Texas Regulations

Purchasing or selling a vehicle can be a confusing process, especially if it is your first time.  There is many legalities involved and it is crucial that you follow the process correctly.  4DMV.com has compiled a list of useful information to help you with the purchase or sell of a vehicle in this easy to read and understand guide.

  • When you are purchasing a used vehicle there are some very important steps that should be taken to ensure that you are purchasing a vehicle of good value.  First, you should order a history vehicle report.  This will give you important information on the vehicles background.
  • Before you begin shopping for a new or used car it is important to know your budget.  By knowing your budget you will be less likely to be coaxed into purchasing something that is outside of your budget.  When purchasing a used vehicle also check the vehicles value.  You can check the vehicle’s value by checking the Kelley Blue Book or you can check the National Automobile Dealers Association.  If you are a seller of a vehicle you these tools will also be useful to help you set a value for your vehicle.
  • When it comes time that you have decided to purchase, you should research the vehicle.  For newer vehicles you will need to research their make and model through resources such as reviews, forums and so on.  For used vehicle’s you should obtain a vehicle history report which can be obtained through 4DMV.com’s section Vehicles History Reports.  This will provide you with all the detailed information on the vehicle’s past including how many accidents it’s been in, its past service and so on.
The Paperwork

When you purchase a car in the state of Texas, it is necessary to title and register the vehicle.  When buying a car from a dealership, the dealer normally handles the paperwork for you.  However, when you are purchasing through a third party, you will be responsible for completing the process yourself.

A title transfer must be performed.  This is documentation that the car has changed ownerships.  If you are the seller of the car, it is also important to provide a Bill of Sale that includes specific information on the vehicle.

The seller of the car will be responsible for:

The buyer of the vehicle will then be responsible for taking the documents to the County Tax Assessor - Collectors office to where they will then transfer the vehicle’s title into their own name. If for some reason the title of the vehicle has been lost, damaged or stolen, the seller will need to fill out an Application for Certified Copy of Title

The seller will then need to submit the form to their County Tax Assessor - Collector office where they can obtain a duplicate title.

For vehicle’s that you are seeking a title for but do not know who the legal owner is, you will be required to obtain a bonded title.  This means that you will be responsible to obtain a bond to reimburse the legal owner should they come forward.  The bond will need to stay in place for a length of three years.  Once the three years are up, you will be able to apply for a regular title.  In order to obtain the bond you will also need to fill out Application for Certified Copy of Title

You will also be required to fill out a Statement of Fact supplement which can be found at:  Vehicle Titles and Registration Forms

If you are holding a bonded title and decide to sell the vehicle you will want to visit your County Tax Assessor - Collectors office to find out about transferring the bonded title to the car buyer.  You will also need to check with your local authorities regarding selling an unregistered vehicle.

If you are selling a vehicle it is recommended to complete and file a Form VTR-346 and submit it to your local County Tax Assessor - Collectors office.  The form can be found at Vehicle Titles and Registration Forms

This will release you from liability of the vehicle should something occur prior to the new owner transferring title.

For car buying tips visit 4DMV.com’s Car Buying Guide.