Inspection Tips for Motorcycles


What is involved in a motorcycle safety inspection?

MotorcycleInspectionAlthough the State of Texas does not require an emissions test on motorcycles, an annual safety inspection is required prior to a motorcycle's registration renewal.

The safety inspection critieria set by the State of Texas is designed to make sure that your motorcycle is operating safely and includes checks of your vehicle's:

  • Horn
  • Mirrors
  • Steering
  • Braking system
  • Headlamp, stop and tail lights, license plate lamp, reflectors, and turn signals
  • Wheel assembly and tires for damage/minimum tread depth
  • Exhaust system

If your vehicle passes, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) will automatically be notified to clear the way for your vehicle registration renewal. Since the Texas "Two Steps One Sticker" program began in March 2015, you will no longer receive a sticker at the time of your inspection. Instead, you'll receive a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR), then later at the time of your registration you'll receive a sticker that will serve as combined proof of both inspection and registration. Be sure to keep your VIR paperwork until you receive your actual sticker in case there is any issue with the DMV's electonic verification of your inspection!

If any item on the checklist fails, you'll receive instructions on what needs to be repaired. Once your repair is complete, simply return to any of our DEKRA stations within 15 days of your original inspection for a free retest.


How often is a motorcycle safety inspection required?

Motorcycles follow the same inspection schedule as cars where the State of Texas requires a safety inspection each year (see our Inspection Tips for Cars for special advice for new residents, out-of-state vehicles, and exemptions).


What kinds of motorcycles need to be inspected?

Any motorcycle to be driven on Texas roadways requires the standard annual safety inspection. The Texas Department of Public Safety's definition of a motorcycle is: "Every motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the rider and designed to propel itself with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground but excluding a tractor." 

This means that "Motor-driven cycles" or "Mopeds" also require an inspection, although testing is reduced to evaluate the braking system, head lamp, rear lamp, and reflectors.

Miniature motorcycles, also referred to "pocket bikes" or "pocket rockets", do not meet federal or state equipment standards and are only legally operated on private property. For this reason, inspection and registration is not applicable.


Tips for passing your motorcycle inspection:

The following tips will help your motorcyle pass its inspection, and at the same time help keep our roads safe!

  • Regular maintenance
    Change your oil and filters as recommended by the manufacturer to help your motorcycle operate efficiently. It is also important to use the type of oil and fuel recommended by the manufacturer for best performance.
  • Watch for leaks
    Low fluid levels can affect the efficiency and performance of your vehicle, or can represent an underlying problem that could lead to a test failure.
  • Gas cap required
    Make sure your gas cap is in place and is of the correct type to avoid excess fumes and evaporative emissions. Although an emissions test is not required for motorcycles, this tip helps your engine run more efficiently.
  • Watch for warning lights
    If a warning light is lit, it could indicate a problem that could cause your motorcycle to fail its inspection and could indicate a safety concern.


Visit a DEKRA station for more expert advice and a fast, professional vehicle inspection.


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