How to register a vehicle in

Texas

as a non-US resident

Texas

at a glance

Major cities
Dallas / Ft. Worth
Houston
Major ports of arrival
Dallas / Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)
George Bush International Airport (IAH)
Registration challenges
In-state address required
Average sales tax rate
8.19%

State Overview and Advice

In order to register a vehicle in Texas, you need a Texas address.

If you do not have a Texas address, we recommend using visitor.us' services to register a vehicle that you buy in Texas.

The Registration Process

Texas' counties and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) handle the state's vehicle registrations.

If you buy your vehicle from a Texas dealer, the dealer will issue you a 30-day temporary registration.

Whether you're buying a vehicle from a private party or a dealer, and are planning to register it in Texas, bring the required items (below) to the county tax office of the address where you'll register your vehicle.

Five-day vehicle transit permits for vehicles previously registered in Texas are available on the TxDMV website.

For vehicles being registered in Texas, Texas sales taxes are payable to the dealer upon sale, or the county upon registration (if purchased from a private party).

Taxes and Fees

Sales Tax

State sales tax

6.25%

Average local sales tax

1.94%

Average combined sales tax

8.19%

Registration fees

Light Vehicle

Fees: $74

RV

Trailer Fees: $67.25

RV Fees: $76.25

Motorcycle

Fees: $52.25

$15,000 car

$1,303

$50,000 RV

$4,171

$5,000 motorcycle

$462

Total taxes and fees

Registration Requirements

Prior owner's title

The vehicle's title must be signed by the owner(s) printed on the title, its odometer reading recorded (if less than 10 years in age), and be free of all liens in order for the prior owner's interest to be released.

Identification

A current, government-issued photo ID is required to register a vehicle in Texas.

Bill of sale

A bill of sale is  not required to register a vehicle in Texas, although signing one with the vehicle's seller is recommended.

Application

130-U - Application for Texas Title and/or Registration

Inspection

Emissions (smog)

Annual emissions inspections are required for cars ages 2-24, registered in the following metro areas: Austin, Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, El Paso. Inspections must be current to register vehicle.

Safety

Annual safety inspections are required in Texas for vehicles 2 years old and older.

VIN

VIN inspections are not required in Texas.

Insurance

Texas's minimum liability insurance limits are 30/60/25.

Residency

Texas does not require proof of residency to register a vehicle.

Local Address

Vehicles registered in Texas must be registered to a Texas address.

The Alternative

When you sign up with visitor.us, this is what you get:

Company Formation

visitor.us forms a Limited Liability Company for you in Montana, the best state for international visitors to register vehicles.

Vehicle Purchase

Complete paperwork and funds transfer with the seller.
The seller will list your LLC and its address as the buyer on the vehicle's title, and visitor.us will arrange for it to be couriered to us for processing.

Insurance

Insurance from a top-rated insurance company that covers you, your vehicle, and your LLC.

Vehicle Registration

You buy a vehicle, we register it in MT. Why?
- MT sales tax: 0%
- Inspections not required in MT

Annual Actions

visitor.us will keep your registration current, and courier your annual decal and registration document to you ('hold at courier location for pick-up' available, if you're on the move).
Ready to get started?
Take the visitor.us quiz and learn how to buy, register, and insure a vehicle in the States relevant to your visit.

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