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New Texas Car Registration

To register a vehicle in Texas, you must comply with a DMV requirements. If you are a Texas resident and have purchased a vehicle, you are required to apply for car registration within 30 days of the purchase date. If you are moving to Texas from another state with a vehicle, you are required to obtain car registration within 30 days of establishing a residency in the state. One part of car registration is making an appointment for a safety inspection of your vehicle. If you purchase a used vehicle from a private seller or move to Texas with a car, understanding the new registration process is very important.

Vehicle Inspection

If your vehicle passes inspection, you will be granted an inspection certificate necessary for concluding the car registration process.

Note: Vehicles in Texas are subject to annual safety inspections.

Car Registration

Once you’ve obtained your car inspection certificate, you are ready to register your car. If you are a Texas resident, you will need to visit your local county tax-assessor collector office and provide:

  • Proof of car insurance.
  • Proof of identity.
  • Completed Form 130-U (mandatory for first time registrants).

For new drivers, the process differs slightly and requires providing:

  • Proof of vehicle ownership (registration or title from previous state).
  • Proof of insurance.
  • Inspection certificate.
  • A completed Form VTR-272 (for a vehicle that was last registered or titled out-of-state and is eligible for Texas registration).
  • Completed Form 130-U.
  • Payment for the registration fee.

To complete the process, you must pay the $50.75 base registration fee, plus $1 for TexasSure – the electronic insurance verification program and other Department of Public Safety initiatives – as well as $1 for improvements to the registration and titling system ($52.75 in total).

Note: Be advised that registration fees vary depending on the type of vehicle, the model year and the total weight.

How to Register Your Vehicle in Texas if You Are a Texan Living Out of State

If you are a driver who is currently living out of state, you are required to register your vehicle in the state or jurisdiction where you currently live, unless you are a full-time student or active military.

If that is the case, you will need to contact your local county tax office in the Texas County where you last resided for more detailed information regarding the car registration process.

Registering Other Vehicle Types

Pocket bikes and mini scooters (both gasoline and battery-powered) do not pass vehicle safety inspection and can’t be registered. On the other hand, mopeds can be registered provided they are mopeds maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

All-terrain vehicles (three or more wheels, equipped with one or more seats, and not designed by the manufacturer for farm or lawn use) may not be registered, the same as off-highway motorcycles (two or three wheels).

Note: boats, boat motors and personal watercraft can be registered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

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