Beginning March 1, 2016, you will have 90 days to complete the Two Steps. In order to renew on time, your vehicle must pass inspection no earlier than 90 days before your registration expires.
How It Works: Do the Two Step
Ready for “Two Steps, One Sticker?” Follow the moves:
Step 1: Pass a vehicle inspection within 90 days of your registration expiration and keep your Vehicle Inspection Report. To find your nearest inspection station, please visit the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) website.
Step 2: After your vehicle passes inspection, renew your registration online, by mail or in person, and your inspection status will be verified electronically.
While “Two Steps, One Sticker” brings a welcome change to your windshield, it does not impact your wallet. Your inspection fee is the same, but you pay it in two steps:
The inspection station’s portion of the fee is due at the time of inspection.
The state’s portion of the fee is collected at the time of registration. The state’s portion of the inspection fees are line-itemed on your registration renewal notice.
Inspection Type Counties State Portion One-Year Safety Counties except the emission counties listed below and vehicles 25 years and older $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 (TSI/OBD) El Paso $8.25 Safety Emissions (TSI/OBD) Travis, Williamson $10.25 Emission (ASM) 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 (OBD) 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 El Paso $2.75 Emission-Test Only Travis, Williamson $4.75 Emission-Test Only Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant $2.75 Emission-Test Only (OBD) for vehicles model-year 1996 and newer $8.75
Registration Renewal Process
Here’s a more detailed overview of how renewing your vehicle’s registration works.
Before issuing your registration renewal notice, TxDMV checks the state inspection database for your last inspection. If your inspection record cannot be found or is failing, you will not receive a registration renewal notice. Instead, TxDMV will send you an Inspection and Registration Notice informing you that a passing record could not be located.
Here is more information about how to renew your registration:
If you have a passing inspection in the inspection database, you can complete your renewal online and your new registration sticker will be mailed to you.
If you do not have a passing inspection in the inspection 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 office and present your Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) to complete your renewal.
- By Mail
If you have a passing inspection in the inspection database, include a copy of your VIR with your registration renewal notice and your local county tax office will process your renewal. Your new registration sticker will be mailed to you.
If you DO NOT have a passing inspection, your renewal will not be processed. Your county will request that you provide verification of inspection.
If you have a passing inspection in the inspection database, the clerk will proceed with your renewal. Inspection will be verified electronically at the time of renewal.
Most inspection records are 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 passing VIR you received from the inspection station to the county at the time of renewal. If you need to show proof of inspection to complete your vehicle’s registration renewal, visit www.mytxcar.org to download, display electronically, or print a copy of the document. 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 determines 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 tax office to complete your renewal.
Need Proof of Inspection?
If you need to show proof of inspection to complete your vehicle’s registration, visit www.mytxcar.org to download, display electronically, or print a copy of the document.
Out of State Motorists
If your vehicle is currently out of state and you are unable to complete a Texas vehicle inspection in order to renew your registration, you may self-certify that the vehicle is out of state and will be permitted to register online, by mail, or in person.
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 be removed only upon payment of the state’s portion of the inspection fee and verification of inspection at your county tax office.
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 are 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 office. A ‘VERIFY INSPECTION’ remark will be placed on the motor vehicle record for failure to pass a Texas inspection and pay the state portion of the inspection fee to your local county tax office. This remark can result in law enforcement citation.
New Texas Residents
Your vehicle must be inspected and registered within 30 days after you move to Texas. The state’s portion of the inspection fee is due at the time of registration. For more information on new resident registration requirements, please visit the TxDMV website.
Title Transfer and Private Vehicle Sales
If you purchase a used vehicle via private party sale, the vehicle must have a passing vehicle inspection before it can be titled and registered. The state’s portion of the inspection fee is due at the time of registration.
Trailer Inspection Requirements
Certain trailers require a passing inspection prior to registration. If your trailer has a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) that is more than 7,500 pounds, an inspection is required. This includes trailers, semitrailers, boat trailers, pole trailers, mobile homes, travel trailers. Note: Farm trailers displaying a farm license plate are not required to be inspected. If you are unsure about the gross vehicle weight of your trailer, check your registration receipt for the weight. For more information about the specific inspection requirements, please visit the DPS website or contact your nearest DPS regional headquarters.
Vehicles Exempt from Inspection Requirements
If your vehicle does not currently require an annual inspection, it does not require an inspection for purposes of registration now that the program has gone into effect. For information regarding whether your vehicle is subject to state inspection requirements, please visit the DPS website or contact your nearest DPS regional headquarters.