The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has made some changes to the inspection and license renewal process , in effect as of March 1, 2015. It's a big change for RVers in that now trailers and 5th wheels, even boat trailers and utility trailers, require inspection AND there are now two steps but only one sticker involved with the process. So according to the DMV rules and literature, here's a simplified summary of the new rules especially for our Texas resident RV friends and those considering Texas residency.
- Purpose The purpose of this change is to simplify
the vehicle & trailer registration process to a single sticker instead of the previous
dual sticker system.
One vehicle sticker replaces both the inspection and registration sticker
- How it works ALL vehicles AND trailers require a yearly safety inspection before you can renew the registration. As has always been the case, proof of insurance is required for all vehicles at the inspection station. Previously the inspector would give you an inspection sticker; then you would get a second sticker from the DMV for the registration. As of March 1, 2015 your safety inspector will send the results of the inspection to the DMV electronically as well as issuing you a hard copy of proof of inspection. You may get that inspection performed up to three months before the registration expires. If you do so, the proof is likely to be recorded at the DMV office and you can do the registration online. If you are cutting it close to your expiration date for the inspection then you may have to go to the DMV in person with the hard copy of the inspection report to renew your registration.* At that point you will be issued ONE sticker to cover both the inspection and the registration. The DMV has created this video to clarify these new rules: (note the snappy tune.)
- Exceptions for
Seasonal Texan RVers: There are exceptions for Seasonal Texan RVers who are out of
the state during their renewal period. The
process for renewing your registrations if you are out of the state is:
- Complete the information on the registrations renewal (online or by mail).
- Choose the out-of-state-self-certify option which allows you to receive your sticker without the inspection. DMV will flag your account.
- When you return to Texas you will have 3 days to get the inspection done. The report will automatically be sent to DMV and at that time the flag will removed from your account.
- Cost of Renewals:The inspections will cost you $7.00 per vehicle or trailer.
Registration renewal for 5th wheels and travel trailers: Around $150.00 (plus a $7.50 safety fee)
Registration renewal for cars and light trucks: $50.75 (plus a $7.50 safety fee)
Registration renewal for pickup trucks between 6,001 to 10,000 lbs: $54.00 (plus a $7.50 safety fee)
There is quite a range in renewal prices for motor homes so you will have to read your notice carefully or contact the DMV.
- DMV Contact Information:The DMV website is a bit out of date and some of the links
don’t work so you may have to talk directly to an agent for accurate
DMV Phone Number: (210) 436-6611
Texas DMV Registration Renewal Page: http://www.dmv.org/registration-renewal.php
Texas “One Sticker” Information Brochure: http://twostepsonesticker.com/
So, hope you've got all that. If you need any clarification, feel free to call us. You may also want to check out this great compilation released by the Escapees RV Club called "How to Become a Real Texan." It's a great resource for all kinds of info regarding making Texas your RV domicile, including everything you need to bring with you when completing each step of the process. Although this new inspection/registration law is not reflected in the article, it will save you lots of time and may trips to and from the various agencies if you have all the documentation you need the first time you go there.
*Yesterday I had my vehicle inspected and today I went online and was able to process my registration. I am assuming it will go through without a hitch but if there are any complications I'll let y'all know. Didn't expect that the electronic recording would occur that quickly. Yay!
If you have any clarifications to add please help out our fellow readers by commenting below. As the system becomes more clear through our use and experience of it, we'll update this post.
Teri Blaschke is the RV Park operator of family owned HiddenValley RV Park in San Antonio, TX and writer of the park blog “A Little Piece of Country in San Antonio.” Teri contributes to various other blogs with a focus on either travel or social media and how it relates to the outdoor hospitality industry but her passion is serving the RV travel community by providing a memorable RV camping experience and growing the Hidden Valley RV family. Connect with us on Google+, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter@HiddenValleyRV