Directions 281-5588-CAR


All motor vehicles registered in Texas must be inspected each year at an official motor vehicle inspection station. This includes motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, and autocycles. Evidence of financial responsibility for the vehicle being inspected must be presented at the time of the inspection.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) transitioned to a new vehicle
inspection and registration system requiring motorists to display only the valid registration sticker on the windshield. The sticker serves as combined proof of registration and inspection.

When a vehicle passes inspection, the inspection station will print the passing Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) and enter the information into an electronic database. The DMV verifies the database information at the time your vehicle is registered. You should still be prepared to present the printed VIR when registering your vehicle. The VIR is only valid for 90 days from the month of inspection for registration purposes.

Required Equipment for Vehicles

You must have the following equipment in proper working order for your car to be considered safe.

ItemDescription
Brakes1. Foot Brake – Must stop car within a distance of 25 feet at a speed of 20 mph. 2. Parking Brake – Should be adequate to stop and hold car.
Lights1. Two Headlights (one on each side of the front) – A beam indicator showing when the high headlight beam is on. 2. Taillights – All vehicles must be equipped with two taillights. Exception: Cars manufactured before 1960 are only required to have one taillight. 3. Brake (Stop) Lights – All vehicles must have two (2) working brake lights. Exception: Cars manufactured before 1960 are only required to have one (1) brake light. Vehicles equipped with a third or high mounted stop lamp require all three to be operational. 4. License Plate Light- A white light that lights the rear license plate when the headlights (or auxiliary lamps) are lighted. 5. Parking Lights – White or amber on the front, red to the rear (may be combined with other lights). 6. Reflectors – Two red reflectors, one on each side of the car (may be combined with taillights) must be placed at a height of 15 to 60 inches and be visible up to 600 feet; visible up to 350 feet on vehicles manufactured before 1960. 7. Turn Signals – Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer, and pole-trailer must have electric turn signals (except motorcycles and certain trailers). Exception: Passenger cars and trucks less than 80 inches in width and manufactured before 1960 are not required to have electrical turn signals.
HornsHorns must be heard for a minimum distance of 200 feet.
Muffler and exhaust systemAll 1968 or later models must be equipped with an exhaust emission system to help reduce air pollution.
Safety glassNew cars must be equipped with safety glass. Replacements of glass for any car must be with safety glass.
License platesVehicles must have one valid plate affixed to the front and one at the rear of passenger and commercial vehicles, in the manner prescribed by law, except dealer and commercial vehicles that are only issued one license plate.
Windshield wiperWindshield wipers are necessary for safety in bad weather.
Rearview mirrorA rearview mirror must be able to reflect a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
Slow moving vehicle emblemFarm tractors and machinery, road construction machinery, animal-drawn vehicles and certain other motor vehicles assigned to travel at 25 mph or less must display the slow-moving vehicle emblem.
Front safety beltsFront safety belts are required if safety belt anchorages were part of the original equipment of the vehicle.
TiresAll vehicles are required to have tires in proper and safe condition with a minimum depth of 2/32 of an inch.
Fuel capThe fuel cap on gasoline-powered vehicles from 2 to 24 years old will be checked to determine if the fuel cap is missing or defective. Exception: Antique vehicles, circus vehicles, slow moving vehicles, motorcycles, and vehicles operated exclusively by a fuel other than gasoline and vehicles newer than 2 years or older than 24 years.
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