I just moved to Texas? How do I get my license and vehicle registered?
As a new resident of Texas, you are required to transfer your driver’s license and register your vehicle in the Lone Star state. Here’s your guide to transferring your license and registering your vehicle in the state of Texas.
When Do You Need to Transfer Your Driver’s License to Texas?
When you’re a new resident of Texas, the first thing you need to do is transfer your driver’s license to the state. You can operate a vehicle in Texas as long as you have a valid, unexpired driver’s license from a different U.S. state or Canadian province for a maximum of 90 days once you move to Texas.
Before the 90-day grace period ends, you are required to apply for a valid Texas driver’s license and surrender your out-of-state driver’s license.
How to Transfer Your Out-of-State Driver’s License to Texas
When you’re transferring your driver’s license to Texas, there are specific steps you need to follow.
Schedule an Appointment With the Texas Department of Public Safety (TX DPS)
To avoid waiting in long lines, it’s best to schedule an appointment at your local TX Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you can, schedule your appointment as soon as possible. You are not required to schedule an appointment, but it’s a good idea to do so.
You need to make sure you have the required TX license transfer forms before heading to your local TX DPS office to avoid unnecessary penalties and delays. You need to make sure you have the following credentials ready to present at the DMV office:
Social security number
U.S. citizenship or evidence of the lawful presence
Proof of a valid TX vehicle registration
Proof of a valid TX car insurance policy
A valid out-of-state driver’s license (Form DL-14A)
A completed TX driver’s license application
Payment for the TX application fee
Pass the Vision Test
In Texas, you are expected to pass a vision test when you are transferring your driver’s license. A trained clerk with the Texas DPS will administer the vision test, or you can present an eye test report from a specialist, such as a qualified physician, nurse, or optician. Be sure to take your contact lenses or glasses with you if you wear them. The minimum accepted passing score for the vision exam is 20/40 in one eye, or better.
Receive Your Temporary License
Once you’ve completed the above steps, you will have to wait for the DPS to process your new Texas driver’s license transfer application. This process will take a few weeks to complete, so you will receive a temporary license. With this temporary license, you can drive in the state of Texas legally and freely.
What If You’re Under 18 Years Old?
If you are under the age of 18, and you have an out-of-state driver’s license, you are not required to take the Texas written exam. However, if you are a minor moving to Texas from a different country or state other than the U.S. or Canada, you are required to pass the knowledge exam. All applicants who are under the age of 18 must take the Texas driving skills exam, regardless of whether they have had a license or not. You will be able to obtain a new Texas driver’s license when you surrender your old driver’s license.
Make sure you have the required paperwork and payment(s) to correctly transfer your driver’s license and vehicle registration to the state of Texas. Now that you know how to transfer your driver’s license, we can talk about registering your vehicle in the state of Texas.
Registering Your Vehicle In the State of Texas
As a new resident of Texas, you are required to transfer your vehicle’s title from your previous home state to your current home state of Texas. You will be required to complete a Certificate of Title and a bill of sale. Here are other documents you are required to have to transfer your vehicle’s registration to the state of Texas:
Proof of a valid TX vehicle insurance policy
Vehicle inspection report
Out-of-state vehicle title
Proof of a valid vehicle registration
Proof of sales tax payment
Completed application for Texas vehicle title and or registration
Payment for the applicable vehicle taxes and fees
Be advised, you must have all the required documents to successfully transfer your out-of-state vehicle registration at your local TX DMV branch.
You may also be required to complete the following steps:
Meet the state and federal requirements
Import your vehicle
Pass a TX vehicle safety inspection
Obtain a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection
Apply for a TX vehicle title and/or registration
Keep in mind, you may be required to satisfy additional requirements to complete your vehicle registration in Texas.
Vehicle Title Transfer Fees in Texas
Motorists in the state of Texas must pay $28 to $33 to complete a vehicle title transfer, depending on the county in which they reside. You need to be prepared to pay the vehicle registration fees and taxes in addition to the vehicle titling fee. The fees associated with transferring a vehicle registration in Texas are:
Vehicle registration fee: $50
Part of the vehicle inspection fee: $30
Local county fee: $31.50
Vehicle sales tax: 6% of the total cost
Insurance verification fee: $1
Processing and handling fee: $4.75
Texas DMV Locations
There are different locations throughout Texas where you can transfer your driver’s license and out-of-state vehicle registration.
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles - Austin Branch
4000 Jackson Ave
Austin, TX 78731
Monday - Friday (8 AM to 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)
Department of Motor Vehicles - Driver’s License Office
2 Hilbig Rd
Conroe, T 77301
(936) 442 - 2810
Call for office hours
Texas Department of Public Safety
13730 Research Blvd
Austin, TX 78750
Call for office hours
Texas Driver’s License Office
1690 N US Highway 281
Lampasas, TX 76550
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (8 AM to 5 PM)
Monday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (Closed)
Texas Driver’s License Transfer and Vehicle Registration
Q. How long can you live in Texas with an out-of-state driver’s license?
As a new resident of Texas, you are legally able to operate a motor vehicle in the state with a valid, unexpired driver license from a different U.S. state, U.S. territory, Canadian province, or qualifying country for up to 90 days once you establish residency in Texas. Before the 90-day grace period ends, you are required to apply for a new Texas driver’s license in person at your local TX DMV office.
Q. How long after moving to Texas do I have to register my car?
When you are a new resident of Texas, you have 30 days to register your car in the state.
Q. Do I need proof of residency to get a Texas driver’s license?
Yes. You must have a valid proof of residency to obtain a Texas driver’s license. These documents need to prove you have lived in the state of Texas for at least 30 days.
Q. How much does it cost to get your car registered in Texas?
The cost for a Texas vehicle registration varies, but you can expect to pay at least $65 to complete the TX vehicle registration process.
Q. Can I register my car in Texas with an out-of-state license?
Yes. You can use your out-of-state driver’s license to register and insure your vehicle in the state of Texas.
Q. Can I live in Texas and have a car registered in another state?
No. There are only 8 states, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania allow you to reside in one state and register a vehicle in a different state.
Q. How much does it cost to register a car in Texas from another state?
You can expect to pay a $51.75 registration fee, a local fee of $10, and an inspection fee of $7.50 to register a vehicle in the state of Texas from a different state.
Q. Does Texas require a smog check or vehicle inspection?
Emissions, smog checks are required for all residents of Texas, including new residents of this state. New resident of Texas must complete a smog check within 30 days of moving to the state. Some Texas counties require its residents to have their vehicle pass an emissions and vehicle safety test.