How Long Is a Car Inspection Good for in Texas?

The Lone Star State has recently altered its vehicle inspection requirements, and the impact on Texas drivers is significant. While Texas State inspections are no longer mandatory for vehicles registered after 2025, a new annual $7.50 fee is set to replace the familiar inspection sticker.

However, this change isn't effective until 2025, leaving vehicle owners with a few more months of mandatory safety inspections. Meanwhile, certain counties in Texas will continue to enforce emissions testing, with residents in densely populated areas facing annual checks.

But how long is a car inspection good for in Texas? Read on to learn more about this vital requirement and what it means for your vehicle.

Duration of Car Inspection Validity in Texas

All registered vehicles in Texas must pass a yearly inspection to drive legally. However, certain counties also mandate that an emissions test be performed simultaneously to comply with clean air requirements.

If you've recently bought a car and want to register it in Texas, you must get your vehicle inspected within 30 days of your purchase date.

Once the inspection is completed, a sticker is issued to indicate compliance, and this sticker remains valid for one year from the month of inspection. This sticker proves that your vehicle meets the necessary safety standards and is eligible to be driven legally on the road.

After passing the inspection, you will be given an inspection sticker, which must be placed on your car's windshield. This sticker indicates the end of the inspection validity period.

Factors Affecting Validity and Voiding of Inspections

Some critical factors that can affect the validity and voiding of state inspections are:

1. Validity Reduction Factors

Various factors can affect a state inspection’s validity. If you fail the car inspection due to specific repairs or replacements, you must address them promptly to avoid additional fees. Issues with safety features like brakes, tires, lights, and windshields may require a reinspection to ensure compliance with safety standards.

You're also eligible for a free re-test if you get the repairs done from the same inspection station within 15 days. But if you wait too long or choose a different station, you'll have to pay for another inspection.

Failing the emissions test due to exhaust system or catalytic converter issues can also reduce inspection validity. In such cases, repairs and a re-test are necessary before receiving an inspection sticker.

Additionally, county-specific inspections and requirements can vary, with some counties having additional criteria or specific parts that need to pass the inspection. Expectedly, this can impact inspection validity.

2. Factors That Can Void the Inspection

Tampering with or removing the inspection sticker is strictly prohibited and can void a Texas State Inspection. The inspection sticker serves as an official indication that a vehicle has passed the necessary safety and emissions standards. As such, any alteration or removal of the sticker is considered a violation and will render the inspection invalid.

Similarly, modifying a vehicle that impacts its emissions or safety equipment without proper approval or compliance can also void the inspection. These modifications compromise the inspection's integrity.

Additionally, using fraudulent documents or providing false information to deceive the inspector is a severe violation that can lead to the inspection being voided. Providing accurate and genuine documentation during the inspection process is crucial to maintain validity and transparency.

Lastly, driving with expired inspection stickers violates the law and can void the inspection. To avoid complications or consequences, ensure that the inspection sticker is always up to date and reflects the current inspection period.

Understand the Warnings and Grace Period

Driving with an expired inspection sticker is a violation of law that can result in a fine of up to $200. However, the State of Texas recognizes that registration may lapse for various reasons, and to accommodate this, they provide a five-day grace period. Renewing your vehicle's registration within this grace period is crucial to avoid penalties.

To ensure compliance, visit a certified inspection station and complete the registration renewal process. Once done, you will receive a receipt that grants you legal driving privileges for 31 days with an expired sticker until your new sticker arrives by mail. Just make sure to carry the receipt in your vehicle within this period.

Grace Period for Out-of-State Inspections

If you possess evidence of a valid out-of-state inspection or emissions test, you are granted an additional 30-day extension to the grace period. This provision allows your vehicle to remain operational until the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues your new registration and tags, ensuring continued compliance with the law.


Until 2025, when the new legislation takes effect, all automobiles must undergo a State Inspection to ensure they comply with safety and emissions standards. This inspection thoroughly examines a vehicle's exterior, interior, suspension systems, and engine components.

Registered vehicles must pass a yearly review, requiring additional emissions testing for specific counties to maintain compliance.

The inspection sticker remains valid for one year from the inspection month, except for vehicles between four and five years old, which require a safety inspection every six months. The following factors can affect the validity or void the inspection:

  • Failing the safety or emissions test
  • County-specific criteria
  • Tampering with the inspection sticker
  • Making unauthorized modifications
  • Using fraudulent documents

Texas provides a five-day grace period to complete the registration renewal process, but it grants legal driving privileges for 31 days until the new inspection sticker arrives by mail. An additional 30-day extension is granted if there is a valid out-of-state inspection or emissions test.

Don't wait until the last minute — take proactive steps to keep your vehicle compliant. For a thorough and hassle-free inspection experience, consider Caliber Auto Care. Our expert team provides exceptional service to help get you back on the road.