AUSTIN, Texas — A bill is heading to has advanced that would do away with mandatory vehicle inspections.
The bill, HB 3297, was authored by State Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine).
If signed, residents in the state's most populated counties would still need to pass an annual emissions test, but a minor problem with the inspection wouldn't stop you from getting your registration.
The cost of registration would go up by $7,
There were two changes put into the bill by the Senate. One was that the bill would require that drivers are notified of any recalls when they get their registrations. The second is that if signed, it would go into effect in January of 2025, not September of 2023, as was originally put into the bill.
Those two changes now go back to the House for approval before heading to Governor Abbott's desk for signature.
The change is intended to save drivers time and cash. However, people against the idea, like mechanics, have warned it would lead to more pollution and poorly maintained vehicles on the road.
Most states have already stopped the annual checks. Texas is one of 11 states that still requires vehicle inspections.
Supporters point out those states have not seen a big impact on overall road safety.
If it becomes law, HB 3297 will go into effect in January of 2025.
State Rep. Harris released the following statement about the bill: “Texas is one of only a handful of states to require annual safety inspections. The reality is, these inspections are a waste of time for Texas citizens and a money-making Ponzi scheme used by some shady dealerships to upsell consumers with unnecessary repairs. Texans are responsible, fiercely independent, and I trust them to keep their cars and trucks safe while on the road. It’s time for Texas to end this unnecessary burden.”
New law coming on electric cars
The governor just signed another new law impacting drivers of electric vehicles.
Senate Bill 505 requires electric vehicle owners in Texas to pay $400 to register a new vehicle and $200 to renew each year.
The new fee is supposed to make sure those drivers pay their fair share of highway costs since they don’t pay tax on gas.
However, some say it also sends a clear message that Texas is fully behind the oil and gas industry.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story mentioned that, if signed, HB 3297 would go into effect on September 1. That was amended by the Senate to be January of 2025.