Emissions testing in Texas is required for all residents, both new and established. You will need to complete emissions testing prior to renewing your registration if you are an established resident. The smog check process will need to be completed by new residents within 30 days of moving to Texas. Continue reading to learn more about:
- Texas emissions and smog check requirements
- Smog check exemptions in Texas
- Out-of-state emissions testing in Texas
- Emissions waivers in Texas
- Testing fees in Texas
- Where to perform an emissions check in Texas
- Failing a Texas smog and emissions test
The Texas smog check program requires some residents to only undergo emissions testing, while residents of other counties will need to undergo both safety and emissions testing. A safety-based vehicle inspection is required for all residents prior to registration renewal.
Texas Emissions and Smog Check Requirements
You must obtain your smog certification in Texas if you wish to renew your vehicle registration. To complete DMV emissions testing, you will need to visit a DPS-certified location in your community and bring the following:
- The safety and emissions test fee.
- Proof of car insurance.
Fees vary by location, and the state recommends contacting the Highlights of the Vehicle I/M Program for fees in your community. Once you pass your car smoke test, you will be issued a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR). You can obtain this report up to 13 months before it is time to renew your registration.
Smog Check Exemptions in Texas
The TX DMV smog check process does not have to be completed by the owners of certain types of vehicles and by the residents in specific parts of certain counties. Unlike auto emissions testing, vehicle safety testing must be completed by all residents, regardless of their geographic location. Vehicle emissions testing is not required prior to the initial registration for the owners of brand new vehicles until they are two years old. The Texas Emissions testing process is required for all gasoline-fueled vehicles on a yearly basis (not including brand new vehicles).
Residents of certain areas in the following counties do not have to undergo testing:
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- El Paso
- Austin-Round Rock
To view a list of the specific cities, towns, and neighborhoods who are exempt from testing, you should visit the Texas DMV website. A smog test may or may not be required for your area.
Out-of-State Emissions Testing in Texas
You must complete a car emission test within 30 days of moving to Texas. An out-of-state smog certificate will not exempt you from the process, so you will need to find an inspection station in your new Texas community. You must pass both a safety and emissions test before you are allowed to register your vehicle in the state. Drivers do not have to register diesel-powered vehicles or brand new vehicles at the time of purchase.
Emissions Waivers in Texas
Your TX smog check history certificate will indicate whether you passed or failed your test. If your vehicle did not meet the emission test requirements, you will have to have it repaired to state standards and retested. If you need assistance making emissions inspection repairs, the Repair Assistance program may provide you with funds of up to $600 in the form of a waiver. Funds from this program will only be accepted at certain Recognized Emission Repair Facilities, so you will need to find one in your community.
Testing Fees in Texas
Before or after your emissions inspection in Texas, you will need to undergo a safety inspection. The safety and emissions testing fee is $7.00, and you must render payment at the time of inspection. If your vehicle inspection is successful, you will receive a document that will allow you to renew your registration in person or online. You will also be issued a windshield sticker stating that your vehicle meets the state safety standards. Most safety inspection locations do not require you to present your current registration, but depending on the area you reside in, you may want to bring it. If you do not pass the vehicle inspection, you will need to have your car repaired and re-inspected.
Where to Perform an Emissions Check in Texas
You may undergo DMV emissions testing in Texas at any location that has been recognized by the Department of Safety. If you need help finding a smog check station in your community, you can utilize the official state DOS website. If you fail your safety and emissions test, you may also be able to have your vehicle repaired to meet state standards at these sights.
Failing a Texas Smog and Emissions Test
If you fail your TX smog check, there are other options available to you. Vehicles that do not meet the DMV emissions testing requirements may be worth up to $3500. Through the vehicle inspection program, the state aims to keep high-polluting vehicles off the roadways, and if you elect to replace your polluting vehicle with a cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicle, the state may be willing to put up to $3500 towards the payment of your new car. The program is known as Drive a Clean Machine, and it is overseen by the AirCheck Texas agency.