A Texas car title is a legal document that establishes a driver’s ownership of a vehicle. As such, vehicle buyers must obtain a car title certificate immediately after purchase, regardless of whether they bought a new or used automobile. The process for getting car title documentation in Texas requires the applicant to complete the appropriate certificate of title application, via one of the available application methods, and pay the established DMV fees.

To learn more about the ways you can get a vehicle title in TX and how title documents relate to vehicle registrations, review the sections below.

Where to Apply for a Car Title in Texas

As you begin to learn how to get car title documentation for your vehicle, the first step you must take is to figure out where this pink slip can be obtained. Whether yours is a used car title, because the vehicle was purchased from a previous owner, or a brand new title for car ownership, you will need to visit either your local county assessor-collector or the county assessor-collector in the county where the car was purchased.

Drivers cannot get car title forms in any other location in the state of Texas, as title and registration services are provided by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, not the Department of Public Safety, which is responsible for driver’s license issuance. To get a new car title in Texas, you will need to fill out and submit the Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U).

This certificate of title application form requires you to provide details about yourself (the applicant), the lienholder (if applicable), previous owners and the vehicle. Regarding the required personal information, you must provide your name, address and phone number, as well as the names and addresses of the lienholder and previous owners. Concerning the car, the TX auto title application must include its:

  • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Make.
  • Model.
  • Year.
  • Color and body style.
  • License plate number.
  • Weight.
  • Odometer reading.

Furthermore, vehicle title applications must include details about the sale of the vehicle, including the sales price, the taxes paid and the trade-in amount (if applicable), as well as the applicant’s original signature. At least a photocopy of the seller’s signature is also required on new vehicle title applications, though an original signature is acceptable as well.

Documents You Must Provide When Applying for a New Car Title in Texas

TX DMV car title applications must be accompanied by certain documents in order for applying motorists to receive valid certificates of title from the county assessor-collector. In order to get vehicle title documentation from the assessor-collector, you will need to submit an acceptable and current photo ID that contains a unique identification number. Examples of identification documents that you can provide when applying for a pink slip in Texas include but are not limited to:

If you intend to obtain a Texas car title for a business entity rather than for yourself as an individual, you can provide a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) rather than a photo ID card number.

Additionally, since Texas auto title applicants typically apply for registration documentation at the same time they apply for titling, it is also important to bring proof of your current car insurance policy and proof that your vehicle passed the necessary inspection, in order to obtain car title and registration forms. However, if you only intend to apply for TX vehicle title and not registration, proof of inspection and current insurance are not required.

What is a Texas car registration?

Auto registration documentation is required for a vehicle to be legally operated on state roadways in Texas. The car registration shows that the vehicle has been approved by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to be used within the state.

In order to get car registration in TX, as well as the license plates that come with it, you must prove that you have purchased a liability insurance policy that meets the state’s minimum standards. Similar to vehicle title applications, you can submit proof of your car insurance coverage at a local county office or an acceptable substation.

What is the difference between a car title and a vehicle registration in Texas?

The main difference between a new car registration and a new title is as follows: The title is proof that you are the owner of the vehicle, while the Texas motor vehicle registration is proof that you can legally operate the vehicle on state roadways. Because DMV car registration and title documents are both required for state residents to operate motor vehicles, applicants are allowed to obtain both documents with the same application form, the Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U).

However, a motorist is also allowed to apply for a vehicle title only, and not a registration, but this means that he or she will not obtain license plates or the ability to operate the vehicle legally on Texas roadways.

Note: Keep in mind that the car titling process only needs to be completed once per vehicle owner within the state. However, car registration must be renewed on an annual basis.

Car Title Costs in Texas

There are several types of fees associated with titling a car in Texas. This is in addition to the sales tax payment that all vehicle owners are required to pay.

The standard fee is either $28 or $33, depending on your county tax assessor-collector. If you are a new resident of Texas, you will be required to pay a $90 New Resident Tax.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.