety of reasons. Some common reasons include:

  • Burned-out or non-functioning lights or turn signals.
  • Bald tires or tires with low tread depth.
  • Faulty brakes that do not meet minimum standards.
  • Cracked or broken windshield that obstructs the driver’s view.
  • Excessive window tinting that reduces visibility.

Exemptions to Car Inspection Requirements in Texas

Vehicles Exempt from Safety Inspections:

The following vehicles are exempt from safety inspections:

    New Vehicles: Vehicles that are less than two years old or have fewer than 24,000 miles on the odometer do not need a safety inspection.

    Antique Vehicles: Vehicles that are at least 25 years old and used solely for exhibitions, parades, or other public events are exempt from safety inspections.

    Electric Vehicles: Vehicles powered exclusively by electricity do not require a safety inspection.

    Motorcycles: Motorcycles and mopeds do not require a safety inspection in Texas.

Vehicles Exempt from Emissions Inspections:

The following vehicles are exempt from emissions inspections:

  • Vehicles that are less than two years old or have fewer than 24,000 miles on the odometer.
  • Vehicles powered by electricity or natural gas.
  • Diesel-powered vehicles with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of more than 14,000 pounds.

Waivers for Repairs Needed to Pass an Inspection

If a vehicle fails an inspection due to a minor issue that is not related to emissions, the owner may qualify for a waiver. The waiver allows the owner to register their vehicle without making repairs but is only valid for one year. To qualify for a waiver, the cost of repairs must exceed $200 and the owner must provide proof of attempted repairs at an approved facility.

Cost of Car Inspections in Houston, TX

The cost of car inspections in Houston varies depending on the type of inspection required. Safety inspections cost $7 and emissions inspections cost $25.50. Commercial vehicles require both types of inspections and pay $40 for each set of inspections.

Penalties for Driving Without Passing an Inspection in Texas

If a vehicle does not pass its required inspection before its expiration date, the owner cannot legally drive it until it passes inspection. Driving without valid registration or inspection can result in fines up to $250 plus court fees and impoundment fees if pulled over by law enforcement. Additionally, the owner may be required to pay a $1,000 fine for operating an unregistered vehicle.

Failing an Inspection and Not Repairing Within a Timeframe

After failing an inspection, the owner has 15 days to make repairs and have their vehicle re-inspected. If the owner fails to do so, they may be subject to additional fines and penalties.

Appealing the Results of a Car Inspection in Texas

If a vehicle fails an inspection and the owner believes that it was wrongly failed, they have the right to appeal the results. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the failed inspection and must be accompanied by proof of attempted repairs at an approved facility.

Duration of Completing a Car Inspection in Houston, TX

The duration of completing a car inspection in Houston varies depending on factors such as wait times at inspection stations and any necessary repairs. On average, inspections take around 30 minutes to complete.

Availability of Auto Repair Shops Offering Car Inspections in Texas

Auto repair shops offering car inspections can be found throughout Texas. It is recommended that vehicle owners research different shops and read reviews before choosing one for their inspection needs.

Benefits of Regular Exercise

Mental Health

Regular exercise has been shown to have numerous benefits for mental health. It can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve mood, and increase self-esteem. This is because exercise releases endorphins, which are natural feel-good chemicals in the brain. Additionally, exercise can provide a sense of accomplishment and control over one’s body and health, leading to improved overall well-being.


– Try incorporating different types of exercise into your routine, such as yoga or dance classes, to keep things interesting
– Set achievable goals for yourself and celebrate when you reach them
– Find a workout buddy or join a group fitness class for added motivation and social support

Physical Health

In addition to its mental health benefits, regular exercise also has numerous physical health benefits. It can help improve cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart and reducing the risk of heart disease. Exercise can also help maintain a healthy weight by burning calories and increasing muscle mass. Additionally, it can improve flexibility, balance, and coordination.


– Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week
– Incorporate strength training exercises at least twice a week to build muscle mass
– Make sure to warm up before exercising and cool down afterwards to prevent injury

Sleep Quality

Regular exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality in both adults and children. This is because exercise helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm (the internal clock that regulates sleep-wake cycles) and reduces stress levels. Improved sleep quality can lead to increased energy levels during the day and improved overall health.


– Try exercising earlier in the day rather than right before bed
– Avoid stimulating activities (such as using electronic devices) before bed
– Create a relaxing bedtime routine to help prepare your body for sleep

In conclusion, car owners in Houston, TX should be aware of the car inspection laws in Texas, which require regular inspections to ensure vehicle safety and compliance with state regulations. Failure to comply can result in fines and penalties.

What is the law on state inspections in Texas?

Is your vehicle required to be emissions tested? All Texas registered vehicles are required to receive an annual inspection. All inspections include a comprehensive safety inspection; however, some vehicles are required to have an emissions test in addition to the safety inspection.

Does Houston have car inspections?

We know that to legally operate a vehicle on the roads and highways of Texas, it must pass mandatory vehicle inspections in Houston.

What do you need for car inspection near Houston TX?

To get your vehicle inspected, you need to bring a valid photo ID and proof of current auto insurance. Most inspection stations will accept both Texas and out-of-state IDs. Make sure you have these documents with you at the time of the inspection.

What fails inspections in Texas?

There are several common reasons why a vehicle may fail a Texas state inspection, including windshield wipers that are damaged or not working, service or check engine lights being illuminated, headlights or tail lights that are damaged or burnt out, and issues with the parking brake.

Is Texas getting rid of inspection?

The Texas Senate Transportation Committee has declined a proposal to get rid of the state’s vehicle safety inspection program, as of March 31, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

Does Houston Texas require emissions testing?

In Texas, every vehicle must undergo an annual inspection that includes a thorough safety check. Gas-powered vehicles between the ages of 2 and 24 years old, or those with an expired two-year inspection sticker, must also undergo an emissions test during their state inspection.

Schedule a Free Consultation