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Vehicle Emissions Inspections in Texas

Program overview of the vehicle inspection and maintenance (I/M) program in Texas

Enhanced vehicle emissions inspections were implemented in affected areas in Texas to improve air quality and are integrated with the annual safety inspection program and operated by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) in conjunction with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Enhanced inspections began in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Harris, and Tarrant Counties on May 1, 2002, and in Brazoria, Ellis, Fort Bend, Galveston, Johnson, Kaufman, Montgomery, Parker, and Rockwall Counties on May 1, 2003. Travis and Williamson Counties implemented enhanced inspections on September 1, 2005. El Paso County implemented enhanced inspections on January 1, 2007.

On March 1, 2015, the State of Texas stopped issuing vehicle inspection stickers and transitioned to a “Two Steps, One Sticker” vehicle inspection and registration program. Vehicles owners must pass the annual safety inspection before going to register the vehicle. More information is available on the Two Steps, One Sticker program website.

Vehicle Registration Denial

Motorists with vehicles registered in Brazoria, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Johnson, Kaufman, Montgomery, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, Travis, and Williamson Counties will not be eligible to renew their vehicle's annual registration if the vehicle has not passed its annual emissions inspection or complied with the vehicle emissions inspection program requirements.

Vehicle owners that receive an annual vehicle registration renewal notice that has a "TCEQ - EMISSIONS PRGM NON-COMPLIANCE" remark printed on the front page will be unable to renew registration until the non-compliance issue is resolved. For information call the TCEQ's Registration Denial Hotline at 1(888)-295-0141

Program Information

Quick Facts:

  • Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Program Area: Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, and Montgomery Counties
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Program Area: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, and Tarrant Counties
  • Austin Area: Travis and Williamson Counties
  • El Paso Area: El Paso County
  • Vehicles must successfully pass both the emissions and safety portions of the inspection before receiving a passing vehicle inspection report, which is required in order to renew the vehicle's annual registration and obtain a vehicle registration sticker.
  • Gasoline vehicles model-year 2 through 24 years old are inspected annually beginning with the vehicle's second anniversary.
  • Remote sensing element randomly inspects vehicles emissions on highways.
  • All inspections are collected at a central database.
  • Recognized Emission Repair Facilities ensure quality repair of vehicles.
  • Waivers and time extensions are available for eligible vehicle owners.
  • To find the nearest certified inspection station, use the DPS's station locator .
  • To locate a Recognized Emissions Repair Facility in your area, use the DPS repair facility locator