Texas State Inspections — Replacing Your Vehicle's Inspection Sticker

Texas is transforming its vehicle inspection landscape, and it's a change that's set to impact every driver. With the upcoming shift in regulations, safety inspections will no longer be mandatory for vehicles. Instead, there's a $7.50 annual fee, payable by all vehicle owners, which will replace the traditional inspection sticker.

However, this shift doesn't come into play until 2025, leaving Texan drivers with a short while of safety inspections until the legislation kicks in. It means the “Two Step, One Sticker” program is still in place.

Under the "Two Step, One Sticker" program, your inspection and registration stickers are combined into a single sticker with one expiration date. It indicates that your car has passed the required safety inspection and has a valid state registration. Without an inspection sticker, you risk getting pulled over by law enforcement and receiving a fine.

However, you need an inspection sticker replacement if it is damaged, expired, or lost. The good news is this article explores the process of replacing your vehicle inspection sticker in Texas.

Reasons for Inspection Sticker Replacement

Expired Stickers

Driving with an expired inspection sticker can result in fines and penalties, so you must replace it immediately. The registration expires on the last day of the month mentioned on your sticker.

For instance, if the date is 10/23, the validity runs through the last day of October 2023. As such, driving beyond the five-day grace period after registration expiration could result in a fine of up to $200.

Damaged Stickers

A replacement is required if the sticker's expiration date, license plate number, or registration period is not visible. Types of damaged stickers warranting replacement include faded, illegible, torn, or tampered-with stickers.

Damaged stickers compromise vehicle identification, preventing law enforcement officers from accurately determining a vehicle's registration validity. This could result in fines or citations.

Lost or Stolen Stickers

A lost or stolen inspection sticker warrants a replacement because it suggests your vehicle did not pass the safety and emissions inspections. The vehicle may be considered uninspected without a valid sticker, leading to legal issues.

Vehicles With Out-of-State Inspection Stickers

Texas requires vehicles with out-of-state inspection stickers that want to register in Texas to undergo a Texas vehicle inspection. This inspection ensures the vehicle meets the state's safety and emissions standards. The vehicle needs to pass this inspection before it can be registered.

Head to your county tax office or an authorized substation to obtain your Texas license plates and registration sticker. You might be required to fill out an application for a new sticker and pay the associated fees.

You must have all the required documents, including your insurance card, Vehicle Inspection Report from the inspection station, and proof of vehicle ownership from your previous state.

Steps to Replace an Inspection Sticker

Collect the Necessary Documents and Information

Before replacing your inspection sticker, ensure you have all the necessary vehicle and identification documents. It includes the following:

  • Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR)
  • License plate number
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Proof of insurance
  • Photo ID
  • Driver's license

Contact the Appropriate Authorities

Consider contacting your local County Tax Assessor-Collector office or a certified inspection station in charge of issuing inspection stickers in Texas for more information. They can tell you of additional requirements on the sticker replacement procedure. Their contact information is on the official Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) website.

Schedule an Appointment, If Necessary

Some locations may require appointments for inspections and sticker replacements. Check with the authorities to schedule a convenient time for you.

Pay the Replacement Fee, If Applicable

A replacement fee may apply because your original sticker was lost or damaged. However, the amount varies depending on your location and circumstances. You can get a new sticker at your county's tax assessor-collector's office for $6.50 — until 2025, when a $7.50 annual fee replaces the traditional inspection sticker.

Provide Required Vehicle Information

You must provide basic information about your vehicle, including its make and model, year, license plate number, and VIN. The authorities may also request your current inspection sticker number, insurance information, or additional relevant details.

Receive the New Inspection Sticker

The inspection station will issue a new sticker once you complete the required steps. This is a blue-bordered sticker that you should place in the corner of your vehicle's windshield.

Locations for Inspection Sticker Replacement

You can get your inspection sticker replacement in the following locations:

  • Authorized inspection stations:These locations have been certified by the state of Texas to perform vehicle inspections and issue inspection stickers.
  • DMV offices or online services: Texas residents can visit their local DMV offices in person or utilize online services to request a replacement inspection sticker.
  • Local auto repair shops and service centers: These establishments have certified mechanics who can conduct vehicle inspections and are authorized by the state to issue replacement stickers if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I replace my Texas inspection sticker if it is still valid?

No, you cannot replace your Texas inspection sticker if it is still valid. A replacement is only allowed if the current sticker has been damaged or lost.

2. Can I transfer an inspection sticker to a new vehicle?

No, you cannot transfer a Texas State inspection sticker to a new vehicle, as the inspection is specific to the individual vehicle.

3. What are the penalties for driving without a valid inspection sticker?

Driving without a valid inspection sticker can result in penalties such as fines, citations, and inability to renew your vehicle registration.

4. Can I appeal a denial of inspection sticker replacement?

You may have the option to appeal the decision. But it's best to contact the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the appeals process for inspection sticker denials.

5. How long does it take to receive a replacement inspection sticker?

Your replacement sticker may take around three weeks to process, print, and mail. While you wait, you can use your registration renewal receipt as proof of current registration for up to 31 days.


In conclusion, keeping your vehicle compliant with Texas regulations is essential for your safety and to avoid potential fines. With the evolving vehicle inspection requirements in Texas, staying informed and proactive about your vehicle's inspection status is more important than ever. Remember, the "Two Step, One Sticker" program is in effect until 2025, so ensuring your inspection sticker is up to date remains crucial.

If your inspection sticker is due for replacement due to expiration, damage, or loss, don't delay taking action. The process can be straightforward when you know the steps to follow and have the necessary documents ready.

For a hassle-free and expert service, consider Caliber Auto Care for your vehicle's state inspection. Our certified professionals are well-equipped to handle your inspection needs efficiently, ensuring your vehicle meets all safety and emission standards set by the state of Texas. Schedule your appointment with Caliber Auto Care today to keep your vehicle compliant and safe.