Registration Renewal in TexasPage Overview
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires all residents to renew their vehicle registration annually. It's important to renew on time to avoid fines for failing to comply.
Registering for the First Time in Texas?
Did you just move to Texas? Purchase a used car? If so, then visit our Car Registration page for full details on how to register your vehicle.
You must renew your TX registration every year by the last day of the month in which it expires. You should receive a renewal notice from the Texas DMV well before your registration's expiration deadline. The renewal notice will include:
- Renewal deadline date.
- Registration renewal fee.
- Emissions and/or safety inspection requirements.
- Contact information for your County Tax Office.
Didn't Receive a TX Registration Renewal Notice?
If you don't have a TX DMV registration renewal notice, you can still renew online (as long as you're eligible and/or your county participates) or in person. Either way, it's your responsibility to renew your TX registration before it expires, even if you never received a renewal notice.
NOTE: Update your address with the TX DMV if your address has changed.
Texas DMV E-mail Reminders
The TX DMV recommends signing up for eReminders. With eReminders, you never have to worry about your renewal notice getting lost in the mail. Plus, if you forget to renew your plates after your first eReminder, the DMV will automatically send another, 1 week your registration's expiration date.
To register for eReminders, provide:
- Your Texas license plate number.
- The last four digits of your vehicle's identification number (VIN).
- Your email address.
NOTE: You will still be sent a regular renewal notice in the mail even if you sign up for eReminders.
You may renew your Texas plates in one of three ways:
Renew in Person
Visit your county tax office and:
- Present your TX vehicle renewal notice. If you don't have it, you can still renew with one of the following:
―Your license plate number.
―Your vehicle identification number (VIN).
―Last year's registration receipt.
- Provide proof of liability insurance.
- Pay your renewal fees (different county offices accept different forms of payment; call before visiting).
- Be sure your safety and/or emissions inspection is valid.
NOTE: Depending on your county, you may be able to renew at a licensed substation (such as a grocery store). Contact your County Tax Office for locations.
Renew by Mail
To renew your TX vehicle's registration by mail:
- Review your DMV renewal notice and make sure all information (address, name, vehicle) is correct. Retain the vehicle owner portion of the notice for your records.
- Complete emissions and safety inspection information on the notice, if required. You cannot renew your registration if your vehicle doesn't have a valid inspection.
- Provide a photocopy of your proof of insurance.
- Pay renewal fee with a money order or check
- Mail the paperwork and your fees to your County Tax Office.
NOTE: If it's been a few weeks since you mailed your renewal and you've yet to receive your new TX registration sticker and certificate, contact your County Tax Office. Be ready with:
- Your VIN.
- Your vehicle's license plate number.
Before you can renew your TX registration online, you must meet the following requirements:
- Your county must participate in the online renewal system.
- You must be a resident in the county in which your vehicle is registered.
- Your vehicle's liability insurance coverage must meet the state's minimum requirements.
- You must have completed any necessary emissions and safety inspections on your vehicle. The TX DMV will check your inspection date electronically.
- You have not received a ticket for driving with an expired registration.
- You must have a valid e-mail account.
- Enter your license plate number.
- Enter the last four digits of your VIN.
- Enter your proof of insurance (required if the DMV's online verification system is unable to verify your coverage).
- Pay your renewal fees with a MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover card.
NOTE: If you need technical assistance when renewing online, call the TX DMV help desk at (888) 368-4689 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your vehicle's registration renewal fees include a number of factors, such as base registration fees, DMV fees, and local county fees.
Base Registration Fees:
- Cars and light trucks: $50.75
- Pickup trucks between 6,001 to 10,000 lbs.: $54
- Mopeds and motorcycles: $30
DMV Registration Fees:
- $1 Automation Fee (pays for improving the DMV's titling and registration system).
- $1 Department of Public Safety Fee (pays for the TexasSure insurance verification system).
As of March 2015, a portion of vehicle inspection fees are paid when you register your vehicle. Previously, the total fee was paid when your vehicle was inspected.
The amount paid when you register is based on the type of inspection required in your county and for your vehicle. See the TX DMV website for details.
Local County Fees:
Local county fees vary by county and can be as high as $20.
Fees also vary for such things as motorhomes and commercial vehicles, so look over your TX DMV renewal notice for an itemized list of what you owe. You can also review the TX DMV’s fee chart if you don't have your notice.
Late Fees and Penalties
Your TX registration is considered expired after the last day of your renewal month. If you forget to renew, you will have 5 business days after the end of your renewal month to renew your plates without penalty. After the grace period you risk getting a $200 ticket.
TX License Plates
Texas license plates should be replaced every 7 years. Your renewal notice will indicate when it's time to get new plates. They will be issued to you at no charge.
All vehicles registered in Texas must undergo an annual safety inspection, which is conducted by an official motor vehicle inspection station. Your inspection must be valid when you register your vehicle.
Additional information regarding Texas Safety and Emissions Inspections, or the AirCheckTexas program, may be found on our Smog and Emissions Section.New Inspection & Registration Stickers
Beginning in March 2015, the TX DMV will issue a sticker that combines proof of registration and proof of inspection. If your inspection expires the same month as your registration, you'll have to get your vehicle inspected before renewing your registration. See the "Two Steps, One Sticker" website for complete details.
TX law requires that all motorists maintain a minimum level of liability insurance at all times. Without valid proof of insurance, you can't renew your vehicle's registration.
To confirm TX insurance minimums or to update your coverage, visit our Texas Insurance Section.
For Texas residents serving in the military outside of the state, you may renew your registration:
- By mail
You must meet the renewal requirements, just as if you were in the state (see above). Additionally, before you complete your renewal, be sure to update your address with the TX DMV to your current out-of-state address. That way, you will receive your renewal materials in a timely manner.
NOTE: Additional information for military personnel in Texas may be found on our Military Drivers Section.
If your Texas license plates have been damaged or stolen, apply for new ones as soon as possible.
You also need to get duplicates of your TX registration certificate and/or license plate stickers from the TX DMV if they become lost or damaged.Recommended ArticlesOther Topics in This Section