FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS



NEW TO TEXAS
Q: I just moved to Texas. How do I register my vehicle?
A: Your vehicle must first pass a vehicle safety inspection and an inspection of the vehicle identification number. These services are available at a state-approved Safety Inspection Station.LOCATE AN INSPECTION STATION BY CITY OR ZIP CODE The inspection station will provide you with a green or white Verification Form that must be submitted to our office. Before leaving the inspection station, please proof read your vehicle identification number against the Verification Form for errors. You will also need to bring in your out-of-state registration receipt or your out-of-state title and proof of liability insurance on the vehicle your are registering. Title and registration fees are due at the time application for title is made.
Q: What does "Registration Purposes Only" mean? What are the circumstances for this type of transaction?
A: "Registration Purposes Only" means that the vehicle is registered but not titled in Texas. This type of registration may be requested when a vehicle that was last registered or titled in another state is registered in Texas but the owner cannot or does not wish to surrender the negotiable out-of-state Title to obtain a negotiable Texas Title.
GENERAL REGISTRATION
Q: 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?
A: It is likely that the new owner has not transferred the title to their name. Fill out the Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification (Form VTR-346) or write a letter to: Texas Department of Transportation, Vehicle Titles and Registration Division, Attention: Vehicle Data Management Branch, Austin, TX 78779-0001. The letter must provide the vehicle description (year, make, VIN), date of sale, and purchaser's name and address. Upon receipt of the fee and the form or letter, TxDot will place a notation on the motor vehicle record indicating that the vehicle has been transferred. The fee for this service is $5. Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Q: I am disabled and would like to obtain license plates with the international symbol of access. What should I do?
A: Texas law allows disabled residents to obtain one set of plates with the international symbol of access and one placard; or, you can get two placards. The placard may be displayed in any vehicle used to transport the disabled person. The placard is required to be displayed on the rear view mirror when parked in a disabled person parking space if the vehicle does not have disabled person license plates. Fill out Form VTR 214. This form must be completed and notarized by the applicant's physician. The Placard must be renewed every 4 years. Additional sets of disabled person plates may be obtained for vehicles specially-equipped for operation by a person who has lost the use of one or both legs. We have both the disabled plates & placards at our office.
Q: What should I do if my license plates are damaged or stolen, or I need to replace a windshield validation sticker?
A: You can come to our office and obtain replacement license plates or replacement validation stickers.
Q: I registered my vehicle in August. So why does the registration expire in July?
A: A vehicle registration period is for 12 consecutive months and any portion thereof. Vehicles registered in August would expire on July 31.
Q:How do I sell a vehicle that is registered and titled in my ex/late spouse's name?
A: 1) If the divorce decree awards the vehicle to you, bring a certified copy of the decree to our office. If the decree does not award the vehicle to you, a properly assigned title will be required. 2) In the case of a deceased spouse, the ownership will be determined as to whether there is a will, trust, etc.
Q: Why does it cost less to register my new pick up truck than it does my older car?
A: State law makes the fee structure for passenger vehicles different from that of trucks. Passenger vehicle registration is determined by the manufacturer's model year.
Q: What does "Registration Purposes Only" mean? What are the circumstances for this type of transaction?
A: "Registration Purposes Only" means that the vehicle is registered but not titled in Texas. This type of registration may have been requested when a vehicle that was last registered or titled in another state is registered in Texas and the owner could not or did not wish to surrender the negotiable out-of-state Title to obtain a negotiable Texas Title.
Q: How do I obtain personalized license plates or other special plates?
A: You may obtain an application from this website or by coming into our office. There will be a charge in addition to the regular registration fee. The amount charged for personalized and special plates will vary according to the type ordered. In some cases, the applicant must meet eligibility requirements before applying for special plates. Follow the instructions on the forms.
Q: Why do I pay extra $1 fees to register my vehicle?
A: House Bill 3588, 78th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, provided for the collection of a $1 fee, in addition to other registration fees, for all vehicle owners who are required to show proof of financial responsibility. All counties in Texas must collect this fee. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Department of Insurance (DOI) will jointly complete a study on the feasibility, affordability and practicability of creating an insurance database system to verify that motor vehicle owners have established financial responsibility. The DPS and DOI will jointly issue an order before July 1, 2004, stating a determination of whether the system should be implemented. If the study determines an insurance database is feasible, revenue from the $1 insurance fee may be used by the DPS, the DOI and TxDOT to jointly implement the insurance verification database program before January 1, 2005. In addition, prior to August 31, 2005, the DPS may use the monies collected to reengineer the Texas driver license system and to establish a system to support the driver responsibility program House Bill 3014, 76th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, provided for the collection of a $1 fee, in addition to other registration fees for a license plate or set of license plates or other device used as registration insignia in counties with 50,000 or more registered motor vehicles. There are currently 51 counties in Texas that meet this requirement. This fee is used for upgrading the automated Registration and Title System (RTS).
GENERAL TITLING

Q: I lost my title. How do I get a duplicate?

