In 2017, the 85th Texas State Legislature passed Senate Bill (S.B.) 2076 with this requirement:
“Not later than December 31, 2018, the Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles shall:
(1) conduct a study on the efficiency and necessity of the titling, including actions related to titling such as registration, and inspection of vehicles in this state; and
(2) submit to the legislature a report on the results of the study that includes:
a. identification of any elements of the vehicle titling, including actions related to titling such as registration, and inspection programs that can be eliminated; and
b. recommendations for legislation to eliminate those elements.”
S.B. 2076 was signed by Greg Abbott, the Governor of Texas, on June 15, 2017, and became effective September 1, 2017. The Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS), using a competitive selection process, awarded a contract to The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Transportation Research (CTR) to conduct this study.
The objectives of this study were to meet legislative requirements through these three tasks:
- Quantify the efficiency of the vehicle inspection program by analyzing the economic impacts of eliminating the passenger Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Program (referred to in this document as the Inspection Program) in terms of potential cost and revenue changes for different entities impacted by the program;
- Address the necessity of the Inspection Program by assessing the safety impact of eliminating the Inspection Program on all road users and vehicle owners in Texas; and
- Make recommendations on whether the Inspection Program, as an element of vehicle titling, should be eliminated based on the economic and safety evaluations.
The findings from this study’s analysis indicate that the Inspection Program saves lives and enhances safety. The CTR team strongly recommends the following:
- Retain the Inspection Program.
- Conduct a further study to consider whether potential additional inspection items, such as tire age and recall information, should be included in the Inspection Program to further enhance highway safety in Texas.