Those desiring to make application for an Official Vehicle Inspection Station should notify Vehicle Inspection personnel, any regional Department of Public Safety office, or the headquarters office in Austin.
Vehicle Inspection personnel, with all necessary forms, will call at the place of business of the applicant for a personal inspection of the premises, personnel and equipment to determine the ability of the applicant to conduct inspections in accordance with the provisions of the Transportation Code. If application is approved, applicant will be notified and upon receipt of a fee of $30 which shall constitute the certificate fee until August 31 of the odd-numbered year following the date of appointment as an Official Vehicle Inspection Station, a Certificate of Appointment will be issued to the applicant. Thereafter, appointments will be made for two-year periods, and the certificate fee for each such period will be $30. All fees shall be submitted by either check, cashier’s check or money order, which shall be made payable to the Texas Department of Public Safety. An inspector employed only at a governmental station is exempt from the fee.
Applicant shall be informed of the required equipment including such items as approved testing devices, tools, measuring devices, display area, brake machines, marked brake test area, and approved inspection test area. Applicant shall be advised not to purchase any testing equipment until notified by the Department representative that all minimum requirements are in compliance with Department rules and regulations.
An applicant for an Official Vehicle Inspection Station must meet the space, equipment, and manpower requirements as prescribed for the class of vehicle inspection station, and must have a certified inspector in his employ. Applications for Official Vehicle Inspection Stations shall not be considered unless the vehicle inspection station is open for inspections at least eight (8) consecutive hours (excluding the lunch hour) of each approved business day, a minimum of 40 hours per week, and able to perform inspections 12 months throughout the year, except during illness of limited duration or normal vacation. Additional hours of inspection are permitted. Hours of inspection must be approved by supervising Department representative. All appointments are provisional, and are conditioned on a proper conduct of inspection and compliance with Department rules and regulations. Inspections by appointment only are not permitted. The Department may require an applicant for appointment as an Official Vehicle Inspection Station to furnish evidence of sound business practices. Financial instability can be a cause for disapproval.
Application forms necessary for certification as an Official Vehicle Inspection Station must be properly completed, signed, and submitted with all other necessary forms and fees to the Department. If the application is approved, on initial investigation, the applicant will be advised to proceed with the installation of testing equipment. After such installation, the Department will inspect the equipment for approval. The Department will conduct an investigation of each applicant to determine full compliance with the Official Vehicle Inspection Station rules and regulations, which may include the complete character check of the owner or operators. Every person licensed to operate an Official Vehicle Inspection Station shall be of good reputation, character, and moral conduct.
In accordance with the Texas Transportation Code, the Department of Public Safety may deny an application for certification or revoke or suspend an outstanding certificate of any inspection station or the certificate to inspect vehicles of any person who has been convicted of: (1) a felony or Class A or B misdemeanor; (2) a similar crime under the jurisdiction of another state or the federal government that is punishable to the same extent as a felony or Class A or Class B misdemeanor; or (3) a crime under the jurisdiction of another state or the federal government that would be a felony or Class A or Class B misdemeanor if the crime were committed in this state.
The Department has determined a certified inspection station and certified vehicle inspector is in a position of trust, performing a service to members of the public where the Transportation Code, Chapter 548, requires the public to report for vehicle inspection. Therefore, the department has determined the following crimes relate directly to the duties and responsibilities of a certified vehicle inspector and/or those for whom this section is applicable as detailed in subsection (b) of this section. Those crimes include:
As an authorized owner or operator of an Official Vehicle Inspection Station, you are responsible to the Department for the proper operation of the Official Vehicle Inspection Station. An owner or operator will recognize and acknowledge their responsibility to the public to offer a good, complete and thorough inspection, according to the rules and regulations.
Based upon the application and results of investigations made, each applicant will be approved or disapproved for appointment. Each applicant approved, will be issued a Certificate of Appointment. Such Certificate of Appointment shall be for the place of business set forth in the application. The Certificate of Appointment shall not be assignable and shall be valid only for the owner or owners in whose name or names they are issued and for transaction of business only at the place designated thereon.
