Texas Transportation Code
Sec. § 548.306
Excessive Motor Vehicle Emissions


This section applies to a motor vehicle registered or operated for more than 60 days per calendar year in:


a county or a portion of a county designated by department rule in accordance with Section 548.301 (Commission to Establish Program); or


a county adjacent to a county described in Subdivision (1).


The registered owner of a motor vehicle commits an offense if the vehicle, in an area described by Subsection (a), emits:


hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, or nitrogen oxide in an amount that is excessive under United States Environmental Protection Agency standards or standards provided by department rule; or


another vehicle-related pollutant that is listed by a department rule adopted to comply with Part A, National Emission Standards Act (42 U.S.C. Sections 7602-7619), or rules of the United States Environmental Protection Agency in an amount identified as excessive under that rule.


The department shall provide a notice of violation to the registered owner of a vehicle that is detected violating Subsection (b). The notice of violation must be made by personal delivery to the registered owner or by mailing the notice to the registered owner at the last known address of the owner. The department shall include in the notice the date and location of the violation detected and instructions for the registered owner explaining how the owner must proceed to obtain and pass a verification emissions inspection and to make any repair to the vehicle necessary to pass the inspection and explaining any extension or assistance that may be available to the owner for making any necessary repair. Notice by mail is presumed delivered on the 10th day after the date the notice is deposited in the mail.


A registered owner of a vehicle commits an offense if:


notice is delivered to the owner under Subsection (c); and


the owner fails to comply with any provision of the notice before the 31st day after the date the notice is delivered.


An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $1 and not more than $350. If a person has previously been convicted of an offense under this section, an offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000.


It is an affirmative defense to an offense under this section that the registered owner of the vehicle, before the 31st day after the date the owner receives a notice of violation:


after a verification emissions inspection indicated that the vehicle did not comply with applicable emissions standards, repaired the vehicle as necessary and passed another verification emissions inspection; and


has complied with rules of the department concerning a violation under this section.


The department may contract with a private person to implement this section. The person must comply with terms, policies, rules, and procedures the department adopts to administer this section.


The Texas Department of Transportation may deny reregistration of a vehicle if the registered owner of the vehicle has received notification under Subsection (c) and the vehicle has not passed a verification emissions inspection.


A hearing for a citation issued under this section shall be heard by a justice of the peace of any precinct in the county in which the vehicle is registered.


Enforcement of the remote sensing component of the vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program may not involve any method of screening in which the registered owner of a vehicle found to have allowable emissions by remote sensing technology is charged a fee.


The department by rule may require that a vehicle determined by on-road testing to have excessive emissions be assessed an on-road emissions testing fee not to exceed the emissions testing fee charged by a certified emissions testing facility.


The department by rule may establish procedures for reimbursing a fee for a verification test required by Subsection (c) if the owner demonstrates to the department’s satisfaction that:


the vehicle passed the verification emissions test not later than the 30th day after the date the vehicle owner received notice that the vehicle was detected as having excessive emissions; and


the vehicle did not receive any repair, modification, alteration, or additive to the fuel, fuel tank, fuel delivery system, engine, exhaust system, or any attached emissions control components that would have, or could have, caused the vehicle to experience improved emissions performance between the date of detection and the date of the verification emissions test.
Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1069, Sec. 10, eff. June 19, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1189, Sec. 30, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1075, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
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Oct. 14, 2020