• By: Graham Sutliff
  • Published: February 2022

If you drive a car in Houston, it is essential to understand Texas’ car inspection laws. Keeping your car inspection up to date not only keeps you from being pulled over but also protects you and the other drivers on the road from accidents. Drivers with an expired inspection cause many accidents each year. Learning the laws surrounding state inspections can help you stay safe and prevent car accidents.

If you have been hit by a car with an expired state inspection, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced car accident lawyer. A lawyer can help ensure you receive a fair settlement for any expenses related to the accident.

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How to Get Your Car Inspected In Texas

In Texas, you must get your car inspected for safety every year. Having an up-to-date inspection is also required for renewing your vehicle’s registration. If you are new to the Lone Star State, you have 30 days from your move date to get your vehicle inspected and registered in Texas. Texas does not accept out-of-state inspections or registrations.

To get your car inspected, you can take it to any Texas Department of Safety (DPS) approved location. Many centers advertise that they provide state inspections on-site and online. To find an approved vehicle inspection location near you, visit the DPS website.

When you get your car inspected, it is essential to bring the following documents with you:

  • A Photo ID: Make sure you have a current and valid photo ID when you get your car inspected. Both in-state and out-of-state IDs are acceptable.
  • Valid Proof of Insurance: To get a state inspection, you must provide proof of insurance. Texas only accepts in-state inspections, so it is important to update your policy if you are new to the state.

If you do not have these documents, the inspector is legally required to turn you away.

What is Tested at Texas State Vehicle Inspection?

State inspections tend to take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes and test the following items:

  • Car horn
  • Windshield wipers
  • Car mirrors
  • Steering function
  • Seat belts
  • Braking system
  • Car tires
  • Wheel assembly
  • Exhaust system and emissions
  • Headlights
  • Tail lights
  • Rear red light reflectors
  • License plate lamp
  • Beam indicators
  • Turn signals
  • VIN number
  • Window tint
  • Gas cap

When you pass your inspection, your results are uploaded to the state’s system, and you receive a paper copy for your records. After you pass your inspection, you can renew your registration online or at your county tax office.

Common Reasons to Fail a Texas State Vehicle Inspection

Passing a state inspection is not guaranteed, even if you passed last year. There are several reasons a car might fail inspection. Here are a few of the most common reasons:

  • Damaged or inoperable windshield wipers
  • Service or check engine lights
  • Damaged or burnt-out headlights or tail lights
  • Parking brake issues
  • Worn or bald tires
  • Extra dark window tint

Texas requires that you have any problems with your vehicle fixed within 15 days, or you might incur additional fees.

Partner with an Experienced Houston Car Accident Attorney

If you want to learn more about Texas’ car inspection laws or file a claim against a negligent driver with an expired inspection, an experienced car accident attorney can help. The personal injury lawyers at Sutliff & Stout are experts in Texas law. They are committed to making sure their clients get the compensation they deserve for their injuries and expenses. Call (713) 987-7111 or fill out our contact form today to schedule a free consultation with our highly qualified and Board-Certified attorneys.

About the Author

Graham Sutliff is a founding partner at Sutliff & Stout, Injury & Accident Law Firm. Among other awards and certifications, he is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law and has been recognized by Thomson Reuters as a Super Lawyer for the past decade. In 2019 alone, Graham recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients who were injured by others. To learn more about Graham, click here.

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