No business will be approved as an Official Vehicle Inspection Station until all certification requirements have been met. Inspection area must be designated and approved by the supervising Department representative. Businesses meeting all qualifications will be required to complete an application, signature cards, and furnish the appointment fee. The applicant will be notified of appointment as an Official Vehicle Inspection Station and a Certificate of Appointment will be issued to the applicant after the necessary forms have been completed and approved.
A Certificate of Appointment will not be issued for the operation of an Official Vehicle Inspection Station until an investigation has been made by the Department to assure that it has the proper facilities, required equipment, and is properly qualified or has properly qualified personnel to accomplish satisfactory inspections. Companies and governmental agencies who have their own garages and repair facilities may apply for an Official Vehicle Inspection Station Certificate of Appointment provided such facilities, equipment, and personnel meet the requirements set forth in these rules and regulations.
The application shall be signed by the owner, if a natural person, and in the case where the owner is a corporation, co-partnership or association, by an executive officer thereof or some other person specifically authorized by said corporation to sign the application to which shall be attached written evidence of their authority. Proof of ownership may be required of applicant.
When all certification requirements have been met the supervising Department representative will issue and explain the use of all supplies and forms necessary for the operation as an Official Vehicle Inspection Station.
In accepting your appointment as an Official Vehicle Inspection Station, you accept the responsibility to properly inspect all vehicles submitted for inspection and to serve the citizens efficiently. This will be the standard used by the Department in supervising your conduct as an Official Vehicle Inspection Station. Any Official Vehicle Inspection Station which fails to maintain this standard in dealing with the public cannot be allowed to continue as an Official Vehicle Inspection Station. The procedures outlined herein should be carefully studied and frequently reviewed by your entire organization. If the inspection program is to be effective, you must be thoroughly familiar with and follow all of the provisions as outlined. If your appointment is subsequently withdrawn, it is because you and your employees have failed to follow the instructions contained in this Rules and Regulations Manual.
Instructions for the renewal process will be provided well in advance of August 31 of the odd-numbered year when the station’s Certificate of Appointment is due to expire.
The following six (6) endorsements will be used in conjunction with the three (3) classes of Official Inspection Stations to further identify the types of inspection certificates to be issued by each Official Inspection Station.
Upon being appointed as an Official Vehicle Inspection Station, you as the inspection station owner or operator, will be deemed to have accepted the following obligations and responsibilities. The person signing the inspection station application form is obligated, upon being certified, to comply with the following responsibilities:
A second incident involving a purchase of inspection certificates resulting in the check being returned for insufficient funds may again result in the suspension or revocation of the station’s Certificate of Appointment until the check(s) have been cleared. If the station recertifies, inspection certificate purchases will only be allowed by cashier’s check or money order for a minimum of 18 months.
A third incident involving a purchase of inspection certificates resulting in the check being returned for insufficient funds may also result in the suspension or revocation of the station’s Certificate of Appointment until the check(s) have been cleared. If the station recertifies, inspection certificates will only be allowed by cashier’s check or money order for an indefinite period of time.
NOTE: Failure to comply with any of the above-listed responsibilities may result in suspension of the Certificate of Appointment.
a. The building must be a sound structure, in good repair, to qualify as an official Vehicle Inspection Station. The building must be a permanent type building with at least two permanent walls and a permanent roof. The inspection area must be located entirely within or adjacent to the building and in an area approved by the Department. Temporary expedients such as tents, arbors, or sheds are not acceptable. (For stations with trailer endorsements, see specific requirements.)
b. Every inspection station shall have an inspection area within the station, set aside and approved for conducting the inspection of vehicles. When an inspection station desires to have more than one inspection area, the space requirements for each lane must be met. (For stations with trailer endorsements, see specific requirements.)
c. At least one approved inspection area containing all the required equipment is to be available during approved business hours for the purpose of inspection during the entire calendar year.
