Tips on saving money, travel, safety and more, from local insurance agent, Austin Insurance Group.

Texas Car Registration

“Everything you need to know to about Texas Car Registration”

Texas Car RegistrationWhat do I need to do for Texas Car Registration? The State Law Requires You to Register and Title Your Vehicle in Texas if:

  1. You need to establish residence, or,
  2. You become gainfully employed.

Your vehicle may be operated with current out-of-state license plates for 30 days. Immediate registration is required at the end of such 30-day period.

You are not required to register and title your vehicle in Texas if:

  1. You are a nonresident member of the U.S. Armed Forces or,
  2. You are a nonresident student attending an accredited Texas college or university on a full-time basis. Part-time employment is allowed. NOTE: However, your vehicle must display valid license plates and remain currently registered.
    Before you register your vehicle in Texas, it must pass a vehicle safety inspection and vehicle identification number inspection made by a state appointed safety inspection station. A Form VI-30-A, Vehicle Identification Certificate certifying the correct vehicle identification number will be completed by the inspection station. This form must be submitted to the County Tax Assessor-Collector along with your evidence of ownership, valid proof of liability insurance, application for registration and certificate of title.

How to Register your Car in Texas.

Texas Titles

Your application for certificate of title and vehicle registration must be filed with the County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office located in the county where you reside.

You are required to submit the following items with your application.

  1. An out-of-state title or foreign ownership document
  2. Vehicle Identification Certificate, Form VI-30A
  3. Valid proof of financial responsibility in the form of: a. a liability insurance card b. an insurance policy c. an insurance binder, or d. certificate of self insurance
  4. Your vehicle’s current odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old
  5. If your vehicle is from a foreign country, a bond release letter from the U.S. Department of Transportation(DOT) may be required, confirming that the vehicle conforms with federal safety standards, and 6. If your vehicle has not been previously registered by you in another state, sales or use tax verification is required.

Texas Car Registration and title forms are available at your local County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office.

To save yourself time and trouble, you may wish to telephone your county tax office beforehand. The following questions may be helpful.

  1. Where is the local County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office located?
  2. What are the normal office hours?
  3. What is the exact cost to register and title my vehicle?

Auto Insurance

You cannot legally operate a motor vehicle in Texas without liability insurance coverage. You must present valid proof of liability insurance coverage to receive or renew your:

  1. Motor vehicle registration
  2. Driver’s license
  3. Vehicle safety inspection

Acceptable evidence of such proof may be an original or photocopy of one of the following: a liability insurance card, an insurance policy, an insurance binder, or a certificate of self-insurance.

The minimum amounts of coverage prescribed by Texas law are: $30,000 bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident, $60,000 bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, subject to $30,000 limit for one person, up to $60,000 per accident because of injury in any one accident and up to $25,000 for property damage.

Vehicle Safety Inspection

Every car, truck, bus, motorcycle, moped, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or travel trailer registered in Texas and operated on a public roadway must display a valid vehicle inspection certificate at all times. Trailer-type vehicles with a gross weight of 4,500 pounds or less are exempt.

Vehicle inspections are conducted at official state appointed vehicle inspection stations.

Defects disclosed during the inspection may be corrected by the vehicle owner or by a repair facility of the owner’s choice. When a vehicle passes the inspection, an inspection certificate displaying the month and year of expiration will be affixed to the windshield. The windshield certificate expires 12 months from the date of the inspection

Getting a Texas driver’s license

If you are a driver establishing residence in Texas, you are required to obtain a Texas Driver’s License within 30 days.

You may apply for a driver’s license at any Texas Department of Public Safety Driver’s License Office. By law, if you are required to take the driving test when applying, you will be required to present proof that your vehicle has been registered in Texas along with valid proof of liability insurance.

When making initial application, you must present a certified copy of your birth certificate or other qualified evidence which documents the date of your birth.

At the time you make application, you must pass an examination for vision, rules, signs, and driving skills. Your thumb prints are required at this time.

To prepare for the driver’s license examination, a driver’s handbook containing all of the necessary information is available at any Texas Department of Public Safety office.

Proof of Driver Education Completion and parental authorization is required for minors ages 15 through 17.

For further information about driver’s license fees and vehicle safety inspection, you may wish to contact your local TX Department of Public Safety office or headquarters in Austin at (512)424-2000.

Overview-Texas Car Registration

STEP 1: Obtain Texas Insurance.
STEP 2: Get a vehicle safety inspection, which can be done in a garage rlocal service station.
STEP 3: Take the vehicle inspection certificate, evidence of ownership, and proof of insurance to the county courthouse.

For More Information on Texas Car Registration:

Texas Department of Transportation (

Texas Online (Auto Registration) (

Austin Insurance Group - Texas Car Registration

Local Authorized Agent – Texas Car Registration

Car Leasing vs Car Buying

Car leasing vs car buying is an increasingly popular way to get a new auto.

