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Registration Frequently Asked Questions
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The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Please click on the question to find the answer.
Address any questions not covered here to:

1. I sold my vehicle several months ago, but the registration and title have not been changed to reflect the new owner's name and address. I'm getting notices about parking tickets involving that vehicle -- and the registration renewal notice has also come to me. What can I do?
2.  I just moved to Texas. How do I register my vehicle?
3. I used to live in Texas but am currently out of state. How do I register my vehicle in Texas?
4. I am disabled and would like to obtain license plates with the international symbol of access. What should I do?
5. What should I do if my license plates are damaged or stolen, or I need to replace a windshield validation sticker?
6. I want to renew my registration by mail. How do I do that?
7. I registered my vehicle in August. So why does the registration expire in July?
8. How do I sell a vehicle that is registered and titled in my ex/late spouse's name?
9. How do I register and title a rebuilt/salvage vehicle?
10. Why does it cost less to register my new pick up truck than it does my older car?
11. What does "Registration Purposes Only" mean? What are the circumstances for this type of transaction?
.12. How do I obtain personalized license plates or other special plates?
Q: I sold my vehicle several months ago, but the registration and title have not been changed to reflect the new owner's name and address. I'm getting notices about parking tickets involving that vehicle -- and the registration renewal notice has also come to me. What can I do?
A: It is likely that the new owner has not transferred the title to their name. Contact the county tax office or VTR Regional Office and fill out the Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification Form VTR-346 (available online). Or write a letter to: Texas Department of Transportation, Vehicle Titles and Registration Division, Attention: Customer Information Services Branch, Austin, TX 78779-0001. The letter must provide the vehicle description (year, make, VIN), date of sale, and purchaserís name and address. Upon receipt of the fee and the form or letter, TX DOT will place a notation on the motor vehicle record indicating that the vehicle has been sold. The fee for this service is $5.
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Q: I just moved to Texas. How do I register my vehicle?
A: Your vehicle must first pass a vehicle safety inspection and an inspection of the vehicle identification number. These services are available at a state-approved Safety Inspection Station. The inspection facility will provide you with a Vehicle Identification Certificate (Form VI-30-A). You must submit this form to the county tax office along with an application for certificate of title. Title and registration fees are due at the county tax office at the time the application for title is made. Liability insurance is required in Texas before these services are provided.
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Q: I used to live in Texas but am currently out of state. How do I register my vehicle in Texas?
A: Contact the tax assessor-collectorís office in the county where you last resided. If you are exempt from the required safety inspection because you are active military or a full-time student, the tax collector will send you a packet containing the information and forms you will need to renew the registration on your vehicle. If you are not a full-time student or active military, you must register the vehicle in the state where you now reside.
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Q: I am disabled and would like to obtain license plates with the international symbol of access. What should I do?
A: Texas law allows disabled residents to obtain one set of plates with the international symbol of access and one placard; or, you can get two placards. The placard may be displayed in any vehicle used to transport the disabled person when parked in a disabled person parking space if the vehicle does not have disabled person license plates. An application form is available at the county tax office. The form must be completed and notarized by the applicantís physician. There is a $5 fee for the placard, which must be renewed every 4 years. There is no extra fee for the license plate.
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Q:

What should I do if my license plates are damaged or stolen, or I need to replace a windshield validation sticker?

A: No, if taxes are paid by January 1 there is no lien. However, if taxes are not paid by January 1 State law automatically places a tax lien on property on JANUARY 1 of each year to ensure that taxes are paid.
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Q: I want to renew my registration by mail. How do I do that?
A: Follow the instructions on the renewal notice: Send the renewal notice, registration fee and all requested information to your county tax office. Add an additional $1 for the processing and mailing fee. Include a photocopy of your insurance card to show proof of financial responsibility.
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Q: I registered my vehicle in August. So why does the registration expire in July?
A: A vehicle registration period is for 12 consecutive months and any portion thereof. Vehicles registered in August would expire on July 31.
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Q: How do I sell a vehicle that is registered and titled in my ex/late spouse's name?
A:
1) If the divorce decree awards the vehicle to you, contact the county tax office with a certified copy of the decree and apply for title. If the decree does not award the vehicle to you, a properly assigned title will be required.
2) In the case of a deceased spouse, the ownership will be determined as to whether there is a will, trust, etc. Contact the county tax assessor-collectorís office or a VTR Regional Office for help.
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Q: How do I register and title a rebuilt/salvage vehicle?
A: For information about rebuilt and salvage vehicles, contact the VTR Regional Office, or the Customer Help Desk, at 512/465-7611.
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Q: Why does it cost less to register my new pick up truck than it does my older car?
A: State law makes the fee structure for passenger vehicles different from that of trucks. Passenger vehicle registration is determined by the manufacturer's model year and trucks are based on gross weight.
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Q: Answer # 11: What does "Registration Purposes Only" mean? What are the circumstances for this type of transaction?
A: "Registration Purposes Only" means that the vehicle is registered but not titled in Texas. This type of ownership document may be requested when a vehicle that was registered or titled in another state is subject to registration in Texas and the owner or operator cannot/does not wish to surrender the negotiable out-of-state evidence of ownership to obtain a Texas negotiable title.
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Q: Answer # 12: How do I obtain personalized license plates or other special plates?
A: You may obtain an application from the county tax office or any VTR Regional Office. There will be a charge in addition to the regular registration fee. The amount charged for personalized and special plates will vary according to the type ordered. In some cases, the applicant must meet eligibility requirements before applying for special plates. Follow the instructions on the forms.
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