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Vehicle inspection laws ensure that all cars are road worthy. It guarantees safety for all road users. Specific departments oversee car inspection laws. For example, in Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety is responsible for ensuring these laws are implemented. These laws are also susceptible to change over time.

Although these laws are practiced in all states, the specifics vary. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a qualified Houston car accident lawyer for an update on the specific regulations in your area to avoid repercussions. However, there are some common aspects of car inspection laws in all jurisdictions. They include the following.

Safety Inspections

Ideally, inspection laws are meant to ensure all aspects of a vehicle are in perfect condition. Therefore, a safety inspection involves checking on the functionality of a car’s various components, such as the braking system, and safety equipment, such as seatbelts, suspension, steering, tires, lights, signals, or body.

Emission Inspections

Exhaust emissions are harmful pollutants. These tests ensure vehicles meet a certain emission standard to avoid air pollution. These inspections test for carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxide levels.

Vehicle identification number

A VIN is unique to every vehicle. It provides a vehicle’s history, specifications, and legal status. Therefore, verifying it authenticates the vehicle’s documentation, ensuring they have not been tampered with.

Car Inspection Exemptions

  • New vehicles. Vehicles classified as new are those below two years old or those with less than 24,000 miles.
  • Hybrid cars. These vehicles do not emit pollutants and hence are accepted from emission tests.
  • Vintage/collector cars. These cars are not used daily. Therefore, inspection tests may be optional.

Penalties for non-compliance with car inspection laws vary with jurisdictions. However, common penalties include the following.

  • Fines. The amount of an imposed penalty depends on the severity of the violation. The amount can also be increased for recurring offenses.
  • Registration suspensions. The vehicle user/owner may be prohibited from using the vehicle for a specified duration.
  • Vehicle impoundment. If a vehicle fails to comply with inspection laws, the authorities may be put in a holding place. This would mean extra retrieval costs in addition to fine and repair expenses.
  • License points. Demerit points are assigned for non-compliance with the implemented laws in some jurisdictions. If the points accumulate to a certain number, you may be susceptible to license revocation or suspension.
  • Court proceedings. Severe or repeated non-compliance with car inspection laws can lead to appearing in a court of law to face legal consequences. You may need to hire the best car accident attorney for this penalty.

A Houston Car Accident Lawyer’s Role in Vehicle Inspection Laws

  1. Legal counsel. All may not easily understand inspection laws. Therefore, lawyers offer counsel to their clients on their obligations and rights as per the specifics of these laws, depending on the jurisdiction.
  2. Representation. Suppose you repeatedly fail to comply with car inspection laws. This may lead to legal consequences. In such a scenario, your car crash attorney will act as your legal representative in the court of law.
  3. Contract review. Car inspection comes with documentation whose terms may be complex for one to understand. A lawyer helps review such documents to protect their client’s rights.
  4. Dispute resolution. Disagreements can arise during car inspections. For appropriate negotiations and mediation, the intervention of a Houston car accident lawyer may be required.
  5. Risk management. Failing to comply with car inspection laws comes with risks. A lawyer advises on the measures that can be taken to counter any legal disputes that may arise.
  6. Advocacy. Lawyers are essential parties when it comes to the implementation of laws. They can propose changes to existing laws to advocate for their client’s rights.
  7. Legislative updates. Car inspection laws are susceptible to change. Lawyers monitor these changes and keep their clients up to speed with the new requirements and regulations.

Why Should You Adhere to Car Inspection Laws?

It is essential to adhere to car inspection laws for the following reasons.

