Texas Car Registration
When can you register your Vehicles?
New Resident—You have 30 days from the date you move to this state to register your motor vehicle, tractor, motorcycle or trailer and get a Texas license plate. Register your vehicle at the County Tax Office where you live.
Texas Resident—You have 30 days from the date of purchase or acquisition of a motor vehicle, tractor, motorcycle, or trailer to register. You should register your vehicle at the County Tax Office where you live.
Penalties—If you fail to register your vehicle within 30 days from the purchase or acquisition date of the vehicle, you may be subject to fines up to $200 if law enforcement pulls you over.
Before You Register
You need the following before you can register your vehicle:
- Proof of auto insurance.
- A vehicle safety inspection. Note: you'll need to show your auto insurance proof at the inspection station.
- Proof that you own the vehicle such as previous registration or title from another state
- A filled out Form 13-U Application for Texas Certificate of Title.
- For vehicles titled outside of Texas to be registered in Texas, a filled out a Form VTR-272 Application for Registration Purposes Only must be completed.
Where Do You Register Your Vehicle?
You may register your vehicle at your local county tax office in the county where you live. Bring the information described and forms described in the previous section. Also be prepared to pay a base fee of $50.75. There may be additional fees depending on vehicle type and your county. You will also need to pay a portion of the vehicle inspection fee to the Texas DPS office.
You should receive plates and a vehicle registration sticker from the county tax office.
Which Vehicles Are Exempt from Registration in Texas?
In Texas, most vehicles require some form of registration, but may not require titles or fees. Here are some highlights.
- Trailers - If heavier than 4000 lbs, it must be titled
- Scooter and Mopeds - They must be registered and titled with the Texas DMV. The Texas Department of Safety maintains a list of approved as mopeds. Otherwise, they are not legal to operate on public roads. Registration fees for mopeds are $30.
- Implements of Husbandry that are operated or moved temporarily upon the highways are exempt from title and registration.