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Inspect to Register - Starting March 1, 2015

On March 1, 2015, a new state law requires you to Inspect to Register. Your vehicle must pass an inspection and emissions test before renewing your vehicle registration. The “Two Steps, One Sticker” program results in one sticker with one expiration date for your windshield, safer streets and cleaner air, and less risk of inspection sticker fraud and theft.

How does Inspect to Register apply to my vehicles?

Your vehicle must pass an inspection and emissions test no more than 90 days before your vehicle registration expiration. The expiration date is the last day of the month indicated on your sticker. Visit www.twostepsonesticker.com to find the dates that you may inspect your vehicle. The state portion of the vehicle inspection fee will be due when you renew your vehicle registration.

Calculate the date at www.twostepsonesticker.com.

Step 1: Inspect

  • Find an inspection station - Use the Texas Department of Public Safety Inspection Station Locator to find a station in your area.
  • Pay the inspection station service fee - You will pay for the inspection service but NOT your state inspection and emission fees.
  • Obtain a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) - Don't lose this report. It proves you passed inspection and emissions testing so you may need to provide it at the time of registration! Need a replacement copy of the VIR for registration renewal purposes? Find it online or visit any Texas Inspection Station.

Step 2: Register

  • Select a renewal method - Renew online, by mail, by telephone, in person at one of our five offices or through one of our partners. If you renew online, by mail or by telephone, your inspection and emissions status is checked electronically. If there is an issue verifying your status, you will be asked to provide your Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) in person, by e-mail or by fax.
  • Pay the state registration, inspection and emissions fees - Travis County is now required by law to collect all state fees.
  • Place the sticker on your windshield - Goodbye inspection sticker! You can remove the inspection sticker once your previous sticker has expired. Place your registration sticker on your car - it's the only sticker you need. It serves as proof of current registration AND inspection.

Out of State Motorists

If your vehicle is currently out of state and you are unable to complete a Texas vehicle inspection in order to renew your registration, you may self-certify that the vehicle is out of state and will be permitted to register online, by mail, or in person.

If you renew your vehicle registration using the out-of-state self-certification option, a remark will be placed on your vehicle record indicating that an inspection is still due. Once you return to the state, you must complete a Texas vehicle inspection within three days of arrival at your home, duty station, or destination. The remark will be removed only upon payment of the state’s portion of the inspection fee and verification of inspection.

To register your vehicle using self-certification:

  1. Renew your registration online, by mail, or by phone. When renewing online, you will be prompted to self-certify. When renewing by mail or by phone, please inform our office that you are self-certifying.
  2. A remark will be placed on your vehicle record indicating that an inspection is due.
  3. Upon return to the state, you must obtain a passing vehicle inspection and emissions test within 3 days of arrival at your home, duty station or destination. You will be issued a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR).
  4. Bring the VIR to any tax office location and pay the state portion of your inspection fee to have the inspection remark removed. Removal of the remark takes 48 hours. Prior to the remark being removed, your VIR will serve as proof of inspection. It is very important that you keep the VIR in case you are stopped by law enforcement.

Dealers, Fleets and Motor Carriers

Visit the Two Steps One Sticker website for more information about how the new law impacts dealers, fleets, and motor carriers.

Renewal Options

Online

Current and expired registration (up to 6 months) can be renewed with or without a renewal form in 7 - 10 business days.

Visit www.texas.gov with the following:
  • License plate number
  • Last 4 digits of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Credit card information.

Online renewals are issued for a full 12 months (including any portion of the month you've already used if renewing late.)

Beginning March 1, 2015

A new state law requires you to Inspect to Register. When you go to www.Texas.gov to renew your vehicle registration, your inspection and emissions status is checked electronically. If there is an issue verifying your status, bring the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) to any Tax Office location for assistance.

Mail

Current and expired registration can be renewed by mail with or without a renewal form in 10 - 14 business days.

Enclose:
  • Renewal notice or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  • Copy of your current proof of insurance. Do not mail original documents.
  • Check or money order payable to Bruce Elfant. Do not mail cash or credit card information.
Mail renewal to:

Travis County Tax Office
PO Box 149326
Austin, TX 78714-9326

Beginning March 1, 2015

A new state law requires you to Inspect to Register. When you renew your vehicle registration by mail, your inspection and emissions status is checked electronically. If there is an issue verifying your status, our office will return your renewal and request that you bring a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) to any Tax Office location for assistance.

Telephone

Current and expired registration can be renewed with or without a renewal form in 5 - 7 business days.

Call (512) 854-9473 with the following:
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or License Plate Number
  • Current proof of insurance (may be required to e-mail or fax)
Additional Fees:
  • $3 credit card convenience fee (collected by Government Payments for credit card processing services) for transactions $100 or less
  • 3% credit card convenience fee (collected by Government Payments for credit card processing services) for transactions more than $100

Beginning March 1, 2015

A new state law requires you to Inspect to Register. When you call to renew your vehicle registration, your inspection and emissions status is checked electronically. If there is an issue verifying your status, you will be asked to provide the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR).

In-Person

Current and expired registration can be renewed the same day with or without a renewal form.