d. Inspection area is defined as the designated space approved for inspection purposes. Approval cannot be granted, nor permitted to continue, unless full compliance of the minimum inspection station requirements is maintained.
e. The inspection lane area shall be sufficiently lighted to afford good visibility for performing all inspection procedures.
f. The entire floor of the approved inspection area of the building shall be hard surfaced. (See floor material requirements under specific requirements.)
g. The inspection area must be kept clean at all times. The business location will be routinely checked to see that
it is as clean and orderly as could be reasonably expected.
h. Lifts, pits, and runners are permissible if all other requirements are met.
i. The inspection area must be free of any obstructions that will interfere with inspections. Work benches, storage cabinets, or tools may be allowed if sufficient space to conduct inspection is not affected.
j. An approved inspection area will be maintained at all times during inspection periods so that vehicles may be inspected without unreasonable delay.
2. Specific Requirements
a. Public, Fleet, and Governmental Classes of Inspection Stations
1) The inspection area shall include: an area of 12 feet by 24 feet of minimum space. The inspection area must be in an area approved by the Department.
2) Floors: The entire floor must be hard surfaced, such as concrete. Dirt, gravel, wood, or hot mix floors are not acceptable.
3) Governmental inspection stations shall meet all of the requirements as prescribed for a public inspection station.
4) Fleet inspection stations shall meet all the requirements as prescribed for a public inspection station. Fleet inspection stations may only inspect vehicles owned by the company or under bona fide lease to the company or vehicles that are covered under a current service contract with the company.
5) Fleet and governmental inspection stations are not permitted to inspect the personal vehicles of officers, employees, or the general public. This applies even though personal vehicles may be used part- or full-time for business.
6) Inspection stations will not be approved where free access to the inspection station grounds is not granted to representatives of the Department.
7) Firms open to the public will not be issued a fleet inspection station Certificate of Appointment except in instances where such firms are currently certified as a public inspection station and desire a fleet inspection station Certificate of Appointment.
b. Trailer Endorsement Inspection Stations
1) The building must be of a permanent type suitable for display area, tools, and storage for records and necessary supplies.
2) Inspection area may be of any hard surfacing material.
3) Inspection stations with trailer endorsements must have a towing vehicle capable of handling the type vehicle being inspected.
4) Vehicle inspection stations with trailer endorsements must have 1/4-inch round hole paper punch for punching trailer inspection certificates.
c. Motorcycle Endorsement Inspection Stations
1) The inspection area shall include: an area of 8 feet by 10 feet of minimum space.
2) Vehicle inspection stations with motorcycle endorsements must have a 1/4-inch round hole paper punch for punching motorcycle inspection certificates.
3) Floors: The entire floor of the approved inspection area of the building must be hard surfaced, such as concrete. Dirt, gravel, wood, or hot mix floors are not acceptable.
d. Commercial Windshield and Commercial Trailer Endorsement Inspection Stations. Stations issuing commercial certificates in addition to meeting requirements for their class of inspection station are required to have a 1/4-inch round hole punch for punching commercial inspection certificates.
a. The minimum amount of tools, equipment, approved testing devices, and current Rules and Regulations Manual must be kept and maintained in proper condition at all times in the inspection station area defined herein.
b. In the event machines or equipment are utilized in the performance of the inspection procedure, the inspection station owner or operator shall have the responsibility for the use, accuracy, and general maintenance of all equipment. Whenever adjustments and/or calibrations are needed to assure the accuracy and performance of such equipment, the Department’s specifications and recommendations will be followed. Under no circumstances can equipment be used for the purpose of inspecting vehicles when the known method of calibration or adjustment necessary for the maintenance of such equipment is not available and in constant use at the inspection station. Any known deficiency in such equipment shall be corrected immediately. Any defective equipment will not be used until and unless such deficiencies are corrected and then approved by the supervising Department representative.
c. All testing equipment used at an inspection station must have been approved for such use by the Department. All testing equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with the Department’s recommendation. To ensure proper functioning, equipment shall be checked and calibrated frequently and shall be properly maintained. Inspections may not be conducted when any required testing device is malfunctioning until the device has been repaired and subsequently approved for use by the Department. Equipment shall be arranged and located at or near the approved inspection area to obtain maximum efficiency.
d. Every certified inspector shall have a working knowledge of all testing devices used in the performance of an inspection in their inspection station. It is also necessary that the certified inspector know the procedure for setting, calibrating, and otherwise causing such equipment to be accurate and effective, according to the Department’s recommendations.
e. Each Official Vehicle Inspection Station is required to own and maintain the minimum amount of equipment, as listed below.
