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How to Title a Vehicle in Texas

A new car title in Texasis required any time a vehicle’s ownership changes hands. TX car title renewal must be obtained for every new or used vehicle as soon as possible after the date of sale. Because a title is the legal document that provides proof of vehicle ownership, it should always reflect the name of the current owner. You must also get a new title when or if car ownership is transferred between drivers, such as when you give someone a vehicle or receive one as a gift.

Learning how to get car title documents transferred is an important task for every Texas motorist. The application process requires several steps detailed below. Review the following sections to find out how to get a new car title today and learn some of the differences between titling new and used cars.

When do you need a new car title in Texas?

Drivers must get a new car title in Texaswhenever something happens that changes the ownership of a vehicle. These changes may be related to the purchase of a vehicle or they may be the result of certain life changes. Some situations requiring a new car title include the following:

  • Purchasing a new vehicle from a dealership.
  • Purchasing a used car from a dealer or from another motorist.
  • Being transferred car ownership as a gift from someone.
  • Inheriting a vehicle from a deceased spouse or other relative.
  • Receiving a vehicle donation from a non-profit organization.
  • Receiving a car as part of a divorce settlement.

No matter the reason, the application process and requirements are similar. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) manages DMV car title applications for each of the situations listed above.

Car Title Application Requirements

TX title registration is required by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles within a certain timeframe after you purchase a car. You also have a limited time to get a new title after you receive a vehicle as a gift or inherit a car from a deceased relative. If you fail to obtain a title within a certain timeframe, the DMV may issue late transfer fines. Each TX vehicle title applicant must meet the requirements detailed on the title application form and include any supporting documentation requested by the TX DMV. Required information includes:

  • Your full legal name.
  • Your current address and other contact information.
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • The car’s make, model, year and color.
  • The odometer reading on the day of the sale.
  • Lienholder information, if you purchased the vehicle with a loan.
  • The seller’s full legal name and their signature.

Additionally, you are required to apply for your new car titleby appearing in person at your county’s tax assessor-collector office. To get your title, you must also provide the vehicle’s purchase price. The amount of your fee is calculated by the amount you paid for the car or its standard presumptive value. Be aware that fees will vary by county.

How to Title New and Used Cars

If you are wondering how to get car title documentation after buying a vehicle from a dealership, the dealer will be able to guide you through the process. State law requires dealers to do most of the work involved in getting vehicle titles on cars that no one has personally owned before. Because of these rules, you will not need to file a title application at your county tax office after buying a brand-new car.

The steps for how to get car titles transferred on used cars are much more involved. However, the dealer may also take care of your title if you purchased a used car from a licensed dealership.To get a vehicle title in TX on a used car, the buyer and the seller must make the transfer of ownership in person at the tax office. If you are unfamiliar with the process, you should be ready to do the following:

  1. Complete the Texas auto title application form.
  2. Submit any supporting documents or additional forms your situation requires.
  3. Pay the application fees.
  4. Wait for the title to arrive by mail.
  5. Keep receipts of the transaction in case you need to prove ownership while waiting for your final document to arrive.

Note that your vehicle title will be mailed to directly to the lender ifpaid for your new or used vehicle with a loan. Your documentation will refer to the lender as the lienholder. The lienholder will transfer the title to your name after you finish paying off the loan.

Texas Car Title Application Forms

When you go through the Texas title registration process, note that there are different forms that you may have to use for certain circumstances. There is one main application and every applicant will use this form to obtain a new or updated title. However, if you need a car title renewal because someone gave you a vehicle as a gift or donation, you will have additional paperwork to complete before the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles can give you an updated document.

Different application forms may be required if you inherit a car from a deceased spouse or other relative. Title registration in Texas requires additional paperwork if you are the surviving spouse of a husband or wife who did not have a will. You must submit this information to put your name on the car title even though you were married to its legal owner.