Sticker Shock

Texas puts the brakes on pandemic waiver for renewing vehicle registration

Texas puts the brakes on pandemic waiver for renewing car registration

Traffic jam I-35 Austin
The clock is ticking on getting that sticker updated. Photo by Larry D. Moore/Wikimedia Commons

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 or 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.