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How Long Is an Inspection Good for in Texas?

  • Safety Tips
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 5 minutes

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 For how long is an inspection good in Texas? What happens during this scrutiny? What is the right time for an inspection? How often should you repeat the process? There’s much to know about your car inspection before booking your slots. 

A Texas car inspection aims to ensure you are safe while driving on busy streets and that your car has been inspected regularly. Here’s everything you should know about the inspection, so you’re all set for the procedure. 

When should you go for a car inspection in Texas? 

Make sure that you go for your car inspection in Texas within 90 days (about 3 months) of registration. Hence, ensure you complete the documentation process, like getting your VIN, license plate, and other proofs ready, before inspecting. 

car inspection good for in Texas

What documents do you need to carry for a car inspection in Texas? 

Here are the mandatory documents you need to carry during your car inspection in Texas: 

  • A photo ID: Make sure to carry a photo ID to prove your identity for inspection. 
  • Proof of insurance: One of the most important documents you must remember to carry while driving, especially during your car inspection in Texas, is your insurance. Your insurance documents keep you and your car safe at all times. 
  • Necessary payment: Your inspection starts only once you make the payments. You can pay for the inspection in cash or by card. 

Hence, remember to have these documents ready the day before your car inspection. In addition, go for car maintenance a few days before your inspection, and replace all the faulty parts. 

What is the process of car inspection in Texas? 

Now that you have all the documents in hand, here’s the process you’ll have to follow during a car inspection in Texas: 

First, find the vehicle inspection station closest to you and schedule a car inspection. Then, you’ll have to pay the inspection fee in cash or by card. You can get the process done in about 15 to 30 minutes. Once the process ends, you’ll get the inspection report, which will tell you if your car is good to drive or if there are any issues you’ll need to investigate.  

The examiners check the quality of the following parts during the inspection: 

  • License plates 
  • VIN 
  • Headlights 
  • Tail-lights 
  • Signal lights 
  • Mirrors 
  • Seat belts 
  • Braking system 
  • Airbags 
  • Wipers 
  • Horns 
  • Tires 
  • Exhausts 
  • Window tints 
  • Fuel and gas pipes 

Since you know the checklist, keep these parts ready and replace the faulty ones immediately to escape the penalties. 

Similarly, you’ll have to pass the emission test, which costs about $15 to $30. If you fail the test, you can reappear once more. However, the third time you fail, the DMV nullifies your registration or renewal documents, meaning you’ll have to go through the entire process again, starting with the registration. 

How much does a Texas car inspection cost? 

A car inspection in Texas can cost you anywhere from $7 to $21 (approximately), depending on your county. These charges may vary if your car is inspected for any issues. Your car inspection charges also differ by the kind of inspection you choose. 

Here are the inspection costs you must bear: 

Inspection Type 



For one year 

To check if the car meets safety standards 


For two years 

Ensures the car is safe to drive in the long run 


Commercial vehicles 

Verifies if the vehicle meets the safety needs 



Confirms the safety standards  



For safety purpose 


Safety emissions 

To confirm that the car doesn’t emit harmful pollutants 


Emission-only vehicles 

To make sure that the car isn’t harmful to other vehicles on the road 


 How do I go for a Texas car inspection out-of-state? 

For a Texas car inspection out-of-state, you can declare that the car is out-of-state and complete the process. You can self-certify if you’re a: 

  • Military member 
  • Student 
  • Veteran 
  • Elected members of the House 

You may undergo the process via mail if you fall under the above category. All you need to do is send a letter to the Texas DMV stating that you’re out of state during the process mentioning a valid reason. However, if you’re returning to the state, you must finish the inspection within three days. Again, it takes about 48 hours (about 2 days) to complete the process and get your vehicle inspection report. 

What makes you fail a Texas car inspection? 

Faulty car parts are the main reason you may fail your Texas car inspection. If you fail the test, you must replace the parts immediately and return them for a retest in about 15 to 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks). And if you fail again, you must reappear in 20 days (about 3 weeks). If you do not meet the necessary parameters even for the third time, you’ll have to pay the reinspection fees. 

What happens if you don’t go for a car inspection in Texas? 

If you don’t go for a car inspection in Texas, you may have to restrict your drive between home and a repair center. In other words, you can drive short distances from home and to the mechanic. You can also drive with a ‘rejected’ sticker for over two weeks. The longer you delay the inspection (unless you have a valid reason), you must pay a penalty of about $200 to $500. 

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