How Much Is an RV Inspection In Texas? (Checklist and How To)

It is possible for the state trooper or city police to notice if you have an inspection sticker or not. When you are caught without one, that just adds to your list of troubles. The cost is not expensive and easy to get done.

It seems that the cost for a Texas safety inspection has remained the same for about a decade. You only have to pay $7 for a one-year or two-year safety inspection. This is the price for a motorcycle as well as trailers, cars, RVs, and so on.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can be prepared for when it is your turn to be inspected. Take a few minutes to see how this information can help you.

Do RVs Need To Be Inspected in Texas?


Yes, they do. According to the Texas Department Of Safety, all registered vehicles must have an inspection. This includes trailers as they have to be registered as well.

Trailers are in the same category as motorcycles but the good news is all vehicles except mopeds and commercial vehicles pay the same price. The inspection for mopeds costs only 25 cents while the commercial vehicle owners must pay $40.

This inspection does not include any examination of the emissions system. That is a different inspection and it has another price you have to pay. Those counties requiring an emission test along with a safety inspection are: Brazoria, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Johnson, Kaufman, Montgomery, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, Travis, and Williamson.

The requirement for this test is that your vehicle must be 2 to 24 years old. Outside of that range you only need a safety check. One reminder, this is also to be done before you get your license.

Of course, there will be situations where you may have to tow illegally to get your inspection test but officials are not concerned about that aspect

RV Inspection For Registration

In Texas, you need an annual safety inspection to be able to register your vehicle. This must be done at a certified inspection office and once it is done and your vehicle has passed, you can register it online if you want.

Unless the rules have changed, an RV owner has to get one inspection for registration, then they get a 2-year grace period and after the second inspection all following years you need to get the inspection done annually.

It may be an inconvenience for some people but there is little you can do about it. The state wants to make sure that all the vehicles on its roads and registered in their state are safe and should not cause accidents, etc.

Texas is not the only state that requires these safety inspections but it is the only one that ties those inspections to your vehicle registration and your license.

North Carolina also requires an inspection of your vehicle but you have 90 days before your current tags expire to get it done. The only drawback is finding an inspection station that has a parking lot large enough or a building big enough to handle larger RVs and trailers.

How Much is an RV Inspection in Texas?


The good news is that the inspection is very affordable. It only costs $7 no matter if you drive a motorcycle, car, truck, RV, or pull a trailer. That is a fair price to pay.

There is also a two-year safety inspection and that only costs $7 as well. You would have to check with the Dept. Of Safety to find out the regulations for the 2-year safety inspection.

That cost is just for the Texas Government. We checked an inspection station in Houston to see what other costs might be included and they have a wide range of fees.

For their 500-point inspection service, you can pay between $700 and $850 and that inspection goes well beyond what the government requires. Their inspection includes travel up to 100 miles, not including any toll fees, or photos, and it takes all day to do.

The number of photos this company takes ranges between 75 and 100. You should find different costs and different services when you check other inspection stations.

According to the state website, there will only be one sticker given when you register. The state eliminated the second sticker as they tied the inspection to your registration.

Then since March 2015, you pay the state’s fee when you register your vehicle each year. You do not pay the inspection center that fee.

RV Inspection Requirements in Texas

For all mobile homes that weigh more than 7500 pounds, you are to get the following items inspected:

1. Brakes (system) (If the gross weight exceeds 7,500 pounds)

2. Tires

3. Wheel Assembly

4. Safety Guards or Flaps (if four tires or more on the rearmost axle) Pole trailers exempt.

5. Tail Lamps (2)

6. Stop Lamps (2)

7. License Plate Lamp (1)

8. Rear Red Reflectors (2)

9. Turn Signal Lamps

10. Clearance Lamps

11. Side Marker Lamps

12. Side Reflectors

13. Side Marker Lamps and Reflectors (30 feet or more in overall length)

(Refer to Reference Section as per lighting diagrams and as applicable to the particular trailer being inspected.)

14. Serial or Vehicle Identification Number

15. Window Tint.

This comes from the Dept. Of Safety website. They do not seem to list RVs and travel trailers separately so you may have to call the department and get the information straight from them.

Also, the inspections must take place at a certified inspection center. If you are not sure where one is, the Dept. Of Safety has a web page with an inspection center locator system. This is like the ones used by truck stops, gas stations, and so on.

