Tire Requirements -Texas Vehicle Inspection

April 29th, 2013

Vehicles registered in the State of Texas are required to receive an annual inspection. All vehicle inspections include a comprehensive safety inspection to ensure basic road worthiness.  Any vehicle registered in a county classified by Federal EPA as being in nonattainment status (17) are required to have an emissions test in addition to the safety inspection.

The cost of the annual inspection is determined by the county of registration and the what type of inspection is required.

Gasoline powered vehicles 2 through 24 years old are required to have an emission inspection. If you are in a county that requires an emission test and your vehicle is newer than 2 years or older than 24 years, you are still required to have a safety inspection.

Every motor vehicle registered in the state of Texas and operated on the streets and highways in the  state and required to be inspected shall be equipped with tires in proper and safe condition.


Tires should be inspected visually and the tread measured with a tread depth gauge calibrated in 32nds of an inch if the tire does not have tread wear indicators.

No tire will be considered to be in safe operating condition unless it meets the visual and tread depth requirements set forth in the state regulations.

An inspection of the vehicle's spare tire is not required. All tires must appear to be properly inflated - even though a gauge check is not required.

The tread depth requirement of the state regulations apply to both tires of each set of dual wheels. All other inspection requirements also apply to both tires in each set of dual wheels.

Dragster tires or racing slicks without sufficient tread or which have had all tread removed are not acceptable.


1. Tires with any localized worn spot that exposes the ply or cord through the tread.

2. Tires that have tread or sidewall cracks, cuts, or snags (as measured on the outside of the tire) in excess of one inch in any direction and deep enough to expose the body cords.

3. Tires which have any visible bumps, bulges, or knots apparently related to tread or sidewall separation or partial failure of the tire structure, including bead area.

4. Tires which have been re-grooved or re-cut below the original groove depth, except special (re-groovable) tires which have extra under tread rubber for this purpose (commercial vehicles only) and are identified as such.

5. Any dual wheel assembly where the side of one tire is in contact with the other. (Any dual tires that contact each other.)

6. Tires that are marked "Not for Highway Use," "Farm Use Only," "For Racing Purposes Only," or with other use restrictions that would indicate the tire is not meant for highway use. This includes temporary spares, inflatable, or small high pressure spares.

7. Tires which has been repaired temporarily by the use of blowout patches and boots. Nail hole plugs or patches are not cause for rejection.

8. Tires without tread wear indicators worn so that less than 2/32 (1/16) of an inch of tread design depth remains when measured (with a tread depth gauge) at the lowest points in any two adjacent major grooves in the center or middle of the tire.

8. Tire with tread wear indicators worn so that the tread wear indicators contact the road in any two adjacent major grooves in the center or middle of the tire.


The State of Texas offers a five (5) day grace period for vehicle owners to get their inspection sticker. An inspection certificate expires on the last day of the month that is indicated on the windshield sticker. Vehicle owners have until the 5th day of the following month to have your car inspected.


If your vehicle fails the original inspection, have the specified item(s) repaired and take it back to the inspection station where the original inspection was performed within 15 days for a free re-test. If you choose not to take it back to the station that originally performed the inspection or more than 15 days have passed since your first inspection then your vehicle is no longer eligible for the free re-test.

  Posted in: Tire Education


Sammy Burke says:
July 7, 2016 at 3:44 pm
Wow, I didn't know that the state will reject a car inspection for tires that have any localized worn spot that exposes the ply or cord through the thread, as mentioned in the article. Reading that made us me realize that my son's car might not pass the inspection. Simply because he did tell me of seeing an exposed cord on through the tread of his front right tire.

Craig says:
August 16, 2016 at 9:01 am
Good information to know before getting inspection. Especially, tread depth. Cracks, knots, exposed cord, etc. is pretty much common sense as being unsafe. These conditions are major causes for tires to blow out while driving during the hot summer heat and or towing extra weight. I know from past experience. I make it a habit to check/inspect my tires (and fluid levels) each time I fill my vehicles at the gas pump. Now if only my wife and grown kids would do the same...

Gil Hernandez says:
October 17, 2016 at 11:59 am
I just tried to get my classic '69 barracuda inspected at the local Exxon. They told me that they couldn't inspect the car because the rear tires and rims were not the same size as the front tires and rims. They said that a state inspector told them that all the tires and rims had to be the same size. What I want to know is "How are they going to inspect Vipers and Corvettes, they both came with larger tires in the rear and larger rims as well?" Gil in Texas

Paula Edwards says:
October 26, 2016 at 4:09 pm
I was told my van would not pass inspection because a plug used to repair the tire was leaking. They told me this was not a state requirement but their personal policy. I feel they should have passed the vehicle and advised me of their findings. Now I have to stop and get the tire repaired and then return to them. I don't feel that their personal requirements should override the State ones.