Motor vehicle owners in the state of Texas are required by Texas law to register their motor vehicles. This includes new and used vehicles that are purchased from Texas dealers, out-of-state dealers, and private parties.
First-Time Texas Vehicle Registration for New Texas Residents
New residents of Texas must complete the Texas vehicle registration process for their vehicles within thirty (30) days of moving to Texas. This means they must get a vehicle inspection and they must title and register their vehicles with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles in person.
New Texas residents must have their motor vehicles pass inspection TX registration and titling. After having a vehicle inspected and passed, vehicle owners should take the following documents to their local county tax office to complete the Texas vehicle registration process:
• Inspection certificate for the vehicle for TX vehicle registration.
• Proof of valid liability insurance for the state of Texas for TX registration.
• The odometer reading of the motor vehicle if it is less than ten years old for TX registration.
• An ownership document, which can be either proof of vehicle registration for out-of-state titled vehicles, the original out-of-state title, current military/foreign ownership document, or foreign proof of ownership for TX vehicle registration.
• Completed Form 130-U, Application for Texas Certificate of Title.
• Completed Form VTR-272, Application for Registration Purposes Only, if you are only registering a vehicle that was titled outside of Texas for TX vehicle registration.
• The appropriate registration fee for TX registration.
• Title application fee of either $28 or $33, depending on your county.
• Proof of sales tax payment or $90 new resident tax for TX registration.
First-Time Texas Vehicle Registration for Current Texas Residents
Residents of the state of Texas who own a motor vehicle are legally required to renew their vehicle registration annually. They can do this in three ways: in person, by mail, or online.
Texas Vehicle Registration in Person: You can register your motor vehicle in person by taking your TX registration renewal notice, proof of liability insurance, and your registration fee to your local county tax office or approved substation. If you do not have a renewal notice, you can complete your Texas vehicle registration with your vehicle identification number, license plate number, or previous year’s registration receipt.
Texas Vehicle Registration by Mail: Texas sends TX registration renewal notices by mail to all registered vehicle owners. You can send your renewal notice, your proof of current Texas liability insurance, the registration fee, and a $1 mail-in fee to your county tax office.
Texas Vehicle Registration Online: Certain counties allow you to renew your TX vehicle registration online. This service is available through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website.
Texas Vehicle Registration Fees
As of September 1, 2011, registration fees have been standardized in the state of Texas for cars, light pickups, heavy vehicles, commercial trucks motor homes, travel trailers and regular trailers. The TX vehicle registration fees are as follows:
• $50.75 TX registration fee for light pick-up trucks and cars
• $52.75 TX registration renewal fee for light pick-up trucks and cars
• $54 TX registration for motor vehicles between 6,001 and 10,000 pounds
• Local county fees range from $5 to $11.50