Registering a Newly Purchased Vehicle in Texas

When buying a used car through a private sale, you will need to make a visit to the county tax office or a DMV regional service center to get the vehicle registered. When buying a used vehicle, it is best to ask the seller to accompany you to the office in case there are any lien or salvage issues with the title.  You will need a completed vehicle title application (form 130-U) signed by the seller.  If the seller wants to keep the license plates, you should obtain a Vehicle Transit Permit so you can legally drive the car for 5 days without plates.  For a private sale, you will need to pay a 6.25% sales tax on the vehicle.  You can use the Standard Presumptive Value calculator to estimate your sales tax.

If you are buying a new vehicle or any vehicle form a dealer, the dealer should file the title application for you, which should save you a trip to the tax office.   The dealer will also handle the sales tax payment as well.

Registering a newly purchased vehicle checklist