This last March Texas law changed their vehicle registration law. You are now required to have your vehicle pass inspection before you register it when your month comes up. They give you a receipt that you passed inspection when you pay the registration fee. They advertise this as the 'Texas Two Step'.
This last week it was announced that trailers in Texas come under the same pre inspection law.
Trouble is the state website concerning trailers is not specific about which are exempt concerning weight under 4000 lbs. or less.
My 16 ft. is a 4000 lb. trailer that needs registration this month. I called different inspection stations and got different answers. Some say you have to some say you don't.
One station told me its the law for all since he just inspected a small lawnmower trailer!?
I just went ahead and paid the registration fee at a local large grocery chain that offers this service.
And they didn't ask if the trailer was inspected. It took about 3 minutes and that was it.
Trailer inspection is not a new law in Texas, not sure when it started but was previously done with a small sticker on the trailer. It is now tied to the registration of the trailer like cars and trucks which means it now more enforceable for the state. The rule is any trailer with a GVWR over 4500# must be inspected. In most instances, if you've got 2 axles (min. GVWR rating for most axles is 2500# x 2 = 5000#) you will need an inspection, unless the manufacturer rated it lower or it's homemade and it was originally registered with a lower GVWR.
Also if you trailer has a GVWR over 4500# you are required to have brakes on at least one axle.
You can find the criteria here: https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/vi/inspection/inspectionCriteria.aspx
All of this assumes that you are using a reputable inspector that actually performs the full inspection.
On one hand this new inspection tied to license plate renewal pretty much sucks for guys like me that use their trailers 2-3 times per year. I keep mine pristine and stored inside so the cost of inspection and time every year will be a huge pain in the a** . On the other hand I see dozens of trailers on I-10 outside of Houston every week that are about to fall apart and should not be on the road.
My 16 foot oil derrick and pipe trailer was built in the late sixties (68-70). Even though it sits outside, I have only replaced the wood flooring twice. First with steel plate and most recently with wood again. The welding shop that built it, asked me when I had it made if I wanted to avoid the vehicle inspection laws and I said, yes. He built it as 'homemade' and made sure it was just barely within the law requiring no inspection. I haven't ever had any trouble hauling everything from Model T's to 63 Ford Galaxies on it.
I looked at the Inspection criteria posted by Drew and I did not see anything on the list about soundness or road-worthiness of the trailer in question... but I did see this "15. Window Tint." so does that mean if your enclosed trailer has a living section you can't tint the windows?
The window tint rule applies to Motorhomes. It specifically says the window to the left and right of the driver which open. I suppose if you can "drive" your enclosed trailer, then the tint must pass at least 25% of the light.