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Texas to Get Rid of Mandatory Vehicle Inspections Starting 2025

In a significant policy shift set to take effect from 2025, Texas drivers will bid farewell to the requirement of mandatory vehicle inspections. Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3297 into law on August 5, paving the way for the elimination of regular safety inspections for noncommercial vehicles across the state.

Under the new framework outlined in the bill, drivers will no longer need to undergo vehicle inspections before registering their vehicles. However, they will still be obligated to pay the annual inspection fee of $7.50. For vehicles not previously registered, drivers will incur a fee of $16.75 but will be exempt from the $7.50 inspection fee for the subsequent registration year for the same vehicle.

Despite this overhaul, the 17 Texas counties mandating annual emissions tests will continue to enforce this requirement, unaffected by the new legislation.

This move places Texas in the minority of states with mandatory vehicle inspections, with only 13 others still upholding such regulations since the federal government ceased program requirements in 1976.

While proponents of the bill, including State Representative Cody Harris of Palestine who filed the legislation, argue that mandatory vehicle inspections are redundant, dissenting voices raise concerns about potential safety risks.

Larry Harris, owner of Larry’s Auto Inspection in Houston, expressed apprehension regarding the elimination of mandatory inspections, warning of potential dangers to driver safety. With 34 years of experience in the industry, Harris fears that the move could jeopardize the safety of vehicles on the road and undermine the viability of his business.

“I just think it defies logic,” Harris stated. “If nobody is making sure the vehicles are safe, there’s going to be some unsafe vehicles on the street.”

Highlighting the implications for his business, Harris emphasized that the removal of mandatory inspections would significantly impact his operations.

“I just wonder, if they stopped the safety program and somebody decides to drive unsafe, what’s going to be out there to stop them from driving,” he expressed.

As Texas prepares for this transformative policy change, debates surrounding its potential consequences for road safety and the automotive industry continue to unfold.