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“Two Steps, One Sticker”: Inspection & Registration Together at Last


Get ready for the new Texas Two Step! The State of Texas will stop issuing inspection stickers and transition to a “Two Steps, One Sticker” vehicle inspection and registration system next year. Vehicles inspected after March 1, 2015, will no longer be issued an inspection sticker.

You will no longer have to worry about having two stickers with separate expiration dates as long as you follow two simple steps:

  1. Get and pass vehicle inspection.
  2. Renew your vehicle registration.

How “Two Steps, One Sticker” Will Work

In order to register you will be required to get and pass an inspection no more than 90 days prior to the date your registration expires. After the inspection, the station will update your electronic inspection record with the results. The station will also issue you a paper copy of the vehicle inspection report (VIR).

When you go to register your vehicle, whether in person, via mail or online, your inspection record will be verified electronically to determine if your vehicle has passed inspection and is eligible for registration at that time.

Transitioning to a “Two Steps, One Sticker” process will require every vehicle’s inspection and registration dates to expire at the same time. In order to do this you will be allowed to register your vehicle if your vehicle inspection is valid the day you register.

Why You'll Love “Two Steps, One Sticker”
  • Only one date to remember
  • Prevents inspection sticker fraud and theft
  • Increases motorist visibility
  • Enhances inspection compliance resulting in safer cars on the road
  • Saves taxpayer money
  • More aesthetically pleasing to drivers

Common Questions on “Two Steps, One Sticker”
  • Are the inspection requirements changing?
    • No. The inspection station will check the same elements that are currently inspected. You will need to ensure that you receive the proper inspection for the vehicle type and the county in which your vehicle is registered.
  • Will the cost of inspection or registration increase?
    • No. However, you will pay the inspection station their portion of the fee at the time of inspection and the state’s portion of the fee will be collected at the time of registration.
  • What if my vehicle passed inspection but the computer system says it didn’t or has no record of the inspection?
    • Simply present your valid, passing vehicle inspection report (VIR) provided to you by the inspection station, and registration will be permitted.
  • Can I still renew my registration online, in-person, or by mail?
    • Yes. You will still have the option to decide how you register your vehicle.

Staying Informed on “Two Steps, One Sticker”

You can stay up to date on the “Two Steps, One Sticker” initiative and other important TxDMV news by subscribing to receive motorist updates via email or text message. Just click on the red and white envelope icon at the bottom of the page to sign up.

Rebuilt Vehicles


manufacturerA rebuilt vehicle, also known as “prior salvage,” means it was branded “salvage” but was rebuilt to road worthiness. A rebuilt vehicle must pass safety and anti-theft inspections, and other state-mandated standards in order to return to the road.


Rebuilt Title Brands

Your Texas title will include the "Rebuilt Salvage" brand.

NMVTIS Brand Description
Rebuilt Vehicle was previously branded “salvage” but was rebuilt to road worthiness..
Prior Owner Retained Vehicle was previously branded "Owner Retained" and was sold. The new owner's title contains this brand.
Prior Non-Repairable / Repaired Vehicle was constructed by repairing a vehicle that has been destroyed or declared to be non-repairable but has been issued a title pursuant to state law after falling within this criterion with this brand on the face of the certificate of title.

Rebuilt Vehicle Buying Tips

When looking to purchase a used vehicle you might see one with a rebuilt title. The term “rebuilt” varies slightly from state-to-state, but is generally used to describe a salvaged vehicle that was repaired or restored. The vehicle previously carried a salvage title after it was damaged and considered totaled and inoperable. However, the vehicle was restored and title changed from salvage to rebuilt.

Considerations when looking at purchasing a rebuilt vehicle:

  • What was the extent of damage and where was the vehicle repaired? Some companies use damaged parts or cut and weld pieces together to create a replacement part.
  • Was the frame damaged and was the frame aligned properly? A misaligned frame can cause excessive wear and strain to the drive train, wheels, tires and brakes.
  • Was the vehicle examined and certified by an independent and qualified mechanic? Have an expert mechanic thoroughly inspect the vehicle. Rebuilt vehicles can cause problems that will cost more to repair than the actual value of the vehicle.
  • Can the vehicle be insured? Often rebuilt vehicles are denied insurance. Check with your insurance agent before purchasing the vehicle.
  • How much is the vehicle worth? The value of rebuilt vehicles vary. However, they will always be worth substantially less because they were salvage vehicles.

