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Old 06-15-2015, 09:29 AM   #1
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Texas trailer owners beware!

Starting this March 1, 2015, any trailer (travel, boat, etc) registered in Texas, will require a current State Inspection prior to each year's license plate renewal. The weight cutoff for this requirement is 4500 pounds for boat-and-trailer. I believe a travel trailer will fall in that same weight limit--but check. Main problem is that the majority of inspection stations will not inspect a travel trailer ( not enough room, etc.). I've called 10 places from auto dealers, quick lube, pep boys and finally found one that services large tractor trailer trucks that will inspect the 30 flying cloud. If you plan ahead and get your inspection prior to your license expiration date, that info will be transmitted to your county tax collector and you will receive your renewal paperwork in the mail as usual. With no inspection on file, you will get what I got--a letter stating you must have the trailer inspected and then bring proof of inspection with the letter to your Co. Tax Collector Office, in person, for plate renewal. Starting the end of Feb 2016 you will have a 90 day period before your registration expires to have an inspection done for seamless re-registration via mail. (Same rule for Autos as they are shifting to a "two steps, one window sticker" program.

This is Texas doing what they do best, make their money from property owners. A call to our state representatives, should be in order, explaining the difficulty of the lack with inspection sites and that we just don't drive a travel trailer through a Jiffy Lube safely every day.

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Old 06-16-2015, 01:20 PM   #2
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A follow up after having the trailer inspected today and then sitting for an hour waiting in the Bexar County Tax Collector's office to be issued a license plate renewal sticker:

1. The TX vehicle inspection was a look at the tires and that all running, turn and brake lights were in good working condition--that was it.

2. 4500 pounds and above is the weight cut off for needing the inspection. (I suppose EOW)

3. Starting March 1, 2016 a trailer owner must have an inspection within 90 days of the registration expiration in order to have renewal registration forms sent in the mail. I ask and as of now, there is no option for re-registering your trailer if you are traveling out of state during that 90 days. I just really don't think much thought was put into the problems this new precess is going to cause. If out of state when all this now comes due, I guess, call your local Tax Collector and ask what to do.

4. One last thing. I would recommend keeping your plate registration paperwork in your TV or the trailer. A few decades ago I watched a law similar to this in Florida. In FL the law had to do with proof of insurance prior to the issuance of a license renewal and sticker that applied to your plate. There, the bad guys would use a razor blade, cut under and remove your up to date sticker and stick it on their uninsured auto's license plate. When you got stopped, your license had no current registration showing. I see that same possibility for us here now.

5. Take a good book if you have to visit the Tax Collector's in person.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:35 PM   #3
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Well, Texas trailers have been using the registration sticker on the license plate for years and required proof of liability insurance on SOME vehicle to issue it, so the last part isn't new. Your valid registration should be accessible in the state's computer system, so if someone steals the sticker and you get stopped, the officer should be able to check against your license plate and/or VIN to find that you're duly registered. It's not a bad idea to carry a copy of the registration papers in the glove box, but it's not required for non-commercial vehicles in Texas.

Travel trailers are (and have been for a long time) subject to a safety inspection if your titled GVWR for the trailer is 4501 lb or more. The difference is that this year they're changing the process for getting your license tags (for a motor vehicle OR a trailer, by the way) to require you to get the inspection (which no longer comes with a sticker) before you can renew your registration.

As far as not being in Texas within 90 days of your renewal, well, if you're not a full-time student or in the military you're required to get the inspection in Texas. This has always been true for your tow vehicle, so it's not really a new restriction. Once you get the inspection done, you can still renew the registration by mail or online unless you've waited until the last minute.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:41 PM   #4
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Howard thanks for the info and especially the update. That saves me a trip to gather information on this new set of rules. I get my inspection yearly in Oct, but now I see I won't have to think about getting the inspection in advance of registration till 2016.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:53 PM   #5
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Its another money grab. As I understand it, small utility trailers may require electric brakes of course this depends on the carrying weight of the trailer.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:14 PM   #6
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If you are 'close' to renewal, it might be good to 'get er dun' before you 'trip out'...

I had mine inspected here in my home town... before the 'law' took effect. Next year will be my first 'help' from the new 'law'.

I said years ago.. "People, and politicians, are moving to Texas who are more comfortable with 'taxes', tolls and 'fees' than FREE men should accept." Now they are talking about paying for 'improvements' to I35 through Austin...with ''fees"...and 'Tolls'.... something like 14 BILLION dollars!!!!

Sick.

I hate it when I am right...

Well, for now, this is not too severe...yet.

If out of state when 'due', I will 'inspect' when I return to the Republic.. if it still exists.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:42 PM   #7
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Have had this sort of garbage in PA for years. Inspections can only be done by authorized trailer inspection locations - RV dealers almost all have the necessary license. Then things like motorcycles must be inspected someplace else. ETC. Money, it's all about the money.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:48 PM   #8
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Years ago, when I lived in Indiana, annual auto inspections were mandatory. Independent auto shops could perform the inspections and issue the sticker. We found certain shops that , if included with the state inspection fee, a large Pizza made to the inspectors liking would fast track the inspection and non-hazardous issue would be over looked. Thats more than likely why they don't do them anymore.
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:27 PM   #9
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This is not a forum for politics. It's fair to discuss the details around the implementation of this new process to push people to get the inspections that have already been required for years, and inconvenience that may result from the way it's been set up.
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:37 PM   #10
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As David said, our CRs forbid political stakeholding, for obvious reasons. Please abide!


