Auto Registrations and Titles:  Frequently Asked Questions

Click on any question for the answer

[expand title=”Where can I renew my vehicle registration or get my title transferred?“]You can renew your vehicle registration or get a title transferred at any of the following locations: 606 E Lufkin Ave in Lufkin (M-F), 211 N Temple in Diboll (Monday), 205 Gibson in Huntington (Wednesday and Thursday), or at 134 Warren St in Zavalla (Tuesday). You can mail your registration to P O Box 1344, Lufkin, TX 75902-1344 (be sure to allow enough time for turn-around before expiration).[/expand]

[expand title=”Can I renew my vehicle registration online?“]Vehicle registration renewals can be done online. A debit or credit card will be required. [/expand]

[expand title=”How can I register my motorcycle?“]Follow the same procedures as with any motor vehicle.[/expand]

[expand title=”Can I download forms that pertain to motor vehicle registration and titles?“]Yes.  Go to:  http://www.txdmv.gov/forms, click the appropriate tab.[/expand]

[expand title=”What should I do if my license plates are damaged or stolen?“]You can obtain replacement plates at any of our locations. If your plates are damaged and you just want new ones, bring in both plates to our office. If you are only missing one plate, bring the other one in. Be sure to bring in your current registration sticker. You will be required to fill out a replacement affidavit, and there will be a $6.50 fee.[/expand]

[expand title=”How do I replace a windshield validation sticker?“]You can obtain a replacement windshield validation sticker at any of our locations. Please bring with you your current registration receipt and/or insurance card. You will be required to fill out a replacement affidavit, and there will be a $6.50 fee.[/expand]

[expand title=”How often do my license plates have to be replaced?“]The State of Texas no longer requires license plates to be replaced every 7 years. You do not have to replace the plates unless you make a change in your type of registration.[/expand]

[expand title=”Is insurance required to purchase a one-trip or 30-day permit?“]Yes. Liability insurance must be on the vehicle the permit is for. You can only get a one-trip or 30-day permit on passenger trucks and cars. Also, payment cannot be made by check, but cash, money order or credit card is accepted.[/expand]

[expand title=”How do I obtain personalized license plates or other special plates?“]You may obtain an Application for Personalized License Plates from the TxDMV at http://www.txdmv.gov/forms, click license plates; or go to www.myplates.com.[/expand]

[expand title=”I lost my title. How do I get a duplicate?“]

Applicants for a Certified Copy of title may be the owner of record, lienholder, or verifiable agent of either.

Applicants must provide:

  • A properly completed Application for Certified Copy of Title (Form VTR-34), which can be obtained at our offices, or online at http://www.txdmv.gov/forms, click Title and Registration.

Follow the instructions on the form, both pages.

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[expand title=”I just bought a vehicle. How do I transfer the title?“]

The seller must write the purchaser’s name and address, the odometer reading and date of sale in the title assignment on the back of the title.  Purchaser and Seller must both sign the title and the title application form (Form 130-U, available at the tax office, or online at http://www.txdmv.gov/forms ).  Both signed documents must be taken to the Tax Office by the purchaser for filing.  Proof of current insurance will be required, and you must provide an ID, Driver’s License or a Passport that has not been expired for more than 12 months. The fee is $28.00, plus motor-vehicle sales tax at 6.25% (for amount of sales price or State Presumptive Value, whichever is higher).  There is also a $2.50 transfer fee if the vehicle is currently registered, or a full registration fee if it is not currently registered.

If you bought a vehicle from a Licensed Automobile Dealer, that dealer is required to transfer the vehicle, not you personally.

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[expand title=”I just sold a vehicle. What do I do now?“]

You must write the purchaser’s name and address, the odometer reading and date of sale in the title assignment on the back of the title. You must also sign and print your name on the back of the title and on the title application (Form 130-U).