  • Safety. Ideally, these laws keep us on our toes to ensure our vehicles are in good condition. If they were not in existence, most, if not all, cars on our roads would not be roadworthy. Imagine the chaos this would cause and the numerous accidents it would expose us to due to faulty brakes or worn-out tires.
  • Environmental protection. Car emissions are hazardous to our health. Complying with car inspection laws ensures that your vehicle is in good shape, reducing the amount of pollutants released into the environment. This contributes to a cleaner and healthier environment.
  • Vehicle reliability and performance. Non-adherence to inspection laws can interfere with a vehicle’s standard functionality. Regular inspections help detect mechanical and other potential dysfunctions within a car. This allows for timely rectifications before the issues progress to significant concerns. Adhering to these laws also extends your vehicle’s lifespan.
  • Legal compliance. Laws are meant to be adhered to. Non-compliance can lead to significant penalties. It is best to comply with the implemented car inspection laws to avoid legal consequences with the government or other governing bodies.
  • Insurance requirements. Insurance companies require vehicles to go for regular inspections. Failing to comply with inspection laws can lead to a reduction or denial of compensation in case of an auto accident. Therefore, per your policy, adhering to car inspection laws guarantees appropriate compensation for an accident or car damage.

What to Do After an Accident with an Inspection-Expired Vehicle

Following an auto accident, especially if your vehicle is not up to date with its inspection, may leave you wondering about the appropriate steps to take. You should do this if you are caught up in such a scenario.

Seek medical attention

After an auto accident, your health should come first, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the incident. Check for injuries after the crash. If you are injured and in a position to call for medical help, do it immediately. It is also crucial to note that auto injuries may not always manifest physically. A lack of physical injuries does not mean you have a clean bill of health. Internal injuries can also be sustained. Therefore, you must undergo a thorough medical assessment after such an incident. A delay in treating internal injuries can have fatal consequences.

Do not flee

You may be triggered to flee the scene after an accident with a vehicle whose inspection has expired. It might be an appealing thought at that moment, but the truth is, it will cause further complications. Fleeing an accident scene without authorization is a crime. It could result in severe legal consequences, including license revocation or jail time. Instead of dealing with these, in addition to penalties for non-compliance with inspection laws, you would rather wait for the authorities to arrive before leaving the scene.

Call the police

While some jurisdictions require local authorities to be informed after a crash, others do not. However, involving the police is vital. It is easier to get medical attention promptly when the police are involved. Their authority enables them to disperse crowds, allowing EMTs to attend to the injured. Local authorities assess the factors that may have contributed to the crash. Their findings are then recorded in a report, an essential document for a compensatory claim filing.

Inform your insurer

You must notify your insurance company after an auto accident. This should be done immediately after the accident, normally through a call. Since it is just a notification, you should keep the details of the incident private, especially before consulting a car accident attorney. At this point, telling them where and when the collision occurred should be enough.

Gather evidence

Evidence is the most crucial aspect of any case. It serves as proof of an incident’s existence. Without it, acquiring an appropriate settlement may be challenging. Therefore, you must document the accident scene using pictures and short clips. Take these from different angles for clarity. Include physical injuries that you may have sustained. It is also essential to document reports from eyewitnesses. In addition to their account of the incident’s details, include their names and contact information, as you may need them when filing your claim.

Contact an auto accident lawyer.

Before discussing the incident with your insurer, consult a car crash attorney. Ideally, insurance companies are in business. The less they pay out, the more they make. Therefore, they would do everything in their power to give less compensation. This may include using unethical tactics, such as intentionally miscalculating your damages. Hiring a lawyer guarantees an appropriate settlement amount because these tactics would not work on them. Additionally, their negotiation skills are top-notch, not forgetting their familiarity with the law. Therefore, they ensure your rights are upheld in every step of the compensatory process.


Car inspection laws are essential in ensuring safety on our roads. Therefore, all vehicle owners must comply. These laws vary with jurisdictions. If you need clarification about the laws governing your state, consult a qualified Houston car accident lawyer to avoid penalties for non-compliance.

About the Author


Husain Law Firm

Nomaan K. Husain is the founder of Husain Law + Associates — Houston Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.C., a Houston-based law firm specializing in Litigation, Immigration, and Aviation. He is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law, with law licenses in Texas, New York, and other jurisdictions. Mr. Husain serves in key community roles, including as Commissioner on President Biden's White House Commission on Fellowships and Chairman of Houston's Asian American Pacific Islander Advisory Board. He's been recognized with several awards, such as the Global Leader Award from the Houston World Affairs Council.

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