Texans who put off car registration, inspection during COVID pandemic must act soon

Gordon Dickson
·2 min read

Texans who postponed registering their vehicles during the COVID pandemic are running out of time to act.

For much of the past year, the state has allowed automobile owners to skip the annual registration for their vehicles, because of the hardships caused by the coronavirus. But that waiver is coming to an end April 14.

Also on April 14, a waiver of the state’s driver license requirements comes to an end.

Car owners are urged to act now, rather than wait until the last minute.

“It is not necessary to wait until the deadline,” Whitney Brewster, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, said in an email.

Many car owners find that the easiest way to renew registration is to go online.

Vehicles with windshield stickers that expired at the end of May 2020 or later can still renew online. Stickers that expired at the end of May 2020 can be renewed online until March 31, whereas stickers that expired at the end of June 2020 or later have until the final deadline of April 14.

To renew car registration online, go to www.txdmv.gov.

To renew in person, visit your county’s tax assessor-collector office. In Tarrant County, check with www.tarrantcounty.com for the numerous locations available to renew registration.

Residents may also renew registration by mail, by returning the envelope provided by the county tax assessor-collector’s office. But be sure to allow enough time (at least a couple of weeks) to receive your new sticker by mail before the old sticker expires.

Also, it’s important to remember that your vehicle will need a safety and emissions inspection within 90 days of the registration. Car inspections are available on a drive-up basis at several hundred service stations, lube shops and other auto-centric retailers across the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

For driver licenses, a different agency handles those renewals in Texas. Go to the Texas Department of Public Safety website for information on renewals of driver licenses or other forms of identification.

The waiver of car registrations has been in place since Gov. Greg Abbott announced the program on March 16, 2020.

For more information, Texans may go to the Two Steps One Sticker website. About five years ago, the state did away with the requirement for separate windshield stickers for car registrations and inspections, and created a single sticker to serve as proof that both services are up to date.