How to Register a Car in Texas

A person driving car, seen from just behind the middle aisle.
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In Texas, a person registers their vehicle within 30 days of moving to the state by ‌taking it to a certified vehicle inspection station and passing the Texas inspection.‌ They must bring their insurance card with them because the inspection station will ask to see proof of insurance.

Texas requires insurance coverage for a minimum of $30,000 per injured person, up to a total of $60,000 for everyone injured in an accident and $25,000 for property damage.

Getting Texas license plates and a Texas registration sticker requires visiting a person’s local county tax office. Typical requirements to register a vehicle in Texas are to show: an insurance card; a vehicle inspection report issued by the inspection station; and proof that the person owns the vehicle, like registration or vehicle title from their previous state.

Fees for Registration

How much it costs to register a car in Texas depends on the type of vehicle.

Fee to Register a Vehicle in Texas

Type of Vehicle


Cars and light trucks

Base registration fee $50.75

Pickup trucks

Base registration fee $54 for heavier vehicles 6,001 lbs. to 10,000 lbs.

Heavy vehicles

Base registration fee $54. Additional weight classification fee for vehicles 10,001 lbs. to 80,000 lbs.


$45 for trailers up to 6,000 lbs.

Mopeds and motorcycles

Base registration fee $30

Texas Department of Motor Vehicles: Register Your Vehicle and Texas Department of Motor Vehicles: Texas Registration Fees

Now let's look at the fees to register a heavy vehicle in Texas.

Fee to Register a Heavy Vehicle in Texas

Weight of Heavy Vehicle in Pounds

Weight-based Registration Fee

10,001 to 18,000


18,001 to 999


26,000 to 40,000


40,001 to 54,999


55,000 to 70,000


70,0001 to 80,000


Texas Department of Motor Vehicles: Texas Registration Fees

The gross vehicle weight of a truck, such as a semi is found by adding the empty weight of the vehicle and the heaviest load that will be carried (the carrying capacity) during the registration year.

Registration of Other Vehicles

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are required to be titled, but not registered. ATVs are vehicles with three or more wheels, one or more seats and not designed by the manufacturer for farm or lawn use.

Off-highway motorcycles with two or three wheels are required to be titled, but not registered. Boats, boat motors and personal watercraft must be registered and titled with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

For motor homes, the registration fee is based on weight. A person must have proof of liability insurance and inspection to register the vehicle. The majority of pocket bikes and mini-scooters that are gasoline or battery-powered do not pass a vehicle safety inspection, so they cannot be registered or driven on public roads.

Titling a motorized vehicle requires a secure manufacturer’s certificate of origin issued by the manufacturer and registered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Vehicle Registration Renewal

A person can get their Texas car registration online when they renew registration. Renewing online provides a $1.00 discount. A vehicle registration in Texas may be renewed online 90 days before the expiration date or 12 months after the expiration date if the vehicle has not received a citation for an expired registration. The expiration month will not change.

Vehicle Registration Stickers

There is a two-business day payment processing hold before the new sticker is printed. Texans should allow up to three weeks for processing and mailing. The status of their registration sticker can be tracked by visiting “Where’s My Sticker?

They will need to enter the license plate number and the last four digits of their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to get a result. A person must get their vehicle inspected and have it pass a state inspection before they can renew their registration.

A vehicle registration sticker displays a car’s license plate number, county of registration and partial VIN. The registration expires on the last day of the month noted on the sticker. For example, if a sticker shows a date of July 2023, the registration is valid through July 31, 2023.

Register an Out-of-State Vehicle in Texas

If a person resides outside of Texas, they must register the vehicle in the state or jurisdiction where they currently live. The exception is if they are a full-time student or active military. If they fit into either of these two categories, they should contact their local county tax office in the county where they last resided for more information.

If the person is registering their vehicle in Texas because they currently live in the state, they should show a current foreign/military ownership document or foreign evidence of ownership when they submit documents to their local county tax office.

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