1) Tools and facilities for making tests, repairs, and adjustments ordinarily encountered on those types of vehicles to be inspected.
2) A brake test area which has been approved by the supervising Department representative, measured and marked as follows: 0, 25’, 30’, 40’, and 50’ OR
3) A brake decelerometer which has been approved, OR
4) A brake machine which has been approved and properly installed.
5) A measuring device(s) clearly indicating a 12-inch measurement, a 15-inch measurement, a 20-inch measurement, a 24-inch measurement, a 54-inch measurement, a 60-inch measurement, a 72-inch measurement, and an 80-inch measurement to measure height, width of lighting, and other safety equipment.
6) A laundry marking pen or permanent ink pen for completing out-of-state vehicle identification certificates and the reverse side of the safety inspection certificate.
7) A glass or acrylic faced frame the size of the Certificate of Appointment.
8) A scraping device for removing the old inspection certificate.
9) A gauge for measuring tire tread depth calibrated in 32nds of an inch and designed with a metal probe.
10) A measuring device for checking brake pedal reserve clearance.
11) A Department-approved device for measuring the light transmission of sunscreening devices. This equipment requirement may not apply to government, fleet, or other types of inspection stations as determined by the Department.
12) A Department-approved device for checking gas caps. This equipment requirement may not apply to governmental, fleet, or other types of inspection stations as determined by the Department.
f. All Official Vehicle Inspection Stations equipped with approved testing devices, (decelerometers and brake machines) which manufacturers have discontinued may use them as long as they are in proper working order, capable of testing, and as long as they can continue to get service and repairs for them. When they are no longer serviceable, they must be replaced.
Every vehicle inspection station must have a designated brake test area where road tests are conducted unless a machine is used for brake tests. Any number of inspection stations may use the same area in a given town if authorized by the Department representative.
All road tests for braking efficiency shall be made only at a measured, marked, and approved brake test area. The area shall be substantially level (not to exceed plus or minus 1% grade), smooth, hard surfaced, and free of loose material, oil, or grease. The area must be designated by painted lines, stakes or other devices noting where the brakes are to be applied; 25 feet forward from this beginning designation, there should be another marker; 5 feet further from the second marker (at 30 feet) there should be a third marker; 10 feet further from the third marker (at 40 feet) there should be a fourth marker. Those inspection stations that inspect large truck-trailer combinations will be required to have an additional line or marker, 50 feet.
It is the responsibility of the inspection station owner or operator to secure an acceptable area and maintain the painted lines, stakes, or other devices indicating the brake test area. In some instances, all of the above-mentioned lines or markers will not be necessary. You should consult the Department representative supervising your inspection station as to the number required.
The brake test area and location must be marked and maintained by the inspection station.
The area and location must be approved by the Department representative supervising the station. Any change in the location or additions to the brake test area must be approved by the supervising Department representative.
2. Trailers, semitrailers, mobile homes, motor homes, and vehicles which are too large for standardized inspection bays need not be inspected within the inspection building. However, these types of vehicles must be inspected near the inspection building in a space approved by the supervising Department representative.
3. Official Vehicle Inspection Stations must be kept clean and all vehicles must remain in the approved inspection area during the entire inspection, except for road testing purposes.
4. A modification of building which changes length or width to less than required will be cause for cancellation of the station’s Certificate of Appointment.
