Beginning March 1, the long awaited one-windshield-sticker program will be in place. Gone are the days of a registration that expires one month and an inspection another. How will this affect you?
In a nutshell – if your inspection is valid the next time you renew your registration, you are good to go. If your inspection is expired or it expires the same month as your registration – get it inspected and bring (or mail) the VIR (vehicle inspection report) provided by the inspection station with you to renew the registration, of course, along with proof of insurance, payment and ID if presenting a check. You may have your vehicle inspected up to 90 days before renewing the registration – just hang on to the VIR.
Trailer owners recently received a letter from TxDMV informing them that an inspection must be performed on all trailers with a carrying capacity of 4,500 pounds (except approved farm and other specialized trailers). These trailer stickers cannot be renewed without the VIR. All inspection stations should be able to perform this service.
The program is a result of House Bill 2305, which passed during the 83rd Legislative Session and will reportedly result in savings at the State level. TxDMV has worked hand-in-hand with DPS over the last year and all want this to be successful. Legislators were careful to insure that your costs would not increase but, there is a change. GCTO will be collecting the State portion of the inspection fee ($10) so you will spend a bit less at the inspection station and a bit more at the tax office. Some motorists will actually save money as you are permitted to skip inspection until the next registration if stickers are out of sync.
Although inspections are being entered into the state inspection system, mistakes happen. So, be safe, not sorry. The tax office team does not want to send you away to obtain the proper documents. According to County Tax Assessor Cheryl E. Johnson, “Our goal is for the two-steps-one-sticker program to also be a one-stop-on-the-road-again with you having a much better view out the windshield!”
See the chart below. If you have questions, call the Galveston County Tax Office at 409-766-2284 or toll free at 877-766-2284.
May (or later)