  1. A down payment may not be required.
  2. Monthly payments are generally lower.
  3. Enjoy a new car more often.
  4. Conveniently turn in the auto at the end of the lease than negotiating a trade-in value or sale.


  1. You get no trade-in or resale value at the end of the lease.
  2. Steep charges to break the lease early.
  3. May be charged for excess mileage or excessive wear and tear.
  4. If you choose to purchase the auto at the end of the lease, you may end up paying more than if you purchased the car in the first place.
  5. You may be required to carry higher liability limits and for newer vehicles, you are usually required to insure your car for comprehensive and collision with certain deductibles.

Second Hand Rose. Buying used is very similar to buying new. You need to assess your needs, estimate what you can spend and do your homework.

You have one additional variable to consider–wear and tear. If the car hasn’t been in an accident, has been well-maintained and runs well, you may have yourself a first-class car at a discount price. However, if you think you’ve found a good one, have your mechanic check it our before buying.

To figure out the going price for a used car, check your local classified ads and consult one of the used car price guides available at the library, such as the Kelly Blue Book Used Car Price Manuel (commonly called the Kelly Blue Book), which lists estimated values for used cars based on what car dealers are paying for various makes and models. Keep in mind that price guides aren’t the final word on a car’s fair value and that factors such as mileage can change a car’s value considerably.

For More Information/Reference Materials

  1. Buying a Car for Dummies by Diana Sclar
  2. Insiders Guide to Buying a New or Used Car by Burke Leon and Stephanie Leon
  3. How to Buy a Car and Not Get Taken by Brian Munroe


Austin Insurance Group | Local Texas Auto Insurance Agent | 512-339-2901 | Car Leasing vs Car Buying

Car Leasing vs Car Buying

Car Buying Tips

Car Buying Tips

With the Multitude of Make, Model and Option Choices Available today read up on our car buying tips…

…buying an auto is enough to make your head spin.

Texas Car Buying TipsObviously your emotions–your feelings about driving and your preference for certain auto makes or models–will play a role in the decision process. But, the smartest place to start is by thinking about you and your needs. To be sure you make the smartest choices, you’ll need to do some homework.  We put together some car buying tips to consider.

Know Your Car Style.  Don’t necessarily think auto model, think auto use. If you know the answers to the following questions, you can help yourself determine which auto best fits you.

  1. What are the primary and secondary uses of the auto?
  2. What will be in the auto most of the time?
  3. How often will the auto be used?
  4. Where will you be driving?
  5. What features do you consider most important?
  6. What are you willing to give up?

The Education Process.  Once you have a clean picture of what you need, you may be tempted just to head to a dealership. Think again. Investigating your choices ahead of time will save time and aggravation–and maybe even money.

Visit the library, a bookstore or go online and do some basic research. Becoming familiar with current prices and features can be especially helpful if you haven’t purchased a car in a few years.

Make a list of all the important features and options you personally want or need in a car. Then write down all the models that have those features. You may find a few more cars on the list than you expected, giving you a bigger pool from which to choose. Or you may find that only a few autos fit your needs, which will save you time when you do head to the dealership.

Budgetary Issues.  New or used, buy or lease, you need to know all the costs involved in getting your next car. Even if an auto is a great deal and the financing options unbeatable, you may find that making those monthly payments puts an impossible strain on your budget.  And don’t forget to compare car insurance rates on different makes and models BEFORE you purchase a new or used car.

If you are not sure how much you can afford, talk to a financial advisor or get pre-approval on an auto loan from a bank. Professional advice in the area of financing will let you know ahead of time how much you can really afford.

Once you set your price range, stick to it. The trick is getting the car you need, for the price you can afford.

You’d Better Shop Around.  Compare sticker prices with the estimates from your research. Review the standard and optional features listed. When you are ready, get brochures, take test drives and ask the salesperson for information. Ask about everything from warranties to service department hours and loaner policies.

Next, it’s time to negotiate a deal. The difference between a dealer’s invoice(estimates are available from automotive magazines and auto pricing services) and the price listed on the sticker is your bargaining range. The more information you have on exactly what the dealer pays for the standard package and for each option, the stronger your negotiating position. It also helps to know whether the manufacturer is offering any cash rebate offers or factory-to-dealer incentives.

The popularity and availability of a particular car will also factor in how willing the seller is to negotiate. And keep in mind that when you shop may make a difference in the final price you pay. The end of the model year (September and October) favors consumers because that’s when dealers are reducing inventory to make room for next year’s models. December, when more folks are worried about holiday shopping than car shopping, is another good time. Then end of the month, when salespeople are trying to fill their quotas, is also prime deal-making time.

Don’t forget that owning an auto costs more than the monthly payments. Gas, maintenance, taxes and insurance should all be figured into the cost of ownership. Ask your insurance agent for an estimate of auto insurance costs.

Keep these car buying tips in mind with your next purchase.

Contact Austin Insurance Group for a no-obligation insurance quote. Online or  512.339.2901