How to Get Smog Technician Certified in Texas

If you’ve decided to go into the emissions testing and repair field, you’ll need to know how to qualify for an automotive technician job which requires this specific skillset. Adding this specialty to your credentials is a great way to enhance your knowledge, make yourself more marketable to employers, and develop a focused niche. Two thirds of states have some form of emissions testing required in at least the metropolitan areas. Each state has their own way of handling the administration of these programs.

In Texas, vehicle emissions testing is required in three major areas – Austin-Round Rock, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, and El Paso. The vehicle inspection process is overseen by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

How to become an emissions inspector in Texas

The state of Texas has specific criteria in order to become a certified state inspector.

Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18-years-old
  • Pass a background check
  • Submit an online application
  • Attend a DPS-approved training course
  • Pass a written examination
  • Pass a hands-on examination to demonstrate competency in the vehicle inspection process

To become a safety and emissions inspector you must contact your local Department of Public Safety office to schedule your eight-hour inspector’s course. You can access links to each geographical area on the TXDPS website. You will also find a link to the inspector study guide on the site. The inspector license fee, as well as the renewal license fee, is $25. Renewal must take place every two years.

How to Become a Recognized Emissions Repair Technician in Texas

While you are not required to obtain this designation in order to perform emissions-related repairs, the program is available for those who qualify and wish to add the credential to their resume. This can give you a competitive edge over non-RERF (Recognized Emissions Repair Facility) technicians because you will be an asset to your RERF employer by possessing specific qualifications that make you more valuable as an employee.

Becoming a RERF Technician offers professional benefits to both you and your shop. The RERF program helps motorists identify state-endorsed facilities who meet certain criteria for making vehicle repairs necessary to help the vehicle pass inspection. In order to become a RERF Technician in Texas, you must:

  • Have at least three years of full-time auto repair experience

  • Be employed by a RERF of Texas

  • Possess ASE certificates A1 (Engine Repair), A6 (Electrical/Electronic Systems), A8 (Engine Performance), and L1 (Advanced Engine Performance)

In order to keep RERF Technician status, you must maintain current ASE certifications in the above areas. You can find out more about the RERF program here.

f you’re already a certified mechanic and you’re interested in working with YourMechanic, submit an online application for an opportunity to become a mobile mechanic.


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