How To Transfer a Car Title in Texas
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Transferring a car title must be done, especially if you have plans to buy and sell cars in Texas. You have only 30 days from the date of sale to transfer the title from the seller to the buyer, as this is one of the major proof of ownership.
The significance of title transfers is that even after receipts are provided for the sale of a car until titles are transferred, the buyer doesn’t have full ownership of the vehicle. This means that the seller will bear responsibility for any violation and damage incurred during the car's operation.
So, how do you transfer a car title in Texas? You can easily transfer car titles in Texas by providing a signed title, date of sale, and odometer reading with the sale of price, clearly written on the application and registration form.
Read on to find out more about transferring car titles in Texas.
Table of Contents
- Can You Transfer a Car Title in Texas Online?
- What Paperwork Do I Need To Transfer a Title in Texas?
- How To Transfer a Car Title in Texas
- Best Car Deals by Category
- Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Transfer a Car Title in Texas Online?
Yes, you can. You can transfer a car title in Texas online. Most times, it is advisable that you do all of your title transfers in any Texas Regional center, but there are provisions for you to initiate vehicle transfer notification online.
All you have to do is to visit the Texas Department of motor vehicles website for vehicle title transfer. Log in and proceed as a dealer in a county or commercial fleet buyer and proceed with your application. However, most of the signing for your title transfer will be done in a county tax office or a regional service center.
What Paperwork Do I Need To Transfer a Title in Texas?
Here is the paperwork that you will need to transfer a title in Texas:
- Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U)
- Contact Details of the Buyer
- Vehicle Identification Number
- Fees and Taxes
How To Transfer a Car Title in Texas
As we’ve established, transferring a car title is the same as transferring ownership of a car. Would you love to know how to transfer car ownership in Texas? It is important to mention that the process of transferring a car title in Texas varies from buying cars from a dealer or an individual seller.
If you are buying from a dealer, you will need to join the title transfer process. The dealer will do everything for you. However, they must provide you with proof that the title has been transferred, with the new title bearing your name.
If you bought a car from an individual seller, then the seller will follow you to the county tax office and engage in all processes of the transfer to avoid issues.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to transfer a car title in Texas.
1. Title Application and Signing
Title application is the first step in transferring the title of a car. The seller must provide you with a signed vehicle title.
The title must include the VIN, name, and other information as provided by the seller. If the seller doesn’t have a title or misplaced it for any reason, they must apply for a duplicate.
As a seller, you must realize that if a signed title is not provided, there are chances that you are still liable for whatever offenses committed with the car. In Texas, nobody should attempt buying or selling a car if there are no titles.
The seller must also proceed with picking up, completing, and signing the application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U).
2. Confirmation and Documentation
After title application, confirmation of title must follow before documentation. Confirmation is very necessary, especially if you are dealing with an individual seller and not a dealer. During application, the tax office representative will help you verify that the title is “clean” and not “salvage” or “rebuilt.”
You can also conduct a title check on the title using the VIN via the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, Texas.
You’ll select any of the approved providers and follow the prompts to complete the process and obtain your report. However, you must know that this will cost you some money.
If you confirm that you are dealing with a clean title, then proceed with documentation. Submit the application for the Texas title and/or registration form that the seller provided. You might need to submit a lien release, if applicable. This is only necessary if there’s a lien holder on the vehicle.
If there is still a lien at the moment of application, the lienholder will receive the title after processing and completion.
The documentation might also require a power of attorney, depending on the circumstances surrounding the title, and photo identification that captures the buyer's legal name as stated on Form 130-U.
3. Odometer Disclosure
An odometer reading is necessary for a title transfer in Texas. The seller will do the odometer disclosure, sign it, and include it in the vehicle title. It is important to mention that there are exceptions to the odometer disclosure rules.
Initially, Texas odometer disclosure is restricted to vehicles that are not less than ten years old.
However, introducing new regulations as adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under the United States Code of Federal Regulations shifts the odometer non-exempt range from vehicles that are less than ten years to vehicles that are less than 20 years.
This implies that if you are buying a car that is less than 20 years, then the seller must provide an odometer reading. Vehicles with broken odometers should not be sold.
4. Inspection (if applicable)
Vehicle inspections are needed for title transfer applications in Texas. However, it is not needed for just any type of car. Your vehicle will need an inspection, especially if there are no records of current inspection in the state’s database.
The inspection will cover the need to ensure that the vehicle attains the required safety standard and is thoroughly inspected for emissions. It is left for the seller to prove that the vehicle has never skipped any of the annual inspections.
5. Fees and Tax
Now that you are almost halfway done, you should proceed with paying the required fees or any arising tax. The fees that you will pay for a title transfer in Texas vary depending on the county that you reside in. For instance, Travis County, Texas, requires a title application fee of $33, but some counties charge $28. The fees will also vary depending on what you are paying for.
Here’s a list of fees you might have to pay for a title transfer in Texas.
- Vehicle title application: $28 or $33
- License plates fee: $51.75 base fee and $10 local fee
- Local and county fees: $31.50 (Max. Fee)
- Automation fee: $1
- Vehicle insurance verification fees: $31.50
- Vehicle inspection fee (state fees): up to $30.75 (additional fees might arise depending on the inspection station
- Sales Tax: 6.25% - 8.25%
6. Vehicle Transfer Notification
Sellers don’t need to stop at transferring the title of the car that they sold. When the title transfer is done, you are advised to download and complete the Texas Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification (VTR-346) form.
You are meant to submit the form within 30 days from the date of title transfer to the vehicle's new owner.
This will protect you from any liability or damages that can/will be incurred during the course of using the car. Even if you fail to submit the application after 30 days, the Texas Department of motor vehicles will collect and notate your record.
The vehicle transfer notification does not and should not replace the need for a title application. After submitting this form, you must advise the buyer to start their title application.
The beauty of the vehicle transfer notification form is that you can do it electronically at the Texas Motor Department’s official website.
Upon completion of the form, mail your response to:
TxDMV Vehicle Titles and Registration Division
PO Box 26417
Austin, TX 78755-0417
We cannot deny the fact that transferring a car title in Texas can look a bit confusing, especially if it is your first time. However, if you follow the steps in this guide, you will get a smooth and hassle-free experience.
Ensure you gather all the necessary documents, fill your applications correctly and avoid mutilations. Don’t forget to book an appointment before your day of visit to ensure that you are attended to promptly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to transfer a car title in Texas?
Transferring a car title in Texas costs between $28 and $33. However, this excludes license fees, local fees, or tax. However, the overall cost of title transfer varies depending on the county where you reside.
How long does a title transfer take in Texas?
In Texas, title transfers take at least 20 business days to complete. If your title doesn’t arrive after 30 business days, you must contact any regional service center or tax office near you, preferably the one that started your application.
Do you need an appointment to transfer a title in Texas?
Yes. You need an appointment to transfer a title in Texas. However, it is not compulsory. Applicants and drivers without a title transfer will be attended to across all 16 department offices in Texas. However, customers with appointments will be given a top priority amongst others.