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Unread 08-07-2013, 06:45 PM   #1
Grewe02
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Thinking about joining the Republic. How are car laws?

You read it right, how are car laws around the great state of Texas? Coming from California, anything emissions related will be a relief I'm sure.

Yearly inspections?
Registration costs?
Overly dumb bumper height laws?
Why not... emissions?
Anything else you can think of

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Unread 08-08-2013, 12:32 AM   #2
nekolin
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basically if you're not moving to the country here and coming to a city just sell your jeep now. i have to keep mine registered back in ky. everything is illegal here in austin. but yeah just imagine ca laws times two and its like that. strict emissions, stock tires only, no lift allowed, yearly inspections, there is even laws on how much tire tread you must have. most people i know have to buy new tires every year. but if you go to a shop that doesnt care like in the country or pay off the inspectors then you can do what ever you want.
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Unread 08-08-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
SchizophrenicMC
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Most of the inspection and emissions rules are made up on the county level. There are 254 counties in Texas. Only 17 have emissions testing at all. State laws are as follows:

Overall vehicle size limited to 102" wide, 13' 6" tall, 45' long for a single vehicle
Tires must be in safe condition and without bulges; no other state laws regarding tires
All 4 wheels must have brakes and the vehicle must stop from 20mph within 30 feet
There are no steering, suspension, frame, bumper, or fender laws on state books
Minimum 2 headlights 24-54" from the ground
Minimum 2 taillights 15-72" from the ground
Maximum 2 spotlights
Maximum 2 fog lights 12-30" from the ground
Maximum 2 auxiliary passing lights 24-42" from the ground
Maximum 2 auxiliary driving lights 16-42" from the ground
No windshield requirement, however vehicles with windshields must have functioning wipers
Mufflers required; exhaust cutouts are prohibited
No engine-related laws

(Taken from liftlaws.com)

On the state level, Texas is pretty good. Counties and cities can make their own laws that are stricter, but most don't. I would avoid Travis, Williamson, Harris, and Collin counties. Thus far, I haven't had problems with Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, or Parker counties, and those are all here in the metroplex.
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Unread 08-08-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
nekolin
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deff avoid wilco we took my buddys cj to get tested and they defuncted it for having less then 70 percent tread on his tires took it back and they said he cant have a crack in his windshield so i ran up with my tools and we put his windshield down payed again then they said his horn didnt work so in the lot we installed one in the ash tray payed again and finally passed its a really messed up thing here 35 dollars for each inspection its basically a scam in wilco they even give you a qoute on how much they will charge you to fix the problems if you fail since they are ran out of autoshops here. i did here up north was better though.
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Unread 08-08-2013, 04:01 PM   #5
SchizophrenicMC
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In Tarrant, inspectors are required to run with no-pass-no-pay rules. Went to get my Jeep inspected today, but they couldn't pass me because my parking brake didn't work. Didn't pay a cent.
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Unread 08-08-2013, 07:47 PM   #6
nekolin
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Originally Posted by SchizophrenicMC View Post
In Tarrant, inspectors are required to run with no-pass-no-pay rules. Went to get my Jeep inspected today, but they couldn't pass me because my parking brake didn't work. Didn't pay a cent.
lucky i wish we had that here
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Unread 08-08-2013, 11:35 PM   #7
SchizophrenicMC
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The obvious solution is to move to a peripheral county. One of the 237 counties in Texas that doesn't have emissions and BS testing.

I guess the other idea is to find a shady inspector and slip him a couple Jacksons for his trouble.
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Unread 08-09-2013, 07:57 AM   #8
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I've run some fairly illegal set ups before, the nice thing about Houston, the cops never seemed to care about the inspection, slick tires or open exhaust.
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Unread 08-09-2013, 08:50 AM   #9
SchizophrenicMC
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This is also notable. In Arlington, I've been tooling around in an old 240SX with an inspection sticker that went out years ago. Cops don't care. They're not gonna go out of their way to pull me over because I'm out of inspection. Now, if you're out of reg, they'll go out of their way- registration fees help pay their paycheck. At least in Tarrant they do.

Of course, if you're breaking some other law, a lot of cops won't hesitate to add out-of-inspection to the list. Of course, in most cases, you won't be towed for that and you can get the ticket gone if you come up with a receipt for a state inspection and show it to the judge.
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Unread 08-09-2013, 02:59 PM   #10
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I'm planning on East Houston, possibly somewhere around Baytown area. What if I were to drive through a county with overly crazy laws? Could I get cited just for driving through? Lets say for emissions. I have mufflers, and two forward O2 sensors. No EGR, no Catalyst of any type.
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Unread 08-09-2013, 08:07 PM   #11
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See, that puts you in an emissions county, and I think one of the stricter emissions counties at that.

The way this works is, whatever county you live in and register the vehicle in, is the county whose rules you follow. So, let's say you register your vehicle in Parker County, just outside the metroplex. They don't have any additional laws beyond the state ones. So you don't have to have emissions testing. You roll through into Tarrant county. Your sticker says Parker. As long as that sticker's valid, you're golden. Cops can't touch you.

Now, in every single county you will need a muffler. But in most counties, they don't test for emissions at all, so you don't need any emissions equipment. EGR, catalyst, AIR, et cetera. Now, if you're in an emissions county, you'll need emissions equipment equivalent to what came on the vehicle until the vehicle is 25 years old. Once it's 25, it's exempt from emissions testing, full stop. If your vehicle is OBD2, you'll need the computer to read clean. If your vehicle is the CJ5 your profile states, you needn't worry. It's greater than 25 years old and therefore state exempt from emissions. You'll still need the muffler and all the necessary other equipment, but no emissions whatsoever in any county, unless Williamson or Harris have written another law on the subject since I've been around there.
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Unread 08-09-2013, 08:18 PM   #12
Grewe02
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Perfect. That works well enough for me. Thanks.



Now, somebody recommend me a place to live that isn't 90+ in August
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Unread 08-09-2013, 09:47 PM   #13
SchizophrenicMC
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90+? You mean 100+. And if you're moving to Houston, it's 105+ plus 90+% humidity.
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Unread 08-12-2013, 03:21 PM   #14
Grewe02
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Yeesh. Maybe I should be asking these questions in the Alaska forum...
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Unread 08-14-2013, 03:35 PM   #15
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no muffler required if your engine is diesel
no smog check if your engine is diesel

heat index in Houston is 111F right now (16:35 CDT)
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