LOST TITLES Can Be Picked Up At This Location Only!

TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
1001 East Parmer Lane Austin, TX 78753
512-837-4416

In order to apply for a Lost Texas Title, you must be the owner of record, lienholder, or verifiable agent of either. Whether the application is submitted by mail or walk-in, all applicants must provide to the Department of Transportation.

If the Form VTR-34 is signed by a Owner of Record (Mail-in or Walk-in)

  • A properly completed Application for Certified Copy of Title (Form VTR-34)*,
  • Photo ID (government-issued photo ID, such as Texas or other state driver's license, government identification card, U.S. Passport, or military identification) of the person signing the Form VTR-34*. (In cases of joint ownership, government-issued photo ID for each individual owner of record is required.)

If the Form VTR-34 is signed by a Verifiable Agent of Owner or Lienholder (Mail-in or Walk-in)

  • In addition to the requirements above, a verified agent of the owner or lienholder must also provide a letter of signature authority on original letterhead, a business card, or copy of the agent's employee ID.

If the Form VTR-34 is signed by a Power of Attorney (POA), the transaction must have, in addition to the requirements above:

  • Copy of a government-issued photo ID such as Texas or other state driver's license of recorded owner/lienholder signing the POA.
  • Copy of a government-issued photo ID such as Texas or other state driver's license of the individual signing the Form VTR-34*.

NOTE: Businesses given POA will also be required to provide a letter of signature authority on original letterhead, or a business card, or a copy of employee ID.

In cases of joint ownership, each owner must sign the POA and provide a copy of each owner's government-
issued photo ID.

The appropriate fee - $2.00 for mail-in applications and $5.45 for walk-in applications. (If mailed, the fee should be in the form of a check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the Texas Department of Transportation.) Please do not mail cash.

If mailing by overnight or express mail through a mail service which requires a physical address, mail to the VTR Regional Office nearest you, using the appropriate street address on the back of the Form VTR-34

 

Q: I just bought/sold a car. How do I transfer the title?
A: If the buyer and seller are available, both parties can come to our office and we can complete all of the necessary forms. The buyer will have to show proof of insurance on the vehicle he is purchasing or if the title transfer is occuring within 30 days of purchase, the buyer can show us proof of insurance on any vehicle he currently owns. It is recommended the seller accompany the buyer to our office to ensure the title is transferred into the buyer's name. This will protect the seller from liability for certain acts by the purchaser. If, however, both parties are not available to come to our office together, then the the seller should write the purchaser's name, address, and odometer reading on the title assignment and then sign both the back of title and the title application (Form 130-U)*. (Be sure and sign the back of the title EXACTLY how the front of the title reads.) The title & Form 130U should be given to the purchaser. The purchaser can come to our office and file the title application with his proof of insurance.

