HB 3297 just passed the Texas Senate and is on its way to Governor Greg Abbott's desk. If he signs it, Texans will no longer need to pass an annual safety inspection in order to register their vehicle. HB 3297 was authored by Rep. Cody Harris, a conservative member, so I think the likelihood of it getting signed is fairly high.

If passed, Texas will not be unique in not requiring a safety inspection, in fact, most states do not. Safety inspections are only currently required in 16 states.

Getting your car inspected can be a chore, and I do hate biting my nails in anticipation of something being called out arbitrarily on my vehicle. And I hate that it feels like an opportunity to force me to buy windshield wipers. I'm pretty good about replacing them anyway, as I prefer to see things when I drive.


Photo by Jan Baborák on Unsplash
Photo by Jan Baborák on Unsplash

This law would save drivers the fee charged by the facility to conduct the inspection, but the $7 tax would be rolled into your registration charges. It's a minor savings, but most of us will take what we can.

This bill will not eliminate emissions checks in counties that require them:

[...] including most of the Houston and Dallas metro areas, Austin and El Paso. Nearly 17 million people, more than half of the state’s population, live in those counties

If passed will our roads be less safe? Apparently not, as states that have already eliminated the process have not seen a significant uptick in accidents. Perhaps the biggest concern is vehicle owners missing recalls, so you may want to pay more attention to those notice postcards in the near future.

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