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Registering a Newly Purchased Vehicle in Texas

Register a Vehicle in Texas

Texas drivers are required to register their vehicles with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

There are several reasons you may need to register a vehicle for the first time. First-time registration is required for Texas residents that:

  • Recently moved to Texas from out-of-state.

OR

  • Purchased a vehicle from a private seller.

When you buy a vehicle through a dealership in Texas, usually the paperwork is done for you.

Register a Vehicle: New Texas Residents

New residents have 30 days after establishing residency to register their cars in Texas and 90 days to get their Texas licenses.

Drivers that bring their vehicles into Texas from other states are NOT required to transfer their titles.

To register a vehicle in Texas:

  • Obtain insurance that will cover:
    • At least $30,000 per person injured in an accident (up to $60,000 total) and a minimum of $25,000 in property damage.
  • Get your vehicle inspected at a certified DPS inspection station (many mechanics qualify as inspection stations).

Then, you must visit your local tax collector’s office and provide your:

  • Proof of insurance. If your insurance card was issued outside Texas, bring a printout of the whole policy to prove it satisfies the minimum requirements.
  • Evidence of ownership (such as an out-of-state title or registration).
  • Completed Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (130-U).
  • Payment for the registration fee.

Title and Register a Vehicle Purchased in Texas

If you recently bought a vehicle from a private seller in the lone star state, you’ll need to make a trip to your local tax collector’s office to complete your paperwork within 30 days of the sale. If possible, have the seller accompany you. Consider using title check before making your purchase.

There, provide your:

  • Completed Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (130-U).
  • Vehicle title (signed and completed by the seller). Without a title you can opt for “registration only.”
  • Vehicle inspection report (if there is no current inspection on file with the DMV).
  • Payment for the applicable fees. This may include:
    • Title fee.
    • Registration fee.
    • Sales tax on the purchase price or estimated price (whichever is higher).

If you purchased your vehicle on the weekend and the seller took the license plate off the vehicle, make sure you apply for a vehicle transit permit to drive the vehicle to the tax collection office before obtaining the title and registration.

To inherit a vehicle from a recently deceased resident of Texas, you must provide the items listed above as well as an Affidavit of Heirship for a Motor Vehicle (VTR-262).

Texas Title and Registration Fees

  • Sales tax: 6.25% of the vehicle cost.
  • Title fee $33.
  • Registration fee*: $51.75.
  • Inspection fee: $7.50.
  • Processing fee: $4.75.

Additional fees may apply in certain localities.

*This is the registration fee for standard passenger vehicles. View the complete fee schedule for a complete breakdown of costs.

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