Texas Auto Inspection Rules

The state of Texas requires that all vehicles have annual inspections to maintain road safety and ensure vehicle safety. Inspections are conducted by state-approved mechanics and auto repair shops. Auto repair specialists review key components of the car relative to driver safety, including lights, brakes and mirrors. Emissions testing may also be a part of the inspection process.

Emissions Testing

Emissions testing is required for some vehicles to check the air quality from the car's exhaust system. Texas requires that all gasoline vehicles in various Texas counties be checked for quality emissions. Motorcycles and diesel run vehicles are exempt from this type of testing. Cars older than two years are also required to have the emissions testing done with the inspection.

Items of Inspection

There are a variety of car mechanisms that are tested to ensure they run properly. This includes the horn, windshield wipers, and the vehicle mirrors. The steering wheel and seat belts are also tested. The mechanic will check all reflector lights, lamps, and turn signals to ensure nighttime safety. Tires and the wheel assembly are checked to avoid tire blowouts or braking issues. The vehicle also must have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) visible somewhere in the car.


Texas residents must have vehicles inspected annually. If your inspection expires, you have a five day grace period to get a new inspection tag. For instance, if your inspection runs out on August 31, you have until September 5 to renew.

Required Documentation

Texas drivers must have proof of registration and insurance for the vehicle that is being inspected before the vehicle can be looked at and provided an inspection tag.