Vehicle Inspection Bill Passes Texas Senate

A vehicle is inspected. | Image by Joyseulay, Shutterstock

The Texas Senate has approved a bill that would effectively eliminate annual vehicle safety inspections in the state of Texas. This bill now advances to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

House Bill 3297, originally introduced in March, would eliminate the state’s vehicle safety inspection requirement and instead require vehicle owners to pay a $7.50 fee for registration renewal or a $16.75 fee for registering a new vehicle, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. However, the bill would not eliminate the emissions testing requirement, which still applies to the state’s metropolitan areas.

The Senate approved the bill on May 21. If signed into law by Gov. Abbott, the law would go into effect on September 1, and Texas would join 35 other states that have eliminated annual safety inspections.

Former Senator Don Huffines took to Twitter ahead of the vote and urged Texans to urge their state senators to vote in favor of this bill. Huffines said that the safety inspection requirement has been a “scam.”

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles reported over 22 million registered vehicles in the state. This department currently collects over $4.5 billion in registration and title fees as well as motor vehicle sales tax.

“You are being ripped off,” said Huffines on Twitter. “Texas is the only Republican state to still have this policy. Let’s change that,” he continued.

Some, however, opposed the bill’s passage due to safety concerns. Corporal Mike Bradburn of the Travis County Constable Precinct Three Clean Air Task Force told lawmakers at a hearing on April 11 that if the bill is passed, more vehicles would be on the road that cannot pass a “basic safety inspection.”

“If a vehicle cannot pass a basic safety inspection, it would be reasonable to believe it would not pass an emissions test leading to more pollutants in the air,” said Bradburn, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Following the bill’s passage in the Senate, Huffines tweeted that this particular bill impacts more Texans than “nearly anything” originating from the state Legislature.

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