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. https://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/buying-or-selling-a-vehicle 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 https://permit.txdmv.gov/Permit/VTPermit 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 https://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/buying-or-selling-a-vehicle 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
- Obtain legal liability insurance.
- Have the vehicle inspected. http://www.dps.texas.gov/rsd/vi/VIactiveStationLocator/default.aspx
- Visit a county tax office or DMV service center https://www.txdmv.gov/regional-service-centers
- Present title.
- Pay applicable taxes and registration fees.