Clearing up the Texas Inspection Sticker confusion

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HOUSTON, TX-- Okay, so it's almost March 1, the date when we will no longer need car inspection stickers. Everybody clear on how this all works? We weren't, so we headed to River Oaks Tire & Auto where they do about 50 state vehicle inspections each month.

"For the last 15, 20, 25 years, we've had a two-sticker system," explains Rusk Elatassi, mechanic and longtime owner at the auto shop. "What the state is now doing is eliminating one of those stickers -- the inspection sticker -- and just going with the registration sticker."

So does that mean no car inspections anymore? Get real! You just have to have your inspection done 90 days before you get your registration renewed. And instead of a sticker, you will get handed a piece of paper with an authorization number which will be required when you apply for your registration sticker.

One plus, though, is your inspection will be cheaper now. "The inspection stickers were originally $39.75," Elatassi explains, "but they're now gonna be $25.50."

Don't get too happy, though.  You'll pay that $14.25 when you renew your registration. So basically this is just a way for the state to collect their 14 bucks and not have to do anything for it-- not even print a sticker.

Rusk points out it is also supposed to make the whole process less susceptible to fraud.  That's a good thing.

State inspector Jesus Diaz, 21, of the Xpress Automative on Westpark, says people are getting stressed about this for no reason. "It's actually a little bit simpler for the people," he says. "You come here, get your inspection done, get your paperwork, go straight to the courthouse, and it's just one sticker. You don't have to worry about two different dates."

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