How it works: Where do fees from vehicle registration and inspection go?


Texas drivers are required to annually submit a vehicle registration and inspection for each vehicle, according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Fees vary based on vehicle type and county of registration and inspection.

In 2015, the state of Texas implemented a “Two Steps, One Sticker” vehicle inspection and registration program.

The registration fee, which begins at $50.75, goes directly to the State Highway Fund. In 2017, the fund collected more than $1.5 billion in registration fees for the construction and maintenance of the state’s transportation system, according to the DMV. One dollar from each registration is allocated for TexasSure, an insurance verification system.

Local fees, which range from $0 to $31.50, are established by county officials. Counties can charge up to $10 for road and bridge projects, $20 for long-term road projects and $1.50 for child safety programs.

The inspection fee is shared by the inspection station and the state, which collects $7.50 per vehicle. Processing and handling fees are also charged.

Correction: The “Two Steps, One Sticker” program was passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013 but not implemented until 2015. The base registration fee is $50.75. The state’s portion of the inspection fee ranges from $7.50 to $22 according to vehicle and inspection type. 


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Tierra Smith joined Community Impact in 2018, covering a range of topics in the Tomball and Magnolia area. She earned a master of mass communication from Louisiana State University, and she received a bachelor's degree from Grambling State University where she served as the editor-in-chief of The Gramblinite, the student newspaper at GSU. The National Association of Black Journalists selected Tierra as its Student Journalist of the Year in 2015. Her byline has also been included in the Tampa Bay Times, The Denver Post, the Salt Lake Tribune and The News-Star in Monroe, La.
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