5. Inspection stations shall be ready to conduct inspections during approved business hours at any time during the year. This means that the floor area used for inspection must be kept clean and clear of obstructions, and all necessary equipment in place and ready for use.
6. All required testing equipment will be grouped or displayed at the approved inspection area at all times unless in use.
7. Each Official Vehicle Inspection Station shall display in a conspicuous place such Certificate of Appointment, procedure chart, posters, or other informational material as directed by the Department.
8. The inspection lane shall be free from mechanical repair work for the purpose of vehicle inspection. No major repair shall be performed in this area during approved work hours when inspections are to be performed. Minor repair jobs performed in this lane must be of such a nature that the vehicle undergoing such repair can be easily moved out of the area for the purpose of inspection of another vehicle.
9. Official Vehicle Inspection Stations shall not refuse to inspect any vehicle, for which an endorsement is held, that is presented for inspection, if the vehicle is of the type autho-
rized to be inspected at an Official Vehicle Inspection Station, provided the necessary tools and equipment needed to complete that inspection are available.
10. When refusing to inspect for a justified cause, it is a good practice to know and refer the customer to another convenient station that is qualified to serve the customer.
NOTE: The station Certificate of Appointment and procedure chart may be displayed in the customer waiting area, as approved by the supervising Department representative.
1. In order to meet the minimum requirements for vehicle inspection stations in Texas, every Official Vehicle Inspection Station, except fleet and governmental inspection stations, is required to display, at all times during the official life of the station, the Official Vehicle Inspection Station sign.
2. The official sign that is displayed designating your establishment as an Official Vehicle Inspection Station must reflect credit upon your place of business and the state of Texas.
3. The sign and replacements are provided by the state at no cost to the station and shall always remain the property of the
Department as a means of identification of the Official Vehicle Inspection Station.
4. Only one official sign will be displayed at any public inspection station, but dissimilar signs may be displayed. Replications of the official sign may not include the State Seal of Texas. The supervising Department representative will issue only one sign per public inspection station license issued.
5. Signs will be displayed from the inspection station building facing the street, preferably in the open to provide maximum visibility.
6. Signs will be firmly and solidly mounted on the wall or framework of the station with no sign edge overhang and in a location designated by the supervising Department representative.
7. The sign will ordinarily be displayed at or near the service entrance or inspection area entrance to the building. When displayed, the sign will cover no part of any other sign or advertisement nor will any other sign or advertisement cover any portion of the Official Vehicle Inspection Station sign.
8. The sign shall not be altered in any manner unless authorized by the Department.
9. Failure to display the Official Vehicle Inspection Station sign is grounds for inspection station suspension. The sign shall be surrendered upon demand of the Department.
Owners or operators of Official Vehicle Inspection Stations contemplating a change of location, change of name, or change of ownership must notify the supervising Department representative before such change is made to avoid delay.
Upon the effective date of any such change of location, name, or ownership, all of your inspection privileges will cease under the former name or address, and you will not be allowed to inspect vehicles under the new name or location or as a new owner until you are certified by the Department.
The Certificate of Appointment fee for any such change in location, name, or ownership will be the same as for a new inspection station application.
Whenever any Official Vehicle Inspection Station goes out of business, the owner or operator shall notify the Department representative supervising the station of this intent and immediately return all forms, certificates, sign furnished by the Department, and any other official materials relating to inspections to the Department. A final accounting of all forms and other items shall be included immediately upon termination of business.
All unused inspection certificates must be returned or accounted for to the Department of Public Safety. When an inspection station goes out of business or its inspection privileges are revoked, a refund for the unused certificates will be issued as soon as is practicable.
The count of the Department for returned certificates shall be accepted as final. An Official Vehicle Inspection Station must account for all inspection certificates issued and received.
Failure to comply with the above requirement would be grounds for denial of future applications.
Any inspection station whose Certificate of Appointment is suspended or revoked shall return all unused inspection certificates and supplies to the Department and no such inspection station shall inspect vehicles while its Certificate of Appointment is suspended or revoked. All inspection certificates and supplies furnished by the Department are to be surrendered to the Department in the event an inspection station terminates its business or upon the suspension or revocation of the Certificate of Appointment. The Department will refund such inspection station for its cost of certificates returned.
