Protect Your Title Texas
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When it comes to license plates, registering
your car, truck or motorcycle, or transferring
a vehicle title from one owner to the next, the
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles can help.
Protect your title,Texas.
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Info to Go
☐File a Vehicle Transfer Notiﬁcation within 30 days when you sell,
trade-in, gift or donate your car or truck to an individual, dealership or
organization. It’s free and you can submit the Vehicle Transfer Notiﬁcation
online at www.TxDMV.gov. This tells TxDMV that you no longer own the
vehicle, which means you cannot be held responsible for parking tickets,
toll charges and other violations associated with the vehicle after the sale
date. Remember: You only have 30 days to remove your liability.
☐Sign over the title to the buyer and complete your section of the 130-U
(Application for Texas Certiﬁcate of Title). Find the form at
www.TxDMV.gov. Also, provide any other supporting documents. Keep the date
of sale, vehicle make, model, Vehicle Identiﬁcation Number (VIN) and the
buyer’s name, address and phone number.
☐You can keep your license plates. Just remove them and peel off the
windshield registration sticker when you sell or trade in the vehicle. Request
a license plate transfer at your local county tax ofﬁce to use the plates on
another vehicle. It’s that easy.
Beware of Driveway Sales
While it’s more convenient, it’s also risky to simply sign and hand over the title when
you’re selling a vehicle on your own. As the seller, you’re still listed in the state’s records
as the owner. If you’re the buyer, you have no way of knowing if there is a problem with
the vehicle’s title. The best way to protect both the buyer and seller? Go to your local
county tax ofﬁce together and ﬁll out the required paperwork to complete the sale.
An up-to-date title lists a vehicle’s current owner. It’s up to you to make sure the paperwork on your car or truck is correct. When a
vehicle is sold, traded in or given away, the vehicle’s title must be reassigned to its new owner. If the paperwork side of the transaction
isn’t handled properly, the seller will continue to be listed as the vehicle’s ofﬁcial owner and will remain liable for offenses associated with
the vehicle, such as parking tickets, toll violations, and even criminal activity. Buyers who don’t apply for a new title face late penalties
that can mount up to hundreds of dollars.
Whether you’re the buyer or seller, protect yourself by ﬁling the required paperwork.
☐Make sure you’re getting a clean title with no legal or salvage issues
when you buy a car or truck. Protect yourself by taking the seller with you to
the county tax ofﬁce to transfer the title.
☐Ask for the vehicle’s records, such as the Texas Registration Receipt and
other supporting documents. Write down the date of sale, vehicle information
including make, model, Vehicle Identiﬁcation Number (VIN) and the seller’s
name, address and phone number.
☐Get your new vehicle titled in your name. You have 20 business
days from the date of sale to apply for a new title, or you’ll be charged an
automatic $25 penalty, plus another $25 for each month you are late. File
the 130-U (Application for Texas Certiﬁcate of Title) signed by the seller at
your local county tax ofﬁce. You can ﬁnd the form at www.TxDMV.gov.
☐Download a temporary Vehicle Transit Permit at www.TxDMV.gov if
the seller took the plates off the car or truck. It’s required to legally drive the
vehicle to the county tax ofﬁce to title and register it in your name.
TxDMV is at Your Service
Use the TxDMV’s free
Title Check before you
buy a used vehicle.
Enter the Vehicle Identiﬁcation Number
(VIN) and the system will look for
value-limiting remarks associated with
that Texas title, such as salvage, ﬂood
damage, etc. Learn more at
bought a lemon?
Find out how
to get your new
vehicle ﬁxed or
Learn how to protect yourself when
hiring a moving company. Go to
Auto Burglary and Theft
For tips on how to keep your car from
being stolen, visit
If you don’t carry the required liability
insurance for your vehicle, we’ll know.
TexasSure is the vehicle insurance
veriﬁcation program that automatically
checks whether you’re covered. Visit
Your title can keep you out of a jam.
Keep Your Plates
Now when you sell a vehicle, you can keep your license plates and re-use them on your next vehicle or any other vehicle you
own. This is a good deal for several reasons. Keeping your plates forces the buyer to re-title the vehicle in his or her name,
which protects you. Plus, if you know your license plate number, there’s no need to memorize a new one, and of course,
manufacturing fewer plates saves taxpayers money and helps the environment.
If you’re the seller …If you’re the buyer …