Q: How do I register my vehicle?
A: Texas residents who own a motor vehicle are legally required to annually renew their vehicle registration.
Vehicles may be registered three ways:
1. Online (for residents in participating counties only)
a. Registration renewal notices are mailed to all registered vehicle owners. To register by mail, send the following to your county tax office:
i. Renewal Notice (keep the vehicle owner’s section for your records)
ii. Proof of current liability insurance
iii. Registration fee plus $1.00 mail-in fee
3. In person
a. To register your vehicle in person, take your registration renewal notice and proof of current liability insurance to your county tax office or an approved substation such as Alamo & Snows Auto Title. The registration fee is due at this time. If you did not receive your renewal notice, you can renew your registration using your:
i. Vehicle license plate number,
ii. Vehicle identification number, or
iii. Registration receipt from the previous year
b. If you are a new resident or your registration has expired, you may only register in person.
Q: What if my address has changed?
A: Vehicle registration renewal notices are mailed to the address on your motor vehicle record. If you need to change your address, you can do so:
1. Online (for participating counties)
2. At your County Tax Office
3. Mail a completed change of address form
Q: I am new to Texas, do I need a Texas title for my vehicle?
A: Welcome to the Lone Star State. You have 30 days from the time you move here to register your vehicle in the state. Here are the steps to becoming a Registered Texan:
1. Have your vehicle inspected. Simply take your vehicle to a certified Texas Department of Public Safety inspection station. (Many mechanic shops, oil change locations and service stations are certified by DPS as inspection stations.) Bring your insurance card! In Texas, you must show you have insurance coverage for a minimum of $30,000 per injured person, up to a total of $60,000 for everyone injured in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
2. Next, get your vehicle registration sticker and license plates. To do this, you must visit your local country tax-assessor collector office. You will need that insurance card, the inspection papers, and proof you own the vehicle (such as the registration or title from your previous state). You can also show a current foreign/military ownership document or foreign evidence of ownership.
3. You are not required to title your vehicle in Texas, but first-time registrants must fill out and complete Form 130-U. If you do not possess the title because it has a lien, you also must complete Form VTR-272.
The base registration fee in Texas is $50.75 plus $1.00 for TexasSure, the electronic insurance verification program, and $1.00 for improvements to the registration and titling computer system. So your total state registration is $52.75, but counties may add other fees to this cost. As a new resident, you also will pay sales tax-related fees required by the state’s Comptroller of Public Accounts. Sales tax fees on a vehicle can be $90 or the difference between your previous state’s sales tax and the Texas sales tax. Note: Active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces and non-resident, full-time students attending a Texas college or university are not required to register or title their vehicles in Texas.
4. The TxDMV does not issue driver licenses. But as a new resident, you are required to obtain your Texas driver license from the Texas Department of Public Safety within 90 days of moving here.
Q: I have not received a title for the vehicle I recently bought. What should I do?
A: Allow 20 business days to process a title application. If you have not received your title within 20 business days, call 888-368-4689 or 512-465-3000. If there is a lien on the vehicle, the lienholder will receive the title.
Q: My spouse died, how do I transfer the vehicle into my name?
A: If your spouse had a will, the vehicle becomes part of the probate process. If you spouse did not have a will, you can fill out an affidavit of heirship.
Q: What steps should I take when I sell my vehicle?
A: Keep your license plates and transfer them to your new vehicle. When you keep your license plates, the buyer has to transfer the vehicle title and this helps protect you. When you take off the plates, the buyer will need a Vehicle Transit Permit to drive the vehicle to the country tax office to re-title the car or truck. Provide the buyer with all the documents needed to transfer the title:
1. A signed title
2. A signed vehicle title application
3. The vehicle’s latest registration receipt
4. Any other supporting documents, such as a release of lien, power of attorney, etc.
Accompany the buyer to the County Tax Office to verify the buyer files a new vehicle title application under his/her name. If you sell or trade-in your vehicle to a dealer, or if the buyer can’t go to the tax office, you need to notify the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles of the sale by filing a Vehicle Transfer Notification within 30 days of selling the vehicle.
