A Texas VIN verification is required from owners of vehicles that have been titled or registered in a different state. A vehicle identification number validation, which is generally referred to as a VIN inspection, is carried out to confirm the identity of a car. After this procedure, a car owner can move forward with other requests that are processed through the TX Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It is important to note that certified identification inspections are different from generic VIN lookups that are performed prior to the purchase of a used vehicle by checking public records. Instead, these official car verification procedures must be carried out by an authorized inspector in order to be valid.

When necessary, vehicle owners can verify a VIN number and obtain the necessary validation certificate by submitting this request to local authorities at a state-appointed safety inspection station. There are several locations that perform vehicle verification procedures across the state. Furthermore, getting this validation is as easy as collecting the necessary paperwork and submitting it to the applicable authorities during their office hours. Once a vehicle has been validated and its owner has received the necessary documentation, the motorist can move forward with titling and registering the car at the TX DMV. To learn more about the vehicle VIN verification procedures performed in Texas, read the sections below.

When is a VIN verification required in Texas?

A DMV VIN verification form does not need to be completed by most drivers in Texas, because vehicles that are already in the state Department of Motor Vehicles records have already had their identity verified. However, a car verification is necessary for vehicles that are new to the TX DMV, usually due to the fact that they have been brought in from another state through a purchase, gift or inheritance.

In the past, Department of Public Safety (DPS) representatives would simply issue an “Out-of-State Identification Certificate” form (VI-30) upon successfully completing a VIN inspection. However, this format has been phased out since 2016, with more requirements being made necessary.

In addition to getting the vehicle VIN verification confirmed, car owners must now also take their vehicles to a state-appointed safety inspection station in order for them to undergo emissions tests. It is common for drivers to request an identity verification along with an emissions check, thus taking care of both procedures during the same visit. Since 2015, the TX DMV has been using a vehicle inspection report (VIR) sticker to designate that both processes have been completed, in what it calls the “Two Steps, One Sticker” program.

Where can I go to obtain a VIN inspection in Texas?

VIN number validation procedures are carried out by state-approved safety inspection stations located across Texas. While many private companies may offer new vehicle inspection services, car owners must make sure that they are conducting these procedures with a certified representative of the DMV, so that they receive the correct validation documentation. As previously stated, owners of vehicles with an out-of-state title or registration must complete both the emissions test and the VIN number validation, and may do so simultaneously in order to receive a VIR sticker.

On the other hand, most car inspection stations in TX accept requests from owners of vehicles who only need an identity validation, as they do not need to pass an emissions test in order to be registered in the state. In fact, owners of these types of vehicles may be eligible to self-declare a vehicle’s identification. Overall, vehicles that do not require an official state car inspection for emissions include:

  • Farm machinery, road-building equipment, farm trailers or any vehicle that is required to display a “slow-moving vehicle” sign.
  • Former military vehicles as defined by state laws.
  • Trailers, semitrailers, pole trailers or travel trailers with a “factory-delivery” or “in-transit” license plates.
  • Trailers, semitrailers, pole trailers or travel trailers that weigh 7,500 pounds or less.
  • Vehicles with a paper in-transit car tag for a machinery, disaster, parade or antique license plate.
  • Cars that are already eligible for registration, but have not yet been registered.
  • Vehicles that are not eligible to be registered for on-road use.

What to Bring to a VIN Number Verification in Texas

A vehicle inspection is required in the case of cars that are brought into Texas, so that the DMV can make sure that they are safe for operation on public roads in the state. As such, completing a vehicle inspection form typically requires an authorized representative to physically locate the VIN on the car, often in more than one location.

Moreover, vehicle owners are encouraged to bring a copy of the vehicle’s title and registration to the inspection, if available. A bill of sale can also be useful when getting a newly-purchased car inspected in TX. The vehicle VIN verification process should be relatively simple if a car’s VIN is easily legible and accessible through federal records.

What to Do After Completing a VIN Inspection in Texas

Once a vehicle owner receives the necessary TX VIN verification certificate and emissions statement, he or she can move forward with other procedures at the state DMV, such as registering or titling the car. Generally, verifying a VIN number is required for a car to receive a VIR sticker, which all vehicles must obtain in order to be registered and titled in Texas.

In most cases, a VIR sticker is made available to the requesting car owner immediately after an inspection is complete. If you have specific questions about the VIN inspection process and whether a particular vehicle requires certification, you may contact the TX DMV.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.