How to Prepare for Your State Inspection

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How to Prepare for Your State Inspection

Auto Requirements For the Texas State Inspection

The Texas vehicle state inspection is a once-a-year examination of your vehicle. However, not knowing what the inspection looks for could cause you to fail the inspection and cost you more money in the long term. Below, we will guide you through what to expect during your inspection so that you are never caught by surprise.

While the annual inspection might be full of surprises and pricey fixes for some automobile owners, with the help of Eric’s Car Care, it no longer needs to be. Visit us in Houston, Texas, today to have us inspect your vehicle.

What is a State Inspection?

Every 12 months, the Texas Department of Public Safety requires Texas-registered automobiles to undergo a state inspection. The inspection aims to ensure that automobiles meet all of the necessary safety standards and emission rules to keep drivers and the environment safe.

Vehicles in the state of Texas are required to be inspected for two reasons:

  • You’ve recently relocated to Texas and your vehicle is not yet registered in the state.
  • You recently acquired a pre-owned vehicle.

The price of an annual inspection may vary depending on where you choose to have your vehicle inspected. However, the average cost of a Texas inspection is roughly $100. The cost of an additional inspection varies depending on the parts that need to be re-inspected.

The inspection takes roughly 30 minutes to complete, and it includes 18 fundamental criteria such as brakes, lights, horns, mirrors, and seat belts, as well as emission testing. This is why, before taking your car in for a formal inspection, you should perform a pre-inspection, as the annual inspection encompasses a number of systems and components on your vehicle that could compromise its safety.

Whether your vehicle passes or fails the inspection, payment for the inspection is required. If your car fails the inspection for any reason, you have 30 days to complete the repairs and return with inspection payment and the original papers from the initial inspection.

Here is a quick look at what will be inspected during your annual inspection:


Checks for damage to the steering wheel, steering column, power steering, and connection.


The braking distance, brake pads, hydraulic system, parking brake, drums and discs, and mechanical linkages are examined. It also measures the distance between two points and verifies that the brake pads are at least 2/32” thick.


Examines the wear on the ball joints, shock absorbers or struts, springs, torsion bar, wheel bearing, kingpin, and spindle bolt.


Examines the condition of the wheels’ camber, caster, nuts, studs, and lugs. It also checks for the appropriate alignment of the wheels and axles.


Examines the quality, size, type, and tread depth.

Fuel System

Examines the fuel tank’s condition and checks for good operation of the accelerator, manual throttle, and choke, as well as leaks.

Electrical System

Checks for good operation and condition of the horn, wiring, switches, and battery cables.


Checks for damage to the muffler, piping, and manifold and ensures that the installation is done appropriately and there are no leaks.


Examines the original equipment lighting’s condition and verifies that all new lights have been approved.


Examines the presence and appropriate function/condition of the driver’s seat, safety belts, speedometer, odometer, all doors and latches, hinges, handles, vehicle hood and latch, windshield wipers, emissions equipment, gear selection indication, CV boots, mirrors, and vehicle glazing.

For a complete inspection checklist, go to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website.

What to Bring for Your Annual Inspection

A valid driver’s license or a current photo ID is required.

Proof of liability insurance, the most basic type of coverage necessary to drive on all public highways in the United States.

Be Prepared for Your State Inspection with Eric’s Car Care

If your vehicle is due for its annual inspection and you want to make sure you will pass with flying colors, see us at Eric’s Car Care in Houston, Texas, over at Med Center. Our staff of mechanics has performed hundreds of inspections, and we will inspect your vehicle and perform all necessary tests to ensure you pass your state inspection. Give us a call or come see us today to allow us to take a look.

Written by Eric's Car Care