Chapter 3 - Station Operation
   03.05.00 Inspection Fees

The maximum inspection fees charged for all vehicles are set by statute. All required inspection items shall be inspected and no more than the statutory fee may be charged.

The inspection fee is chargeable at the time of the original inspection whether the vehicle is approved or disapproved. Every inspection shall be completed before a vehicle is approved or rejected.

The inspection fee may be included in combination with other services or products not related to any item of inspection. Under no circumstances shall an inspection station require purchase or payment for these additional services or products as prerequisite in obtaining an inspection of a vehicle.

The inspection fee may be advertised in conjunction with other products or services not related to any item of inspection. All advertisements of the inspection fee in conjunction or in combination with non-related services or products must clearly state that the purchase of the services or products are not required to obtain the required inspection.

The inspection fee must be billed on work orders as a separate item.

The fee or any portion of the fee, may be waived, or payment deferred, provided advance payment for certificates issued has been made to the Department.

Fees for emissions inspection and maintenance counties will vary according to emission tests performed in that county.

   03.10.00 Safeguarding Inspection Certificates, Identification Certificates, and Number Inserts

Official Vehicle Inspection Station owners and operators are responsible for all safety inspection certificates, identification certificates, and number inserts issued to them.  Adequate facilities must be provided for the security of all certificates and number inserts.  They must be kept under lock and key at all times in a metal box or secure container.  Any missing certificate(s), whether lost or stolen or in any way unaccounted for, may be cause for revocation or suspension of the station’s Certificate of Appointment.

Upon discovery of a loss or theft of any inspection certificate(s), Official Vehicle Inspection Stations must immediately report such loss or theft to the supervising Department representative.

Reports of lost or stolen inspection certificate(s) will be investigated and if it becomes apparent that improper safeguarding was maintained, revocation or suspension of the inspection station’s Certificate of Appointment and/or court action may result.  No refund will be allowed for stolen or missing certificates.

Inspection stations cannot furnish, give, loan, or sell inspection certificates to any other inspection station.  The failure to have an adequate supply of inspection certificates on hand at an inspection station at all times during the inspection year may be cause for suspension or revocation of the inspection station’s Certificate of Appointment.

When the old inspection certificate is removed, it shall be destroyed to prevent reuse.  Inspection certificates shall not be transferred to another windshield or reissued.  They may only be affixed to the vehicle designated on the inspection station report.

   03.15.00 Issuance of Inspection Certificates

An inspection certificate shall be issued at the time of inspection for every vehicle inspected and approved. The certificates shall be issued in numerical sequence.  It is the responsibility of the certified inspector to personally place the proper number insert on the face of the windshield certificate to indicate the month and year in which the certificate will expire.

The reverse side of the windshield inspection certificate will be completed with a laundry marking pen or permanent ink pen giving the information requested and must be signed by the certified inspector making the inspection.

Facsimile signatures or initials are not acceptable.

An inspection certificate shall be voided if it is damaged so as to make it illegible, torn, or if the wrong number insert is used.  Write “VOID” across the face of the certificate and enter the number of the voided certificate on the inspection station report.  Retain the voided inspection certificate and give to the supervising Department representative.

The inspector who performs the inspection shall place the certificate on the windshield and be especially alert to see that the certificate does not interfere with the vision of the driver through the windshield or any rear-view mirror.  Certificates should not be placed on the windshield so as to interfere with the reading of the Vehicle Identification Number from the outside of the vehicle.

The windshield-type inspection certificates, to be properly valid, shall contain number inserts indicating the month and year of expiration, except the annual commercial windshield-type certificates, FMCSR, to be valid, shall have the month and year of expiration punched out.

The motorcycle-trailer and annual commercial trailer inspection certificates, to be properly valid, shall have the month and year of expiration punched out.

NOTE: A passenger car or light truck that qualifies for a two-year inspection certificate is one that is:  sold in this state; has not been previously registered in this or another state; and on the date of sale is of the current or preceding year model.  A “passenger car” means a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, used to transport persons and designed to accommodate 10 or fewer passengers. A motor home not registered as a commercial vehicle is considered to be a passenger car.  A “light truck” means a truck, including a pickup truck, panel delivery truck, or carryall truck, that has a manufacturer’s rated carrying capacity of 2000 pounds or less.

   03.20.00 Instructions for Applying Inspection Certificates

20.01 Cars, Trucks, Buses, and School Buses (Windshield-Type)

1. Complete the information required on the back side of the certificate with a laundry marking pen, permanent ink pen or typewriter; signature required by certified inspector making the inspection.

2. To avoid damage to the pressure sensitive “dry mount decal” type certificate, remove protective face paper slowly from adhesive side of certificate.

3. Place number inserts with adhesive side up in the location reserved for that purpose on the inspection certificate. Number inserts should correspond with the number of the month during which inspection is made and the year in which the inspection certificate is to expire.

4. Certificates are pressure sensitive and must be handled very carefully.  They cannot be removed or repositioned after they are placed on any surface.

5. Be sure that the windshield is free of any oily film.  If the surface is wet, be sure to dry it before applying the certificate.

6. Place certificate in position on a clean, dry surface and apply firmly until tightly affixed to the surface, right side up.

a. Apply evenly and smooth down thoroughly to remove all air bubbles between certificates and surface.

b. Use a plastic or hard rubber squeegee for best results.

