Keeping your vehicle safe is not just common sense, it’s required by Texas law. Unless your vehicle is exempted, you must have many parts inspected to ensure they work. This may not only prevent an accident, but you, your passengers, and others may avoid injuries that could come with it.

What are Car Inspections?

Vehicles registered in the state must pass an annual inspection to make sure they comply with safety standards. There are also emissions tests in 17 counties (including Harris County) to comply with federal clean air requirements. Inspections are done at Official Vehicle Inspection Stations licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

What is Inspected?

You must show you have insurance for the vehicle, and the following are inspected on passenger cars to see they’re in good working order:

  • Horn
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Mirrors
  • Steering
  • Seat belts
  • Braking system, including parking brakes
  • Tires
  • Wheel assembly
  • Exhaust system
  • Exhaust emission system starting with 1968 models
  • Beam Indicator
  • Taillights
  • Stop lights
  • License plate light
  • Rear red reflectors
  • Turn signal lights
  • Head Lights
  • Motor, serial, or vehicle identification number
  • Gas caps
  • Window tint


There are different requirements depending on the vehicle type. If you have a pickup, panel, or other truck less than 80 inches wide, in addition to the above, the inspection would include safety guards or flaps if there are four or more tires on the rearmost axle.

If you modify your vehicle, it may not pass inspection, even though the systems work. Modifications of the vehicle’s height, lighting, and air intake systems may result in your vehicle failing inspection.

If you have questions about what’s required for a part or system to pass, you can search this DPS webpage.

How Much Does a Vehicle Inspection Cost?

The costs depend on the type of vehicle being inspected. For one and two-year safety inspections of a passenger vehicle, the cost would be $7.00, according to the DPS. The price for a commercial vehicle would be $40.00. Inspections of trailers and motorcycles cost $7.00.

Where Can I Find an Inspection Station?

You can search by zip code, county, and town on this DPS webpage.

How Does a Vehicle’s Performance Impact a Car Accident Insurance Claim or Lawsuit?

Schachter, Shaffer, & Harris, LLP represents victims of vehicle accidents. Another party’s negligence normally causes their injuries. That’s a legal theory that states that because of the relationship between you and the other party (you share a public road or parking lot), the other driver owes you an obligation or duty to drive reasonably but in a reasonably safe vehicle.

When you think about a personal injury, negligence, or car accident lawsuit, you may think about a driver making a mistake like speeding, running a stoplight, or driving while intoxicated and causing an accident. The other driver may operate the vehicle perfectly safely but be negligent because their vehicle is the problem. The brakes may not work correctly, it may accelerate suddenly, or the tires lack sufficient tread, and the road surface is covered in water.

Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. That means the plaintiff (you, the injured party) must prove the defendant (the party sued) is more to blame for the accident than you are, or your case will be dismissed.

Owning a safe vehicle isn’t just common sense. It helps if you file an injury claim. If you’re the plaintiff and you don’t keep your vehicle safely maintained, and that plays a role in the accident, you may be partially at fault. That degree of blame will be subtracted from your recovery.

If the defendant was drunk, speeding, and cuts you off if your tires are bald or your brakes aren’t working as they should, and you couldn’t stop in time to avoid a crash, a jury may find you have one-third of the blame for the accident, so your award would be cut by a third.

Protect Your Legal Rights by Hiring a Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. Lawyer

Not retaining the right attorney for your case can be a huge mistake, especially if your injuries significantly impact your personal and financial situations now and in the future.

Call Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P if you need a Houston personal injury lawyer with years of trial experience with the regional court system. Contact our legal team today to schedule a free consultation. We can talk about your accident, how Texas law may apply, and how we can help you and your family.