Salvage Vehicles

iStock 000022294884MediumA salvage motor vehicle means the vehicle was damaged to the extent that the cost for repair, which includes materials and labor, was more than the vehicle was worth before it was damaged. Insurance companies usually make this determination.


Salvage Title Brands

A vehicle with any of the NMVTIS brands listed below is considered a salvage vehicle in Texas. In order for this vehicle to be operated on a road again, it must first be rebuilt and inspected. Otherwise, the vehicle is only eligible for a salvage title, nonrepairable title, or for authority to dispose of the vehicle.

NMVTIS Brand Description
Fire Damage Vehicle was damaged by fire.
Owner Retained Vehicle was declared by the insurance company to be a total loss but the owner maintains possession and ownership of the vehicle.
Salvage - Damage or Not Specified Any vehicle which has been wrecked, destroyed or damaged, to the extent that the total estimated or actual cost of parts and labor to rebuild or reconstruct the vehicle to its pre-accident condition and for legal operation on roads or highways exceeds a jurisdiction-defined percentage of the retail value of the vehicle. Also includes any vehicle to which an insurance company acquires ownership pursuant to a damage settlement, or any vehicle that the vehicle's owner may wish to designate as a salvage vehicle by obtaining a salvage title, without regard to extent of the vehicles damage and repairs.
Salvage - Reasons Other Than Damage or Stolen Any vehicle the reporting jurisdiction considers salvage for a reason other than it was damaged or stolen. For example, this brand could be applied if an abandoned motor vehicle was towed away at the request of law enforcement, and an owner never claimed the vehicle.
Salvage Retention Vehicle is branded salvage and kept by the owner
Salvage - Stolen This vehicle was previously reported as stolen. An insurance claim was paid out on this vehicle, and the reporting jurisdiction therefore reported this vehicle as salvage. You should contact the reporting jurisdiction to ensure the vehicle is no longer considered stolen.

Salvage Vehicle Buying Tips

  • Learn the exact damage to the vehicle.
  • Consider the vehicle's insurability and resale value.
  • Have the vehicle inspected by a reputable mechanic.
  • Get a vehicle title history report and a history of the vehicle's maintenance records.

Water-Damaged Vehicles


2116263You can find out if the used vehicle you've been eying has ever been damaged by water or in a flood by going to Title Check and viewing the title history report. However, while you are out shopping, there are some signs or clues you can look for that may indicate the vehicle has water damage.

This category includes the following brands:


NMVTIS Brand Description Texas Brand
Flood Damaged The vehicle was damaged by freshwater flood or by flood of unknown origin. Flood Damage
Salt Water Damaged The vehicle was damaged by saltwater flood. Flood Damage
How to Spot a Water-Damaged Vehicle

The following inspection tips may help detect significant water damage on a vehicle:

  • Examine the interior and the engine compartment for evidence of water and grit from suspected submersion.
  • Check for recently shampooed carpet, and check under the floorboard carpet for water residue or stain marks from evaporated water not related to air-conditioning pan leaks.
  • Look for rusting on the inside of the car and under interior carpeting, and visually inspect all interior upholstery and door panels for evidence of fading.
  • Check under the dashboard for dried mud and residue, and note any evidence of mold or a musty odor in the upholstery, carpet or trunk.
  • Check for rust on screws in the console or other areas where water would normally not reach unless submerged.
  • Check for mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.
  • Complete a detailed inspection of the electrical wiring system, looking for rusted components, water residue or suspicious corrosion.
  • Inspect the undercarriage or other components for evidence of rust and flaking metal that would not normally be associated with late model vehicles.

While these inspection suggestions will not detect water damage in every case, they do provide some information to protect consumers from purchasing a vehicle damaged by water, such as flood. If you are considering purchasing a vehicle that you suspect may have been damaged by water, consider having it inspected by a licensed mechanic.


Custom Vehicle / Replica


A custom or replica vehicle has been altered from the manufacturer’s original design or has a body constructed from materials not original to the vehicle.

This category includes the following brands:



NMVTIS Brand Description Texas Brand
Reconstructed A vehicle that has been permanently altered from original construction by removing, adding, or substituting major components. Reconstructed
Replica A vehicle with a body built to resemble and be a reproduction of another vehicle of a given year and given manufacturer. Replica
Street Rod The vehicle has been modified to not conform with the manufacturers specifications, and the modifications adhere to jurisdiction-specific criteria. Replica


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