Q: How do I get personalized license plates?
A: You may check the availability of a personalized phrase, letter or number combination through myplates.com, the state’s plate marketing vendor’s web site. Personalized plate fees are collected in addition to your registration fees and other applicable fees.
Q: My renewal notice indicated I need new license plates. Why? How do I get them?
A: Plates are replaced every seven years due to loss of reflective material. If the renewal notice indicates your plates are seven years old, the county tax assessor-collector should automatically issue a new set of plates with the new windshield sticker at no additional charge when your registration is renewed. The old set of plates should be defaced to prevent the possibility of fraudulent use.
Q: I lost my title. How do I get a replacement?
A: If a title is lost or destroyed, you can get a certified copy by following the steps below. If a lien is recorded, the lienholder should complete the application for certified copy of title. There is a 30-day waiting period to apply for a certified copy of title after the last one was issued.
1. By mail
a. Complete a certified copy of title application.
b. Enclose a copy of the owners’ valid photo ID and $2.00 mail-in fee by check, cashier’s check, or money order (no cash accepted), payable to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. An agent of the owner or lienholder must also provide a letter of signature authority on original letterhead, a business card or a copy of the agent’s employee ID.
c. Mail the application to your Texas Department of Motor Vehicle regional service center.
2. In person
a. Visit the nearest Texas Department of Motor Vehicle regional service center.
b. Complete a certified copy of title application.
c. Provide a valid photo ID and $5.45 fee by check, cash or money order (no debit or credit card accepted). An agent of the owner or lienholder must also provide a letter of signature authority on original letterhead, a business card or a copy of the agent’s employee ID.
i. Valid photo identification. Note: If a motor vehicle is titled in more than one name, identification for each owner must be presented.
ii. Acceptable photo ID’s include current:
1. State or U.S. Government or U.S. Territory issued photo ID’s, such as Texas or other state driver license or identification card,
2. U.S. or foreign passport (U.S. passport card is acceptable) or military identification.
3. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) identification or identification issued under a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA);
4. United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or United States Department of State identification document
5. Native Americans may present one of the following:
a. Enhanced Tribal Card (U.S. Customs and Border Protection); or,
b. Form I-872 American Indian Card for the Texas and Oklahoma Kickapoo American and Mexican members (Immigration and Naturalization Service).
6. The acceptable identification documents listed above must include:
a. A photo of the applicant;
b. A unique identification number; and,
c. An expiration date.
3. Special Situations
a. If the motor vehicle is titled in the name of a business, government entity, leasing company, lienholder or organization, in addition to acceptable identification, an original business card of the agent or authorization on company letterhead matching the identification of the employee or agent is required. This authorization letter must be signed by someone other than the agent signing for the applicant.
i. Businesses given power of attorney are required to provide a letter of signature authority on original letterhead, business card or a copy of employee ID.
b. If the motor vehicle is titled in the name of a trust, then the current identification of the trustee making application must be presented. In order to identify the trustee(s) authorized to sign, the application should also be supported by one of the following:
i. Affidavit of Trust;
ii. Statement of Fact for a Trust; or
iii. Original or certified copy of the Trust agreement.
c. If the title application is signed with a Power of Attorney, in addition to the requirements above, the following must
also be provided
i. Current identification matching the person or employee of the entity named as power of attorney;
ii. Acceptable current identification of the owner(s) or lienholder; and,
iii. If provided to a business, an original business card or authorization written on the letterhead of an entity named as power of attorney that matches the identification of the employee.
Q: Will you release my personal information?
A: State and federal laws restrict TxDMV from releasing personal information. Personal information will be released only if:
• There is written consent from the individual
• It can be certified that the information will be used for a lawful, legitimate purpose
Personal information will not be released for any other reason. To request information, fill out a request form and certify the information will be used for a lawful, permitted purpose.