Car Inspection Laws in Texas

A majority of states required vehicle safety inspections in the early 1970s, but many states have slowly repealed these laws. Today, Texas is one of the few states that still require inspections as a condition of registering a vehicle.

In Texas, car inspections have proven necessary. Police officers identified over 10,000 car accidents in 2021 where vehicle defects and breakdowns contributed to the cause of the collision. Vehicle safety inspections give Texas some ability to stop dangerous vehicles from driving on the state’s roads.

If you’ve sustained injuries in a car accident in San Antonio, TX, contact George Salinas Injury Lawyers or give us a call at (210) 225-0909 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.

How George Salinas Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Car Accident in San Antonio, TX

How George Salinas Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Car Accident in San Antonio, TX

George Salinas Injury Lawyers has provided personal injury legal services to accident victims in San Antonio, Texas, since 2011. The firm’s San Antonio car accident attorneys have helped over 1,300 clients obtain fair compensation in their cases.

When you hire our law firm, you receive:

  • A free initial consultation to learn about your rights and legal options
  • A team committed to standing up to insurers with the truth about your accident
  • A track record of fighting the insurance system and in courts to make you whole

A car accident can disable you from earning a living or meeting your daily needs. Contact George Salinas Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss the compensation you can pursue for your car accident injuries.

How Many States Require Car Inspections?

In the late 1960s, Congress attached a condition to its state highway funding. Every state had to pass several laws, including a vehicle safety inspection requirement, to receive their full highway grant. If a state failed to pass the required laws, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) could withhold up to half that state’s funding.

By 1975, 31 states had passed laws requiring vehicle safety inspections. This number represented the high-water mark for vehicle safety inspections because the next year, Congress removed the DOT’s authority to withhold highway funds. No further states passed car inspection laws, and many began repealing their inspection requirements.

Only 15 states still require regular vehicle safety inspections. Of these, only 11 states require an annual safety inspection to register a vehicle. Texas is one of these states.

Texas Vehicle Inspection Requirements

Every vehicle registered in Texas must pass a vehicle inspection. When you first move to Texas, you must take your vehicle and proof of Texas auto insurance to a certified inspection station within 30 days of arriving. If your vehicle was previously registered in Texas, you must have your vehicle inspected annually to renew your registration.

Your vehicle must pass its annual inspection within 90 days of your registration renewal date. If you have your car inspected more than 90 days before you renew your vehicle’s registration, you will need to get it retested closer to your renewal date.

Car inspection laws in Texas require a certified inspector to match the VIN on your prior registration with your vehicle’s VIN. 

The inspector then checks the following items:

  • Horn
  • Gas cap
  • Steering
  • Seat belts
  • Window tint
  • Rear reflectors
  • Wheels and tires
  • Windshield wipers
  • License plate lamp
  • Side-view and rearview mirrors
  • Brakes, including the parking brake
  • Headlights, including high beam indicator
  • Taillights, stoplights, and turn signal lights
  • Exhaust system, including an emissions test in certain counties

If your vehicle fails a safety inspection, Texas regulations require the inspection station to offer a free retest for 15 days. This should give you time to fix the problem that caused you to fail your inspection.

Just keep in mind that Texas only gives you a five-day grace period to drive your car after the registration expires. You need to have your vehicle inspected early enough that you have time to get it fixed and re-inspected in case it fails.

Liability for Defective Car Crashes

If you get injured in a crash due to a vehicle defect in your vehicle or the other driver’s vehicle, you may have options for pursuing personal injury compensation. Some theories you can use to hold someone liable include:

Driver Negligence

If a driver knew or should have known that their vehicle was defective, they acted negligently by driving it without getting it repaired. As a result, they bear liability for any crashes that result from the defect.

Repair Shop Negligence

Repair shops owe a duty of care when repairing and maintaining cars. If they fail to meet that standard, they may bear liability for any resulting crashes.

Manufacturer Product Liability

Manufacturers have strict liability for any injuries caused by their defective products. 

This means that you only need to prove:

  • The existence of the defect
  • The product was defective when the manufacturer put it on the market

Importantly, you do not need to prove that the manufacturer knew or should have known about the defect for a product liability claim.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our San Antonio Car Accident Lawyers

Regardless of the cause, a car accident can result in catastrophic injuries that require expensive medical treatment. Contact George Salinas Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss the compensation you can pursue after your car crash.