Unsafe Vehicle Loophole Closed by Texas DMV
Temporary tags and 30-day permits have been misused to allow unsafe vehicles on Texas roadways. After taking steps to curtail fraudulent tags being issued by car dealers, the Texas DMV has now turned its attention to 30-day permits being used to skirt the law. A loophole that allowed unsafe vehicles on Texas roads has now been closed.
All vehicles registered in Texas must meet safety standards to be operated legally. Safety inspections, along with emissions testing in some counties, are used to keep dangerous vehicles off the roads. Passenger vehicles are inspected in a number of areas, including:
- Seat Belts
The full inspection list depends on the type of vehicle and can be found here.
A vehicle that cannot pass this inspection is considered unsafe for the road. Unfortunately, some owners of these vehicles were able to get around the rule by obtaining a 30-day temporary permit. Owners can get up to three of these permits, allowing them to operate unsafe vehicles for an extended period of time.
A lack of coordination is not uncommon when it comes to the government. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles wasn’t requiring DMV offices to check on vehicle safety and inspection records. One hand didn’t know what the other was doing.
The DMV became aware of the problem after a news program exposed the issue. The policy has now been changed. DMV offices are now requiring vehicle owners to provide proof that the vehicle passed its inspection when they apply for the 30-day permit.
This is not the first time a temporary shortcut has been used fraudulently. The DMV has only recently begun taking steps to stop car dealers who were selling temporary plates for profit. Temporary plates are supposed to be used for people who buy cars at a dealership. This fraudulent use of the system was also likely used to get dangerous cars on the roads.
Texas safety inspections are not difficult to pass. As cars get older, they may require some maintenance to meet these standards. Still, a car has to be fundamentally flawed to fail an inspection. These are cars that should not be on the roads. They are a danger to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
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