Title Transfers in Texas

How to Complete a Texas Title Transfer:
  1. Obtain a signed title and completed Application for Texas Title (Form 130-U) from the seller.
  2. Obtain a release of lien and/or power of attorney (if applicable).
  3. Bring the paperwork to your local county tax office.
  4. Pay the required fees and taxes.

Keep reading to learn more about title transfers in Texas.

New Texas Resident Title Transfers

After moving to Texas, you have 30 days to title and register your out-of-state vehicle with the TX Department of Motor Vehicles.

You'll first need to have your car inspected at your closest inspection station. This inspection will consist of a safety check for all vehicles, and an emissions check for specific counties. Your vehicle must pass inspection before it can be titled in Texas.

After your inspection, submit to your local DMV office:

Titling and registration is typically completed at the same time in Texas. Visit our guide to TX Car Registration for details on registering your vehicle in your new state.

Title Transfers after Buying or Selling

Buying from a TX Dealer

If you purchase a car form a Texas dealership, your dealer is required to submit your title and registration applications for you. Expect to pay any applicable titling fees as part of your transaction with the dealer.

Before you leave, check that the dealer has given you a receipt showing you as the new owner of the car.

Buying from a Private Seller

If you purchase a car from a private seller, you must title your car within 30 days of the date of sale.

The DMV recommends that you visit your county tax office with the seller.

At minimum, you must bring the following with you to transfer ownership:

  • The current title signed by the seller.
  • A completed Application for Texas Title (Form 130-U) signed by the seller.
  • Proof of paid sales tax (if purchasing a car from another state).
  • Proof of TX car insurance.*
  • Release of lien (if applicable).
  • Power of attorney (if applicable).
  • Proof of Inspection if there is none currently on record for the vehicle.
    • Ask the seller if they've had the car inspected recently and to provide you with their copy of the Vehicle Inspection Report.
  • Payment for title transfer fees.

If the seller removes their license plates before you're able to go to the DMV, you can download a temporary Vehicle Transit Permit. This permit is good for 5 days, and you may ONLY drive to and from your county tax office. You will only be issued 1 permit.

It's also a good idea to keep a record of:

  • The seller's:
    • Name.
    • Address.
  • The date of sale.
  • The vehicle's purchase price.
  • Vehicle information (make, model, VIN, etc.).

* If you do not have Texas car insurance, you will not be able to register your car. However, you can apply for a title only by completing an Application for Title Only (Form VTR-131).

Selling a Vehicle

When you sell a car, the buyer will be responsible for completing the DMV title transfer. As the seller, you must provide them with the following:

In order to protect yourself from violations committed by the new owner, you should notify the DMV of the transfer of ownership. To submit a Vehicle Transfer Notice, visit the TxDMV website where you have the option of submitting the application online, or printing out a form to mail or bring to your county tax office.

It's also recommended to keep a record of the buyer's information, including:

  • Their name, address, and contact info.
  • The date and price of sale.
  • The vehicle information (VIN, make, model, year, etc.).

No-Sale Title Transfers in TX

Gifted and Donated Vehicles

If you have received a vehicle that was gifted to you by a relative, or if you are a qualifying non-profit organization that received a donated car, you are responsible for the title transfer application.

To apply for the auto title change of ownership, submit the following to your county tax office:

Inherited Vehicles

The steps for title transfers of inherited vehicles may differ, depending on how the estate was distributed. Contact the TX DMV or your local county tax office with your specific scenario.

If you are the surviving spouse, and no will exists, you can transfer the vehicle by completing an Affidavit of Heirship for a Motor Vehicle (Form VTR-262).

Vehicles Awarded in Divorce

If you have been awarded a vehicle through divorce, bring a certified copy of the divorce decree to your county tax office to begin the title application process.

Title Transfer Fees

Vehicle titling fees may differ depending on your county. Contact your local county tax office for an estimate of your titling fees.

Basic fees generally follow the below list:

  • Title application: $28 or $33 (county dependent).
  • Inspection fee (state portion): $7 to $40.
    • Your inspection station will charge its own additional service fees upon inspection.
  • Local and county fees: $20 (maximum amount)
  • Insurance verification fee: $1.
  • Automation fee: $1.

Additionally, when you purchase a car from a private seller, you will be subject to sales tax of 6.25% of the highest value between the selling price and standard presumptive value of the car.

Removing a Lien from a TX Title

When you finish paying off your car loan, your lender must release the lien within 10 business days.

If your lender recorded the lien on a paper title, they must send the title certificate to you by mail.

Once you receive the title, you will need to submit it along with the following to the DMV:

If the lien was recorded on an electronic title, the DMV and lender will work together to remove the lien. The DMV will notify you once this has been accomplished.

Making Corrections

If you find a misspelling of your name on your title certificate, you can contact your local county tax office to inquire about having the title correction.

Errors made by the DMV or county office will be fixed for free.

Errors made due to incorrect information you provided on your application can only be fixed by submitting a new application and paying the applicable title fee.

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