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Texas Selling a Vehicle

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Selling a Vehicle in Texas 101

As in any state, Texas requires you to follow specific legal requirements when you are planning to sell a vehicle to a private party or to a car dealership. This helps you avoid any legal ramifications and ensure that you have proper documentation for the sale of the vehicle. You have to first remove the license plates from the vehicle. You must also sign the title over to the party who is buying your vehicle.

How to Sign Over the Title to the Buyer

Signing the title over to the buyer is a crucial part of the process, but thankfully, it is quite easy. However, in the state of Texas, a car dealer does not have to title the car in their dealership’s name if you sell or trade-in your vehicle to them. The vehicle remains titled in your name until the dealership sells it to another person, which can take some time. In this case, you should file a Vehicle Transfer Notification within 30 days of the date of the vehicle’s sale so the Texas DMV records that you sold your vehicle.

If you are selling the vehicle to another person and not a car dealership, you first have to provide them with a properly signed title. To sign a title properly, you sign your name on the seller’s section on the back side of the title and give that signed title to the person buying your vehicle. You also must include both the odometer reading and the date of sale on the signed title. In addition, you must give the buyer a signed Application for Texas Title and/or Registration Form . This form must clearly show the sales price of the vehicle.

Replacing a Lost Title

Just like in any other state, you cannot sell a vehicle without a title. If you happen to have lost your vehicle’s title, you can get a certified copy of the title. If the vehicle has a lien, the lienholder should fill out the application for this certified copy of title or give you an original release of lien. You have to wait 30 days in between filing an application for a certified copy of title after the previous copy was issued in the state of Texas.

You can apply for this copy by mail by completing the Application for a Certified Copy of Title, put in a copy of all owners’ photo ID, $2 mail-in fee by money order, cashier’s check, or check payable to the Texas DMV. The vehicle owner’s agent or lienholder’s agent has to include a letter of signature authority on an original letterhead, a copy of the agent’s employee ID, or a business card. You mail all of this to:

Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
1601 Southwest Parkway, Suite A
Wichita Falls, TX 76302

Transferring License Plates

You cannot transfer license plates to another vehicle owner. However, you can transfer license plates between different vehicles that you own. You can also transfer license plates to a vehicle you purchased from a car dealership. Your local county tax assessor-collector’s office will help you with this process.

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Last Verified:
Sep 12, 2022