State changing to one sticker for inspections, registrations

Published on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 22:30 - Written by ADAM RUSSELL

The state is doing away with the inspection sticker.

Vehicles will still require inspections, but two stickers on Texas windshields will be a thing of the past as of March 2015. The change would consolidate the inspection and registration stickers.

Legislators did away with the inspection sticker during the 2011 Legislative Session to save more than $2 million annually. Inspection costs are not expected to change.

Beginning March 1, proof of inspections will be required to renew vehicle registration stickers. The state continues to work out individual scenarios as to how the change might affect vehicle owners, such as students who might be out of state when registration is due. Motorists will be allowed to receive their first “single sticker” regardless of whether inspections were done within 90 days as long as there is an unexpired, valid inspection on the vehicle.

Three state agencies are involved in the transition — the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, which oversees registrations; the Department of Public Safety, which oversees vehicle safety; and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which administers vehicle emissions inspections.

The agencies also are in the process of making needed information technology changes to ensure they communicate information thoroughly and quickly with the county agents handling vehicle registrations.

Smith County Tax Assessor/Collector Gary Barber said tax offices across the state are working with those agencies to “tweak” any problems that might exist. He expects there could be early issues with the process but that it will be easier on all stakeholders once vehicles are changed over to the new system.

Motorists will still be required to prove inspection and insurance before they renew their registration.

Ronna Moore, owner of Automotive and Moore, said she doesn’t see the change affecting her operation. She said many automotive businesses have stopped offering inspections because it costs them to do business, requiring certification fees, time and equipment for $7 of the $14.50 inspection sticker.

“For us it’s just part of doing business,” she said. “We do it for the convenience of our customers and to make sure they are driving safe vehicles.”