Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for Law Enforcement

   New Inspection Sticker
  1. What has changed?
    • The design has been simplified to aid in quickly identifying the expiration dates
    • Stickers are color coded by inspection type
  2. Are older stickers still valid?
    • The stickers are valid as long as the expiration dates are current
    • Stations will begin using the new stickers as they deplete their stock of older stickers
  3. Where can I see all of the currently valid inspection stickers?
    • Law enforcement can request a poster showing all currently valid inspection stickers
    • Submit an email from your agency email account to:
      1. Subject line: Poster Request
      2. Include:
        1. Name
        2. Department or Agency name
        3. Business Address
        4. Phone Number
        5. Number of posters needed

General Inspection Questions

   Inspection Grace Period

There is a five (5) day grace period for motorists to get their inspection sticker. An inspection certificate expires on the last day of the month that is indicated on the windshield. Therefore, you have until the 5th day of the following month to have your car inspected.

   Free inspection re-tests

Do I have to pay to get my car re-inspected, if it fails the inspection?

NO. Should your vehicle fail the inspection, have the item(s) repaired and take it back to the inspection station that originally performed the inspection within 15 days for a free re-test. If you choose not to take it back to the station that originally performed the inspection or should you present the vehicle after the 15 days, then your vehicle is no longer eligible for the free re-test.

   Inspection Sticker Replacements

Have you accidently scraped off the wrong sticker from your windshield?

If your vehicle is registered in one of the emissions counties and you require an emissions sticker replacement you can obtain a replacement, for a reduced fee, from one of our DPS challenge/waiver stations. Give them a call to make an appointment and to obtain further details on obtaining your replacement.

If your vehicle is not registered in one of the emissions counties, then you will have to get the vehicle reinspected at one of the local inspection stations in your area. Currently, there are no replacement procedures for non-emissions county motorists.

Note: Due to the increased inspection fee in emissions counties (up to $39.75 for the test as opposed to $14.50 in non-emissions counties) a replacement process was developed to reduce the financial burden on motorists. Replacement stickers are only valid for the remainder of time left on the old sticker.

   2 Yr Stickers

There is a two-year initial inspection period for passenger cars or light trucks meeting the following criteria:

  1. sold in this state;
  2. has not been previously registered in this or another state;  and
  3. on the date of sale is of the current or preceding model year.

Reference Transportation Code §548.102.

Inspection Station/Inspector Related Questions

   Complaints against station/inspector

If you have a complaint concerning an inspection station please use our secure web form to contact DPS. Be sure to have inspection station information, such as station name, station id (if possible) and inspector. All complaints must be submitted in writing.

General Vehicle/Driving Related Questions (Non-Inspection Related)

   National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA)

Contact NHTSA for federal regulations pertaining to recalls, air bags, vehicle importation & certification, safety defects, child safety seats and other hot topics.

   Odometer Rollbacks

Odometer tampering complaints should be addressed to the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division.

   Report a smoking vehicle

Who should I contact to report a smoking vehicle?
To report a smoking vehicle visit the Smoking Vehicle Program at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or call toll free 1-800-453-SMOG 7664).

   Dismissal of Charge

View Transportation Code
View Sec. 548.605. Dismissal of Charge; Administrative Fee

   License Plates

How many license plates am I required to display?
State law requires vehicle owners to display two license plates, one at the exterior front and one at the exterior rear of the vehicle. Plates must be securely fastened in the horizontal position of not less than 12 inches from the ground, measuring from the bottom. Texas Administration Code, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, 217.22

* This guidance is referenced in Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) requirements to properly display the registration certificate. DPS does not inspect the license plate itself, but instead inspects the license plate lamp. View DPS Rules/Regulation Inspection Criteria

Operation of a vehicle without registration insignia is an offense. Additional information on offense and compliance is specified in the Texas Transportation Code, 502.473.