How do I Get My RV Inspected in Texas?


The process is quite simple. Before your tags expire, you should make an appointment at one of the inspection stations nearest you. This may not always be feasible as some of these centers do not have facilities to handle large RVs and trailers.

As we said in the previous section, you just need to go to the Dept. Of Safety’s website and look for the web page with the locator service on it. Use the zip code to find one near you or within 16 miles if you check the little white box.

Once the inspection is done, you need to make sure you have current insurance coverage and then you go to register your vehicle. We have not found where these inspectors will come to your location to do the inspection.

Unless it is a private inspection center that offers that service like the Houston-based one we referred to earlier. But that service moves your fee up and can be quite expensive.

If you are new to Texas, you have 30 days to register your vehicle if you moved permanently to the state. It is easy for you to find an inspection center as you can use the same locator service residents use on the Texas website.

What is Inspected On An RV in Texas?

1. Travel trailers

Those trailers that are lighter than 4500 pounds are exempt from the inspection. Those trailer owners whose trailers weigh more than 4500 pounds are required to go through annual inspections.

Once passed, the sticker is supposed t be displayed on a window at or near the left front side of the trailer. This may not apply anymore since the inspection is tied to registration and you should talk to the Dept. Of Safety in this situation.

The inspection for trailers is a bit different than it is for RVs and the inspection covers the following items: brakes, tires, wheel assembly, safety guards or flaps (if there are four tires or more on the rear axle), two tail lights, two brake lights, one license plate lamp, rear red reflectors, turn signal lights, clearance lights, side marker lights, side reflectors, and a serial or vehicle identification number.

2. RVs

According to our research, the inspection is only supposed to last 10 to 15 minutes but the inspector covers a lot of ground during that time. The purpose of the inspection is to make sure the RV is road worthy.

The parts that are inspected are: horn, windshield wipers, mirror, steering, seat belts, braking system, tires, wheel assembly, exhaust system, emission system, beam indicator, tail lights, stop lights, license plate lamp, rear red reflectors, turning lamps, head lamps, motor serial or vehicle identification number, window tinting or coating, and gas caps

Texas RV Inspection Checklist


The answer to this heading is listed above. The checklist is going to be the same as what will be inspected list. Everyone has to get out of the RV when the inspector does his brake check and that is just a precautionary measure.

Once the inspection is done, you can register your vehicle and pay your fee. You do not pay the inspection center anymore. The fee is tied to your registration fee and you only get 1 sticker.

You need this sticker to avoid getting a ticket. The first offense fine is relatively cheap at around $200. Also, the inspection is good for 2 years when the RV is new and you bought it from a dealer. After that 2-year period, the inspections revert to the standard one-year option.

When you go for registration you will need proof of insurance (liability), picture i.d. that is valid and current as well as the fee. You must pay the fee whether your RV passes or fails the inspection.

The state will accept cash, check, Visa or Mastercard. That means that money orders may not be accepted but double-check with the state office to make sure. There does not seem to be any grace period for payment at any time.

What Does a Travel Trailer Need To Pass Inspection in Texas?

Go to sections back and look for the sub-section travel trailers. Read the list of parts that will be inspected when you get to the inspection center. All those parts must be in top working order and functioning like they should for your trailer to pass inspection.

If you or rather the trailer fails the inspection, you will have 15 days to get the parts fixed that did not pass and then return to the same center for a re-inspection.

The good news is that the re-inspection is free. If you live in a county that requires an emissions test, and you fail that (tow vehicle or RV not trailer) test, you cannot register your vehicle.

You have to get the vehicle fixed first and then go back to the same location and get it retested. If the check engine light is on, most likely your vehicle won’t pass.

We advise you to double-check this information as rules change often. This is the latest information we have come across during our research. Don’t delay in getting your parts fixed as you could end up with a ticket if you drive without that important sticker.

Make sure to go back to the original inspection center once you have those parts fixed. It is doubtful another center will approve your repairs.

Some Final Words

Getting an inspection can be a hassle especially since it is done every year. But it is a safety requirement and you will know what shape your travel trailer or RV is in once you are done.

The Texas inspection fee is cheap but we cannot speak for any inspection center and if they only do the state inspection or want to do their own as well. The Texas inspection is mandatory but the other one is not so you have a choice.

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