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Texas Buying a Vehicle

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If you purchase a vehicle from a car dealership in Texas, you might not have to go ahead and obtain the title and registration yourself. Generally speaking, the majority of car dealerships will handle all of the paperwork on your behalf. Actually, in the state of Texas, the dealer is required to file the title application on your behalf. You should ensure that you receive a receipt from the car dealership showing that the vehicle’s title is now in your name. However, if you bought the vehicle from a private party, you will have to do the paperwork yourself.

Obtaining a Title and Registration For a Vehicle Bought from a Private Party

As previously stated, purchasing a vehicle from a private party means that you have to complete all of the paperwork yourself. The seller of the vehicle needs to go with you to the county tax office. One of the tax office’s representatives can ensure that the title the seller is signing over to you is correct and that there are no legal or salvage issues associated with the title. You can also utilize Title Check to make sure the vehicle title comes with any problems that might affect the value of the vehicle. You should request the seller provides you with the following along with the vehicle’s title:

Filling Out The Title

The first step is to choose “Title & Registration” if you are applying for both of those or just select “Title” if you are just applying for a new title. After that, you have to fill in the VIN, model year, make, body style, model, major and minor color, in addition to other information like the EIN and the vehicle location address. You do have to pay sales tax if you buy a vehicle from a private party in the state of Texas.

You have to complete the lienholder part of the application if the vehicle is financed. This includes the electronic title request if applicable and more information like:

  • First Lien Date (The date a security agreement was signed to finance the vehicle)
  • First Lienholder Name and Mailing Address

Registering the Purchased Vehicle

After you are done purchasing the vehicle and filling out the title application, you can then register it. Your vehicle must undergo an inspection and pass said inspection before you can get it registered to you. Your vehicle registration expires on the last day of the month on the sticker, so a sticker showing ‘02/22’ expires on the final day of February 2022. You can renew this registration using the following information:

  • License Plate Number
  • Vehicle Identification Number
  • Registration Receipt from the previous year

Submitting Payment

The base registration fee is $51.75. However, in Texas, the local fee assessed by the county can vary from nothing to $31.50. The inspection fee is $7.50 and the processing and handling fee is $4.75. This means that it costs $64 to register a vehicle in Texas if there is no local fee assessed. If you have a pickup truck, classified as a motor vehicle between 6,001 to 10,000 pounds, the base registration fee is $54. Acceptable payment methods for the cost of registration at the county tax office vary based on county. Speak to your county tax office for more information.

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Last Verified:
Jun 14, 2022