by RYAN McCRIMMON
A new single-sticker system for inspecting and registering millions of Texas vehicles begins on Sunday, and some lawmakers are warning that the change will confuse Texas drivers.
“I personally believe it’s going to be chaos for a little while,” Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, chairman of the Texas House of Representatives Transportation Committee, said at a Capitol hearing last week.
Under the current system, Texas drivers display two stickers on their windshields indicating their vehicle has been inspected and registered.
The Legislature in 2013 approved a new policy to bundle vehicle inspection and registration into one process, with one sticker. Transportation officials say the single-sticker system will save the state money and help crack down on counterfeit stickers. The cost to vehicle owners will remain the same.
Starting Sunday, when a car passes inspection, the owner will receive a written report instead of a sticker. The report is automatically filed to an online database, and when the owner registers that vehicle, officials will check the database and verify that the vehicle has been inspected. The owner will receive a new sticker that represents both registration and inspection.
“Once you’ve done it once, by the second time it’s probably going to be OK,” Pickett said.
State transportation officials embarked on a public awareness campaign including English and Spanish radio ads, flyers and a website that can calculate a vehicle owner’s next step based on his or her current registration and inspection information.
Despite education efforts, there could be some confusion during the first year of the new policy, which officials have dubbed the “sync-up” year because some vehicles will go more than a year without an inspection in order to align inspection and registration dates.
Here’s what Texas drivers need to know about the new policy:
RYAN McCRIMMON reports for The Texas Tribune where this story was originally published. It is made available here through a news partnership between the Texas Tribune and the San Marcos Mercury.Email | Print