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 Wednesday, 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 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.