How new Texas car registration, sticker system works

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Changes are on the horizon for millions of Texas motorists. Soon, you'll only need to worry about having one sticker on your windshield. So how does that affect you and what do you need to know before everything goes into effect?

These state inspection stickers are going bye bye. However, you still have to get your vehicle inspected once a year. If not, you won't be able to renew your registration.

As of March 1, state inspections stickers will become a thing of the past. But how will this new system work?

"You will get your car inspected. We will give you a copy of the report," said Mike Poutous with Poutous Automotive.

Poutous says instead of placing a sticker on the owner's vehicle, the results from the inspection will be uploaded to the state's database instead. With the new program, you must have your vehicle's inspection up to date, *before* renewing your registration.

"That will prove you had it inspected and then they'll issue you your sticker," he said.

Adam Shaivitz with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles says there are a few benefits to this new program.

"Texans are really going to appreciate only having one sticker in the corner of their window. And only having to worry about one expiration date," Shaivitz said.

As it stands right now, many Texas motorists are driving around displaying two separate expiration dates for their current registration and inspection stickers.

"With the new program, you just have to think about that one date on that one sticker," he said.

Shaivitz believes the new process will keep drivers in check when it comes to registration renewals.

"We think that more people are going to comply with the state's inspection requirement. That will lead to safer and more environmentally sound cars on the road," he said.

Shaivitz tells us the first year is a transitional period and the state is allowing drivers time to allow for their inspection and registration dates to match up.

To find out if you're required to get your vehicle inspected before or after your next renewal, just log onto, and use the calculating tool on that site.

"So you can pull out that calculator. Enter your registration expiration date. Enter your inspection expiration date. And it will guide you what to do. Especially during this first year transitional period," Shaivitz said.

The DMV tells us costs should remain the same, based on the county you live in.
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