7. Many of the newer vehicles are equipped with new inner shield windshields which have a transparent sheet of plastic on the inner surface.  This windshield requires special care when removing decals or stickers.

8. The proper application of any inspection certificate is very important to ensure adherence.

20.02 Motor Vehicles With Windshields (Cars, Trucks, Buses, and School Buses). 
If the motor vehicle has a windshield, the inspection certificate shall be attached firmly to the lower left-hand inside corner of the windshield as viewed from the driver’s  seat as close to the frame as possible.  The certificate must be applied to the inside of the windshield and can only be affixed to a vehicle in the approved inspection area of the Official Vehicle Inspection Station by the certified inspector who made the inspection.  Certificates cannot be issued or affixed to vehicles at any other area or location.

Any other certificate, decal, or sticker, such as a parking permit, property owner identification, etc., must be removed if it is in the lower left-hand corner of the windshield where the Texas inspection certificate is required to be affixed.  The vehicle owner or operator shall be advised that the Department designates this location for the inspection certificate and that they should obtain a replacement permit or decal and locate it in another location on the vehicle.

Do not remove the old inspection certificate until immediately prior to placing the new certificate on the windshield.

20.03 Motor Vehicles Without Windshields (Cars, Trucks, Buses, and School Buses).
If the motor vehicle is not equipped with a windshield, the certificate will be completed on the reverse side and given to the operator of the vehicle.  Instruct owner or operator to keep the certificate in their possession and present it on demand.  All inspection stations and certified inspectors are instructed to remove and reverse the face paper and adhere it to the certificate so that it cannot be used again for some other vehicle.

20.04 Certificate Mounting Procedures for Motorcycles, Motor-Driven Cycles, and Mopeds

1. On the Vehicle (Optional).  Punch the month of issuance and year of expiration.  Remove the certificate’s back paper and attach the certificate face up on the vehicle’s rear fender or any other visible location on the rear near its license plate.

Place the certificate in place and apply firmly.  OR

2. Backing Plate (Optional - to be furnished by cycle owner).  Punch the month of issuance and year of expiration.  Remove  the certificate’s back paper and attach the certificate face up on the backing plate which is mounted on the cycle near the license plate for this purpose.  Place the certificate in place and apply firmly.

3. Other Provisions - Motorcycles, Motor-Driven Cycles, and Mopeds.  Reject the vehicle if no fender or optional location is available for applying the inspection certificate.

20.05 Certificate Mounting Procedures for Trailers, Semitrailers, Pole Trailers, Mobile Homes, and Converter Dolly

1. On the Vehicle (Optional).  Punch the month of issuance and year of expiration.  Remove the inspection certificate’s back paper and attach the certificate face up on a clean metal surface at or near the left front or side of the trailer.  Place the inspection certificate in place and apply firmly.  On pole trailers, attach to the left front or side of the rear bolster.  OR

2. Metal Plate or Holder - Backing plate or metal certificate holder (optional - to be furnished by vehicle owner). Punch the month of issuance and year of expiration. Remove the certificate’s back paper and attach the certificate face up on the clean metal surface of the plate or holder.  The plate or holder should be mounted at or near the left front or side of the trailer.  On pole trailers, attach to the left front or side of the rear bolster.  On the backing plate, place the inspection certificate in place and apply firmly.

NOTE:  On mobile homes and travel trailers the certificate may be mounted on a window located at or near the left front or side of the vehicle.

NOTE: On House Moving Dollies, the owner must furnish a metal backing plate or metal certificate holder which shall be mounted at or near the license plate for the purpose of attaching the certificate.

   03.25.00 Expiration of Inspection Certificates

The certificate of inspection shall not be valid after the end of the 12th month in which the vehicle was last inspected (24th month for two-year certificates).

Enforcement on expired inspection certificates shall begin after the fifth day following the expiration of the period designated for the inspection indicated by the month and year on the certificate.

   03.30.00 Mistakes on Inspection Certificates

If an inspector makes a mistake on an inspection certificate, it shall be voided and a new inspection certificate issued at no charge.

   03.35.00 Duplicate Inspection Certificates

No duplicate inspection certificate can be issued.  If a certificate is lost, stolen, or mutilated, the vehicle must be submitted for another inspection.

   03.40.00 Refunds of Unused Inspection Certificates

All applications for refunds of inspection certificates shall be picked up by the Department representative.

All unused inspection certificates must be returned or accounted for to the Department of Public Safety. Refunds will be made covering all unused inspection certificates when the Department changes certificate design or when an inspection station goes out of business or its inspection privileges are suspended or 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.

No refunds will be allowed for stolen or missing certificates.

   03.45.00 Inspection Refusals

No Official Vehicle Inspection Station during approved business hours shall refuse to inspect a vehicle that is presented for inspection. Official Vehicle Inspection Stations will be required to inspect only those types of vehicles authorized by the endorsement(s) to their Certificate of Appointment.

A vehicle inspection station must refuse to inspect any motor vehicle for which no evidence of financial responsibility is presented or if the motor vehicle is too large for the inspection station entrance except trailers, semitrailers, mobile homes, motor homes and other 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 Department representative.