After expiration of suspension in which the Certificate of Appointment has expired, a vehicle inspection station owner desiring reinstatement may request reinstatement by notifying in writing the appropriate Regional Supervisor. Station must meet minimum requirements for class of station. A properly completed application and signature cards, along with the statutory Certificate of Appointment fee of $30.00, will be submitted to the supervising Department representative.
After expiration of suspension of which the Certificate of Appointment has not expired a vehicle inspection station owner desiring to reinstate may request reinstatement by notifying in writing the appropriate Regional Supervisor. Station must meet mini-mum requirements for class of station. A properly completed application and signature cards will be submitted to the supervising Department representative. No Certificate of Appointment fee is required.
Unless all inspection certificates issued to an inspection station are accounted for, a Certificate of Appointment will not be reinstated at the end of the suspension period and the inspection station owner or operator who discontinued as an inspection station will, upon application be denied another Certificate of Appointment.
No person may apply for certification as a vehicle inspection station after denial or revocation by the Director of the Department of Public Safety of an application until such time as the applicant complies with all requirements for certification.
A change of ownership or lease to another person during a suspension period will require the new owner or lessee to complete an application for certification. All procedures for a new application including all forms and an investigation will be required.
The lease of the building and/or inspection bay will in addition require:
1. A copy of the lease agreement must be on file with the county clerk.
2. A certified copy of the lease agreement submitted with the application for appointment as an Official Inspection Station.
3. A suspended, revoked, or denied owner/operator may not supervise the inspection of any vehicle nor otherwise participate in the inspection of any vehicle.
4. A station’s Certificate of Appointment and the Certificate of Appointment of a lessee or an inspector will be subject to suspension if the lessee or inspector knowingly allows a suspended owner/operator to supervise the operation of the certified vehicle inspection station, inspectors, or inspections performed at the leased location or otherwise participates in the inspection of any vehicle.
All bona fide complaints received by the Department about any inspection station shall be investigated for the purpose of determining whether there has been a violation of the Transportation Code or regulations.
Appropriate action will be taken when it appears from any investigation that the Transportation Code or any regulation included herein has been violated by an inspection station or its agents or employees.
Any owner of an Official Vehicle Inspection Station, agent, servant, or employee violates any provision of the Transportation Code or requires the repair of any equipment other than that equipment required to be inspected, upon conviction, shall be subject to a fine.
The Transportation Code states that it is a violation of the law or Rules and Regulations to commit any of the following acts:
1. Issuing an inspection certificate with knowledge that the issuance is in violation of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter.
2. Falsely or fraudulently representing to the owner or operator of a vehicle that equipment inspected or required to be inspected must be repaired, adjusted, or replaced for the vehicle to pass an inspection.
a. material information in an application in violation of Section 548.402 or 548.403; or
b. information filed with the department under this chapter or as required by department rule;
4. Issuing an inspection certificate:
a. without authorization to issue the certificate; or
b. without inspecting the vehicle;
5. Issuing an inspection certificate for a vehicle with knowledge that the vehicle has not been repaired, adjusted, or corrected after an inspection has shown a repair, adjustment, or correction to be necessary;
6. Knowingly issuing an inspection certificate:
a. for a vehicle without conducting an inspection of each item required to be inspected; or
b. for a vehicle that is missing an item required to be inspected or that has an item required to be inspected that is not in compliance with state law or department rules;
7. Refusing to allow a vehicle’s owner to have a qualified person of the owner’s choice make a required repair, adjustment or correction;
8. Charging for an inspection an amount greater than the authorized fee; or
9. Performing an act prohibited by or fails to perform an act required by this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.
Unless otherwise prescribed by law, the offense is a Class C misdemeanor. A designated representative of the department may issue a notice of an offense or a notice to appear to a person, including an inspector or inspection station, who violates this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.