Bring:
  • Renewal form, Vehicle Identification Number, or License Plate Number
  • Current proof of insurance
  • Valid photo ID
  • Cash, check, money order, or credit card
Sending a family member, relative, co-worker, employee or neighbor to renew for you? Bring:
  • Renewal form, Vehicle Identification Number, or License Plate Number
  • Completed Limited Power of Attorney to Register or Re-register a Motor Vehicle.
  • Current proof of insurance
  • Authorized agent's valid photo ID
  • For business vehicles only: employee ID, business card or authorized letter on letterhead that matches the business name on the motor vehicle record
  • Payment for registration fees
Additional Fees:
  • No additional fees if paying in person by cash, check, or money order
  • $3 credit card convenience fee (collected by Government Payments for credit card processing services) for transactions $100 or less
  • 3% credit card convenience fee (collected by Government Payments for credit card processing services) for transactions more than $100

Beginning March 1, 2015

A new state law requires you to Inspect to Register. When you come in person to renew your vehicle registration, your inspection and emissions status is checked electronically. If there is an issue verifying your status, you will be asked to provide the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR).

Locations

Grocery Stores and the City of Jonestown

Current registration (expiring this month or next month) can be renewed the same day with a renewal form. Vehicles with "NEW PLATES REQUIRED" and farm vehicles are not eligible to renew through a vehicle registration partner.

Bring:
  • Entire three-part renewal notice
  • Current proof of insurance
  • Valid photo ID
  • Consult the location directly for acceptable forms of payment.
Additional Fee:
  • $1 processing fee (collected by the service provider)

Beginning March 1, 2015

A new state law requires you to Inspect to Register. When you go to renew your vehicle registration, your inspection and emissions status is checked electronically. If there is an issue verifying your status, you will be asked to provide the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR).

Locations

Registration Fee Schedule for Travis County

Estimated Cost to Renew Commonly Registered Vehicles (effective Jan 2017)

$78.25 - Passenger Vehicles and Light Trucks weighing up to 6,000 pounds

$69.75 - Trailers up to 6,000 pounds

$81.50 - Trucks 6,001 - 10,000 pounds

$54.75 - Motorcycles 

Estimated cost of registration contains the following fees:
  • Base Registration Fee - varies by weight and class
  • DPS Fee - $1
  • State Inspection Fee - varies by vehicle class
  • Local Fees (County Road and Bridge Fee and Child Safety Fund) - $11.50
  • Processing and Handling Fee - $4.75

Replacement Plates/Stickers

$6.50 replacement fee

Additional Fees

$3 - Government Payments credit card fee for in-person and phone renewals $100 or less

3% - Government Payments credit card fee for in-person and phone renewals over $100

Inspection Fees

Starting March 1, 2015, a new law requires the Tax Office to collect state inspection fees for passenger vehicles and light trucks. For more information, visit www.TwoStepsOneSticker.com.  

Initial Trailer Registration

Non Titled Trailers

Did you purchase your trailer from an individual or a business?

Submit:

  • Application for Texas Title (VTR-130 U)
  • A bill of sale between buyer and seller in lieu of the seller signing the Application for Texas Title (VTR-130 U)
  • Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin if newly purchased from a retailer
Did you make your trailer?

Submit:

Application for Texas Title (VTR-130 U)

Farm Trailers

Submit:

  • Application for Texas Title (VTR-130 U)
  • A bill of sale between buyer and seller in lieu of the seller signing the Application for Texas Title (VTR-130 U)
  • Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin if newly purchased from a retailer
  • Application for Farm Trailer Plates (VTR-52-A)
  • Agricultural exemption registration card issued by the State Comptroller

Why didn't I receive my renewal notice?

Renewal notices are mailed by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles 4-6 weeks before the registration expires. To receive a notice by email, request an eReminder. Changes of address, changes in vehicle ownership and delivery problems with the postal service can impact delivery of notices. You can renew without a notice online, by mail, by phone, or in-person at any Tax Office location.

I sold my car. Why am I still receiving renewal notices?

Renewal notices are printed several months before they are mailed. If you have recently sold your vehicle, the notice may have been printed prior to the ownership change. Contact us with the VIN if you need to verify that ownership has been transferred or file a Vehicle Transfer Notification with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

I moved. How can I be sure that I receive a renewal notice at my new address?

Submit an address change online to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles or contact us to change your address by phone. 

I paid for my renewal online or by mail but I haven't received it. What happened?

Please allow the following time:

  • 5 - 7 days for registration purchased by phone
  • 7 - 10 days for registration purchased online.
  • 10 - 14 days for registration purchased by mail.

If you still have not received your sticker, contact us with your license plate or VIN number so that we can verify your mailing address and provide a replacement.

I lost my vehicle registration sticker. How can I get a new one?

Purchase a replacement sticker in-person, by mail, or by phone for $7.00. A convenience fee of $3.00 applies to purchases made with a credit card.

Can I legally drive my vehicle after the registration expires?

Yes. Transportation Code, Sec. 502.407 allows for grace period for 5 working days after the registration expires.

My registration is expired. How can I get it renewed right away?

Renew in person at one of the five Tax Office locations to receive a renewal sticker on the spot. All other methods of renewal take between 5 - 14 business days. 

I received a ticket for driving with an expired registration. What do I do now?

Visit any of our five locations right away and let our representative know about the ticket. You will owe an additional 20% penalty added to the regular registration fee. The receipt will include proof of the renewal and penalty. In many instances this stamped receipt is required in order to have the ticket reduced or dismissed.