What are the TX title transfer requirements for buying used cars? Texas

Completing the title transfer process for buying used cars is not difficult, but it's important to keep in mind that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires titles to be transferred within 20 working days of a change in vehicle ownership. If you fail to complete the title transfer within this time, you could be fined.

Completing Title Transfers

If you buy car from a private party, ask him or her to accompany you to the county tax office to submit the title application. A county tax representative can help you avoid unpleasant surprises by telling you whether the title has been signed over correctly and if you have accidentally omitted important information from your title application. The representative can also help identify any legal or salvage issues that may occur in regards to the title transfer process.

When purchasing used vehicles from a dealership, you will not need to visit the county tax office. Your dealer is required to file the appropriate paperwork on your behalf. If the dealership is financing your vehicle, however, the deadline for a title application is extended from 20 working days to 45 calendar days.

Required Documentation

When buying a vehicle, you should ask the seller to provide you with the:

  • The car title.
  • The vehicle registration receipt.
  • The signed title application.
  • A bill of sale.
  • Any supporting documents that may be needed, such as a lien release or power of attorney forms.

Your records should also include:

  • The date of the vehicle sale.
  • The name and address of the seller.
  • The VIN, make, and model of the car you have purchased.

It is also a good idea to request a Vehicle History Report (VHR). A VHR will give you the complete vehicle history and help make sure you are aware of any problems the car may have.

TX Auto Insurance Requirements

Texas, like most other states, requires drivers to carry liability insurance to prove financial responsibility in the event of an auto accident. You must submit proof of acceptable coverage before you will be allowed to register your vehicle. If you do not have the necessary auto insurance, you will be allowed to apply for a title only.

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