Q: I financed my car and the lien was recorded, but I have not received a title yet.
A: When a lien is recorded on a title, the Texas Certificate of Title is mailed to the 1st lienholder. The Title Application Receipt you received after the title was applied for serves as your proof of registration and as proof that a title was applied for to record you as the owner of the vehicle.
Q: Why does the state show a lien on my car if I paid it off?
A: This occurs if you have not applied for a new title after paying the lien off. To remove the lien information from the title record and receive a clear negotiable Texas Title, come into our office. After you have paid off your lien, the lienholder should mail you a Texas Title that they have signed on the front releasing the lien or you may have received the title along with a separate form releasing the lien. Either one is fine. This form will take the place of the lienholder signing the front of the Title. Even though your lien is paid off, until you apply for a "clear" title, the lien remains on TxDot's title record database. The only time this can create a problem, is if you loose the title that the lienholder has signed. You will need to go back to your previous leinholder to get another form signed and then you will have to apply for a lost title through TxDot. This process can be a major headache especially if the lienholder has gone out of business! For this reason, we always recommend filing for a "clear" title after your lien has been satisfied and you have received the title from your lienholder.
Q: 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?
A: It is probable the new owner has not transferred title to their name. Fill out the Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification (Form VTR-346)*. Or write a letter to: Texas Department of Transportation, Vehicle Titles and Registration Division, Attention: Vehicle Data Management Branch, Austin, TX 78779-0001. The letter must provide the vehicle description (year, make, VIN), date of sale, and purchaser's name and address. Upon receipt of the fee and the form or letter, we will place a notation on the motor vehicle record indicating that the vehicle has been transferred. The fee for this service is $5. Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Q: How do I sell a vehicle that is registered and titled in my ex/late spouse's name?
A: 1) If the divorce decree awards the vehicle to you bring a certified copy of the decree to our office and you can apply for title. If the decree does not award the vehicle to you, a properly assigned title will be required. 2) In the case of a deceased spouse, the ownership will be determined as to whether there is a will, trust, etc.
Q: Why can it be difficult to change a vehicle title to my name?
A: The title law protects ownership rights for more than 15 million vehicles in Texas. Therefore, the statutes require transfer of ownership by proper execution of certain ownership documents. When these specific documents are incomplete or unavailable, Texas statutes provide for the applicant to apply for a tax collector's hearing or bonded title in most situations.
Q: What is a bonded title and what is it used for?
A: A bonded title is a notation reflected on a title document and the motor vehicle record which indicates that a Certificate of Title Surety Bond was surrendered in support of the application for title. The bond is issued in the title applicant's name for a 3-year period. The notation is carried forward upon subsequent issuance for the 3-year period. The bond is required by statute, when proper ownership documents are unavailable, to protect previous and subsequent owners and lien holders from possible claims.
REGISTRATION RENEWAL/RENEWAL NOTICES

Q: I have not received my registration renewal notice. What do I do?
A: Your vehicle can be renewed at our office by bringing in your proof of insurance & your license plate number. You will need to show us your driver's license to prove you are the registered owner of the vehicle you are wanting to register.

Q: I moved to another location within Texas. How can I be sure that my registration renewal notice will get to me when the time comes?
A: Your mail will be forwarded if you filled out a Change of Address Form with the U.S. Postal Service, but the registration record will not be updated in the TMV system. You may come into our office and we will be happy to change your registration renewal address. Or, you may fill out the Notice of Address Change for Texas Motor Vehicle Registration (Form VTR-146)*. Or, write a letter to: Texas Department of Transportation, Vehicle Titles and Registration Division, Attention: Customer Information Services Branch, Austin, TX 78779-0001. They will take the information you have provided and update the vehicle registration record accordingly. You must provide the description for each vehicle you own. You can also call the Customer Help Desk at (512) 465-7611, TDD (512) 302-2110.
EXPIRED REGISTRATION
Q: I did not receive my renewal notice and my registration has expired. Why am I being forced to pay a 20% penalty?
A: A 20% penalty will no longer be assessed for delinquent registration except in cases when the vehicle has received a ticket for operating on the public highways unregistered after the 5-working days grace period.
Q: Can a vehicle be operated after the registration expires?
A: Yes. A vehicle may be operated within 5 days after the registration expires without penalty.
Q: What if I haven't driven the vehicle since my registration expired. Do I still pay the 20% penalty?
A: No. If a delinquent registrant has a valid reason for being delinquent in registering their vehicle, the registrant will be required to register the vehicle for a 12 month period, establishing a new registration expiration month which will end on the last day of the 11th month following the month of registration (no penalty and no Non-use Affidavit).

If there is not a valid reason for the delinquent registration, the registrant will be required to register the vehicle for a 12-month period without establishing a new registration period (no penalty and no Non-use Affidavit).

A person who has been given a ticket for operating their vehicle unregistered will be required to register their vehicle for 12 months without changing their vehicle registration expiration month and pay a penalty of 20% of the prescribed registration fee.
MOTORCYCLES/TRAILERS

Q: How do I register and title a motorcycle or Trailer?
A: Come into our office and we can help you with either.



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Auto Title Services of Oak Hill
5611 Hwy 290 West
Austin, TX 78735
512.892.4114
512.892.1296 fax
info@autotitleservices.com



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