On May 27, 2013, both the House and Senate of the 83rd Texas Legislature passed HB 2305, and it was signed by Governor Perry on June 14, 2013. Fast forward nearly 2 years when this law took effect on March 1, 2015.
A co-worker (who did not know the law had changed) had her car inspected last Friday (March 13), and she left with her Vehicle Inspection Report (you no longer receive an inspection sticker). Both her inspection and registration are due in April. On Monday (March 16), she went online and renewed her Vehicle Registration in the morning. (She did not know that the law had changed, and wondered why it wasn’t better advertised.) About 10:30 that same night she received an email from the DMV stating that they were not able to renew her registration at this time, but did not provide a specific reason, but they did say that they would refund her payment to her credit card. On Tuesday (March 24) she stopped at Kroger’s on her way home to renew her registration. She took her renewal notice from the State, proof of her insurance, and the Vehicle Inspection Report. Kroger was also not able to renew her registration and told her that it may take up to 90 days for the Vehicle Inspection Report to show up on the system. So tomorrow, she’s having to take the day off to go to her county (Harris) DMV to renew her registration. As a side note, she said the amount requested on her renewal she received in the mail was $65. Online, the amount was $80.
I’m very interested in this process as my inspection is due in May and my registration due in June. So I’ve tried to find out if my co-worker’s experience is what others may be experiencing. If you click on the picture above of the “Two Step”, it will take you to a website giving you more information. I’ve excerpted a couple of paragraphs below.
Most inspection records will be available in real time, but there may be instances when the record is not immediately available. If your vehicle passed inspection but the system is unable to electronically verify it, you may present the current, passing VIR you received from the inspection station to the county at the time of renewal. Your inspection will be verified manually, and you will be permitted to renew your vehicle registration.
If you are renewing your registration at a county subcontractor location, such as your local grocery store, they may not accept your VIR as proof of inspection. Each county will determine whether their subcontractors can verify inspection via VIR. If a subcontractor is not permitted to verify via VIR, you will be directed to the county office to complete your renewal.
I called the DMV 1-888 number to ask if there was a problem with the system and told “Anita” what was going on with my friend. She didn’t seem aware of problems and said that the collections is really a county tax assessor function. So I called and spoke with someone in the Brazoria County Tax Assessors office.
While working on the computer program is in fact the responsibility of the DMV, Brazoria County is aware that there are some “glitches in the system”, but hopes that those will be fixed shortly. (The DMV has had almost 2 years to fix the “glitches”. My pointing this out is the reason for my title – as I am truly wondering if there may be a glitch competition among various taxpayer agencies.)
I was told that within 48 hours the Vehicle Inspection Reports SHOULD be available to electronically verify on the system, but it couldn’t be guaranteed. It was suggested to me that I should have my vehicle inspected a month before trying to renew the registration online “just in case”, and that if I wasn’t able to renew online I could mail it in instead of coming to a tax office in person. (However, if I mail it in, will I be notified if they are unable to verify my inspection? That question wasn’t answered.)
Is it just me, or is it nearly impossible for a governmental agency to actually SIMPLIFY registration compliance as intended? Yea, I didn’t think it was just me.