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Texas has the largest land mass of any state in the continental United States, so from its earliest times, roads and transportation have been very important here.
Texas also holds the distinction of having existed as an independent republic early in its history―and quite frankly, many Texans think it still is. It is also the only state in the union that is legally authorized to have its own navy (although of late, it has let the United States federal government take care of that responsibility).
Texas prides itself on the independence of its citizens―and the quality of its barbecue. With dozens of different styles and types holding sway in various parts of this state (which was, after all, largely built on cattle), carnivores will be right at home here. In fact, most of the vegetarians in Texas are the cows themselves.
Register Your Vehicle in Texas
If you're new to Texas, the first few weeks are a busy time. If you want to register your vehicle in Texas (and you will―in a state this big, you need a car), the first thing you will have to do is find a local car service provider who can perform the official state vehicle inspection.
These inspection stations are identified with an image of the state of Texas and the words "Official Vehicle Inspection Station." At this time, you'll also have to show detailed proof of adequate insurance (you may just want to bring your policy, since out-of-state insurance proofs will be subject to special scrutiny) and your driver's license.
Next, you will need to visit the County Tax Assessor-Collectors office in the county where you reside in order to title and register your vehicle, paying any appropriate fees. This will include the "Welcome to Texas!" New Resident Tax of $90.
Here again, your proof of insurance will be necessary, along with all paperwork showing that you actually own your vehicle (i.e., the out-of-state title and registration). You may download the Texas title application, which may also serve as the registration form.
Apply for a Texas Driver's License
If you come from a state where all motor vehicle and driver license processes are in one location, you may be in for a surprise when you relocate to Texas. Instead of visiting a County Tax Assessor-Collectors office, like you do to register a vehicle, you will have to go to a Driver License Division office of the Texas Department of Public Safety in order to apply for a Texas driver license. You have 90 days, upon arrival, to obtain a Texas license.
Unless your are a student or military member, you will have to surrender any existing license or permit from another state, and apply for a license or ID card here. You'll pay a fee and take a vision test, but unless your out-of-state license is already expired, you will not have to take the written or driving tests.
Since driving laws may be different in Texas from what you're used to, it's a good idea to grab the Texas driver's handbook and read it through before hitting the highways in earnest. The cops just might be watching for out-of-state plates...
If you are used to a driver license "point system" in another state, you really will want to learn about Texas' point system in detail. Getting tickets in Texas is an expensive proposition, and paying the initial fine or getting hit with higher insurance rates is only the first step. If you persist in being a bad driver in Texas, you'll get homesick for the state you just left very, very quickly.
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.