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Old 06-16-2015, 04:25 PM   #11
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:46 PM   #12
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How does this effect the many Texas residents in name only full timers? Asking because I am getting ready to hit the road full time and need a legal residence of record. I have heard that Texas may be a good state for that.
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:50 PM   #13
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How does this effect the many Texas residents in name only full timers? Asking because I am getting ready to hit the road full time and need a legal residence of record. I have heard that Texas may be a good state for that.
You, your vehicle(s) and your trailer would have to be physically present in Texas in your county of "residence" or another county with the same level of emissions inspection at least once per year, and it would be most convenient if that was within 90 days before your registration renewal date.
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:58 AM   #14
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Politics and religion two of the most important things to talk about.
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:59 AM   #15
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Texas RV dealers will have to become qualified inspectors. Seems like the places that sell 18 wheeler trailers could do the inspection.
We have trouble getting the DOT Annual Inspections on our fleet trucks in Texas. They no longer put a sticker, the Annual Inspection Label, on the vehicles. This could be a problem if one of the trucks leaves Texas headed to another state. Why can Texas just do it the same way as the rest of 'em?
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:14 AM   #16
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I was told by the rep when I was talking to her about registering our 1967 Overlander that we'd still have to get a weight slip to prove it is under 4,500 even though our title says it is 4180. So the 4500 includes its "carrying capacity or actual load" too. I'm hoping our weight certificate will still show under 4,500 with actual load but who knows. I'm assuming that now that they are requiring inspection before registration that the inspection stations will get up to speed within the next few months.
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:31 AM   #17
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Yep , this trailer inspection sticker thing has been around for a lot of years in Texas . Yet up till now the police rarely , if ever , enforced the law as to travel trailers , more so for bumper pull and goose neck lowboys and work trailers . Case in point , when we came back from upper Illinois with our new to us AS and took it to an inspection station to get them to verify the serial number , the inspector said he had never put a sticker on a travel trailer in all his years of inspecting stuff . But since a sticker was part of the deal , he looked to see if the lights worked and put a sticker on the tongue of the trailer . Did not even check to see if the brakes worked or not .
Knowing that Texas had the law in place that trailers over 4500 pounds had to have brakes and yearly inspection and a weight ticket from a certified scale to get an out of state title changed over, we stopped at a CAT scale in Arkansas on the way home and weighed the trailer axles only with the weight distribution system unhooked and with empty tanks , the weight was 4000 pounds so we slipped in under the law that requires yearly inspections in order to get renewed license plates .
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:42 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
Well, Texas trailers have been using the registration sticker on the license plate for years and required proof of liability insurance on SOME vehicle to issue it, so the last part isn't new. Your valid registration should be accessible in the state's computer system, so if someone steals the sticker and you get stopped, the officer should be able to check against your license plate and/or VIN to find that you're duly registered. It's not a bad idea to carry a copy of the registration papers in the glove box, but it's not required for non-commercial vehicles in Texas.

Travel trailers are (and have been for a long time) subject to a safety inspection if your titled GVWR for the trailer is 4501 lb or more. The difference is that this year they're changing the process for getting your license tags (for a motor vehicle OR a trailer, by the way) to require you to get the inspection (which no longer comes with a sticker) before you can renew your registration.

As far as not being in Texas within 90 days of your renewal, well, if you're not a full-time student or in the military you're required to get the inspection in Texas. This has always been true for your tow vehicle, so it's not really a new restriction. Once you get the inspection done, you can still renew the registration by mail or online unless you've waited until the last minute.
Real good detail added DKB. Even though the trailer inspection has been required in TX for years it was not enforced. However, your last paragraph--I have to disagree. The 90 days "prior to" inspection is a new restriction. Before, you could get your inspection any time (on TV or trailer if you wanted). Your TV and/or trailer registration was always mailed--with or without inspection proof. Now, you must inspect no sooner than 90 days prior to registration exp date or no registration is mailed, or allowed until you return to TX with your TV and trailer and get it done. If you are out of state during that 90 days, you do have a restriction that is a problem.
As far as politics, $7.50 of the $14.50 the inspection used to cost now goes to your County tax collector and the state costs of printing the inspection stickers is gone.
Also, It will be interesting to see the trouble, if any, others have in finding an inspection station that accepts trailers. Not all state inspection station listings on the web that show they will inspect trailers will do so. 6 of the 10 I called showed they inspected trailers but only one would do my 30 footer.
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:58 AM   #19
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...if you are a full timer or a wanna be... it might be a good reason to move your residence to Florida or some other more RV friendly state eh?
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:10 PM   #20
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Kwik Kar auto service station does trailer inspections. Dripping Springs, TX. Brand new place on 290 west. Very nice folks and tons of room for any RV. If they are busy you can eat lunch next door at the Burger King which is also right next to the Shell which has huge lanes for pulling through. Very easy in and out from the highway.
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