**We strongly suggest that you accompany the purchaser to the Tax Office to make sure the vehicle title is taken out of your name.**

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[expand title=”I bought a vehicle and I have liability insurance on another car. What document can I use to show proof of financial responsibility when I transfer the title?“]The personal automobile policy for any other vehicle an individual owns provides 30-day coverage after an additional vehicle has been acquired. Your current proof of insurance will work.[/expand]

[expand title=”I applied for a title and neither my lien holder nor I have received it yet.“]You or your lien holder should receive your title within three weeks from the date the application was filed. Contact our office and request the record be checked.[/expand]

[expand title=”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?“]It is likely the new owner has not transferred the title into his or her name. Contact our office for a Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification (Form VTR-346) or you can go online to get one at https://www.txdmv.gov/forms. Follow the directions on the form.[/expand]

[expand title=”How do I sell a vehicle that is registered and titled in a former spouse’s or a deceased spouse’s name?“]

If the divorce decree awards the vehicle to you, provide our office with a certified copy of the decree and you can then sell or transfer it to another person. If the divorce decree does not specifically award the vehicle to you, then a properly assigned title will be required before it can be sold or transferred to another person.

In the case of a deceased spouse, the ownership will be determined based on where there is a will, trust, etc. Contact our office for assistance in this matter.

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[expand title=”How do I title a new manufactured trailer?“]

All trailers that weigh at least 4001 pounds must be titled.  Trailers that weigh less can be titled, but are not required to be so.

You will need:

  • Manufactured Certificate of Origin (MCO)
  • Form VTR-130-U – Application for Texas Certificate of Title
  • You may need a weight certificate if weight is not indicated on the MCO.
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[expand title=”How do I register a homemade/shopmade trailer that does not meet the title requirements?“]

You will need:

  • Form VTR-305-A – Statement of Fact for Ownership of Homemade/Shopmade Trailer
  • Form 130-U – Application for Texas Certificate of Title (required even if the trailer is not titled)
  • Bill of Sale if purchased.
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[expand title=”How do I title a trailer that is 4001 pounds or more?“]

You will need:

  • Form VTR-305-A – Statement of Fact for Ownership of Homemade/Shopmade Trailer
  • Form 130-U – Application for Texas Certificate of Title
  • Weight Certificate
  • Form 68-A – Application for Assigned or Reassigned Vehicle Identification Number from the TxDMV Task Force
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[expand title=”What documents do I need to transfer an out of state titled trailer?“]

You will need:

  • Negotiable Out of State Title or Bill of Sale from States that do not title trailers
  • Form 130-U – Application for Texas Certificate of Title
  • You may need a weight certificate if weight is not indicated on the title
  • VI-30-A – Certificate of Inspection
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[expand title=”Is there a special form needed if I am gifted a vehicle?  How much is the sales tax on a gifted vehicle?“]

Yes, Form 14-317 is available at our office, or on the State Comptroller’s website:

https://comptroller.texas.gov, type 14-17 in the search space.  This form requires notarization of each party’s signature, (or we can deputize it in our office, but only for the person(s) standing before us.  The sales tax on a gifted vehicle is $10.00.  Beginning September 1, 2009, a vehicle can only be gifted from one family member to another.

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[expand title=”I registered my vehicle in August.  Why does the registration expire in July?“]A vehicle registration period is for 12 consecutive months, beginning with August as per the example above. (Usually applies when a vehicle title is transferred to you and the registration was not current at the time of transfer)[/expand]

[expand title=”I just moved to Texas.  How do I register my vehicle?“]Before your vehicle can be registered in Texas, it must pass a State of Texas vehicle safety inspection (Form VI-30-A) and a visual verification of the vehicle at a state-approved Safety Inspection Station. Bring the form from the inspection station and an out-of-state title or registration to the tax office. Texas insurance or out of state insurance that meets Texas standards is required. You will also need a Form 130-U, and a new resident fee of $90.00 will be charged along with the appropriate registration fees.[/expand]

[expand title=”I have not received my registration renewal notice.  What do I do?“]Provide our office with the plate number or vehicle identification number (VIN) and we can access your record with the State.[/expand]

[expand title=”My registration has expired and I have gotten a ticket for no registration.  Do I have to pay a penalty to register it?“]The 20% penalty is required by law if a vehicle is driven on public highways with expired registration after the 5 day grace period and you were issued a ticket by law enforcement. Additionally, if you do not pay the penalty before going to the court to pay the fine, you will have to pay the full amount of the ticket instead of the $20.00 dismissal fee.[/expand]

[expand title=”Can I purchase a registration sticker for more than one year?“]

Yes, but they must have the following in order for them to do so:

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[expand title=”If I sell a vehicle to someone in a different county, where does the title have to be transferred?“]

A vehicle title can be transferred in any of the following counties:

  • The county in which the seller resides
  • The county in which the buyer resides or
  • The county in which the lienholder (if any) is located
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