Official Vehicle Inspection Station
Texas State Vehicle Inspection Stickers - Removing the Confusion
Donna Matson –A&B State Inspection
Does your annual vehicle inspection have you dazed and confused? I will try to remove the confusion from vehicle inspections. Visit the DPS Air Check website for complete information. www.txdps.state.tx.us/vi/.
Frequently asked questions:
Q. Will my vehicle pass inspection if the “Check Engine”, “Service Engine Soon” or the international engine symbol light is on?
A. No, it will not pass inspection if the vehicle is 1996 or newer. The light indicates an emissions control malfunction has been detected. 1995 and older vehicles will receive the Acceleration Simulation Mode (ASM) test.
Q. What is ASM and how does it work?
A. This test uses a dynamometer, which measures emissions under simulated driving conditions. In a sense, it's like a treadmill stress test for your vehicle. This tailpipe test is a cost-effective way to get very accurate, realistic results. A vehicle will fail the test if there is an excessive amount of Hydrocarbon, Carbon Monoxide or Oxides of Nitrogen.
Q. What are the advantages of OBDII testing?
A. OBDII testing used for vehicles 1996 and newer is quicker than previous emissions tests. This test determines whether there is a malfunction and/or deterioration of the devices that control the exhaust-emissions level. It can lower repair costs by detecting and storing a code specific to the problem. The OBDII test should readily identify vehicle problems, thereby reducing repair time and costs. This will, in turn, contribute to lower vehicle exhaust emissions.
Q. I have dark tint on my windows, will my vehicle pass inspection?
A. All vehicles must have at least 25% of light transmittance on the windows immediately to the right and left of the driver. Tint on the back windows and the rear window is not inspected. The window tint law was revised Sept 2009, the tint previously passed inspection with 20% of light.
Q. My rear view mirror is missing; will this be cause for rejection?
A. Not if the vehicle is equipped with one mirror located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
Q. Why did my gas cap cause my car to fail the inspection?
A. All vehicles 2-24 years old are tested to determine if the gas cap is missing or defective. Over time some gas caps can become defective and need to be replaced. You can purchase gas caps at your local Auto Parts store if needed.
Q. My vehicle failed because the monitors were “Not Ready”, what causes the monitors to be not ready?
A. Disconnecting the battery is the most common reason the monitor are “Not Ready”. The vehicle will fail the OBDII inspection if more than two monitors are “Not Ready”. In order to get the OBDII system to set the monitors to “Ready”, the vehicle needs to be driven through a drive cycle.
Q. What does “Ready” vs. “Not Ready” status mean?
A. Ready – The OBDII system has checked this emissions control system. Not Ready – The OBDII sys tem has NOT checked this emissions control system.
Q. What is the Inspection Grace Period?
A. 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.
Q. My ABS light is on; will that cause my vehicle to fail inspection?
A. Anti-lock (ABS) lamp or signal which is on or comes on during test will not be cause for rejection.
Q. Do I need my Insurance card to have my vehicle inspected?
A. The owner or operator of a vehicle shall present evidence of Financial Responsibility to the inspection station prior to inspection.
Q. Can I get an inspection if it is raining or snowing?
A. Yes, brake test are permitted when it is raining, snowing or when the brake surfaces are wet. As long as the certified inspector feels that they can safely and accurately check the brakes. But no inspections are permitted when the brake test areas are icy.
Q. Are seatbelts always a required item of inspection?
A. Seatbelts are a required item of inspection, on those vehicles in which front seat belt anchorages were a part of the manufacturer’s original equipment. When conducting a seatbelt check, front belts and anchorages are inspected.
Q. My windshield is cracked, will my vehicle pass inspection?
A. The windshield is NOT an item of the inspection, but the wiper blades must make proper contact with windshield. Be sure that the crack does not cause the wipers to tear and that the crack has not caused the windshield to become concave or convex so the wipers loose contact with the windshield.
Q. My vehicle failed the inspection and I was requested to pay the fee, why?
A. The Vehicle Inspection Act states that the inspection fee shall be charged whether or not the vehicle presented for inspection passes or fails. You will have 15 days from the date of rejection to make the necessary adjustment or repairs and return to the original inspection station for one free re-inspection.
Q. Is my vehicle required to be emissions tested?
A. All Texas registered vehicles are required to receive an annual inspection. All inspections include a comprehensive safety inspection; however some vehicles are required to have an emissions test in addition to the safety inspection. Your vehicle must be emissions tested if it is gasoline powered, 2 – 24 years old and the vehicle is registered, primarily operated, or presented for inspection in Brazoria, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Johnson, Kaufman, Montgomery, Parker, Rockwall, or Tarrant counties
Q. What can I do if my vehicle failed the emissions portion of the inspection?
A. If your vehicle fails the emissions test, you should be provided with a list of "Recognized Emissions Repair Facilities of Texas" in your general area. You may choose one of these facilities, another repair facility, or perform the repairs yourself. However, if your vehicle fails the re-test and you choose to apply for a waiver, where you have the repairs performed will have a bearing on how much of the emissions-related repairs can be applied toward the waiver.
Q. What waivers / time extensions are available if my vehicle failed the emissions portion of the inspection?
A. Individual Vehicle Waiver, Low Mileage Waiver, Low Income Time Extension, Parts Availability Time Extension. The DPS may issue an emissions testing waiver or time extension to any motorist or vehicle that passes all requirements of the standard safety inspection. An emissions testing waiver or a time extension defers the need for full compliance with the vehicle emissions standards of the vehicle emissions I/M program for a specified period of time after a vehicle fails an emissions test. If you are in the DFW area, the program will be administered by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG). Call Toll Free 1-800-898-9103