Texas puts the brakes on pandemic waiver for renewing vehicle registration

The pandemic-fueled hiatus on certain requirements for Texas vehicle titles and registrations is coming to an end.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced the temporary waiver on March 16, 2020, to reduce in-person exposure to the coronavirus. A little over a year later, on April 14, 2021, the waiver is set to expire. The waiver enabled Texans to avoid penalties for failing to drive with a current vehicle title or registration.

Once the waiver disappears, law enforcement officers can issue citations for motorists who operate a vehicle without an up-to-date registration sticker or a current registration receipt. No grace period will be in place after April 14.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers three options for registering a vehicle:

  • Online at TxDMV.gov or Texas.gov. Online renewal is available up to nine months past the registration expiration date.

  • By mail. Return the bottom portion of your registration renewal form, payment, and other required information to your county’s tax assessor-collector.

  • In person. You can visit the office of your county’s tax assessor-collector or, in many cases, you can renew registration at a local grocery store.

“Before renewing registration, Texans will need to obtain a passing vehicle inspection at the state vehicle inspection station of their choice, unless their vehicle is exempt from inspection requirements,” the Texas DMV says in an April 5 release.

The expiring temporary waiver covers:

  • Initial vehicle registration.

  • Vehicle registration renewal.

  • Vehicle titling.

  • Renewal of parking placards for people who are permanently disabled.

  • 30-day temporary permits.

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