Moving To Texas Driver's Guideline

For up to 90 days after moving to Texas, new Texas residents can legally drive with a valid, unexpired driver's license from another U.S. state, U.S. territory, Canadian province, or a qualifying country. To continue driving legally after the 90-day grace period expires, a new Texas resident must apply for a Texas license in person at any driver's license office. When applying for a new Texas driver's license, the individual must surrender any unexpired driver's license from another U.S. state, U.S. territory, or Canadian province.

Texas Quick Guide

Without going into specifics, know that after moving to Texas, you should have:

Annual Vehicle Inspections

Locate a certified Vehicle Inspection Station and bring your insurance proof with you.

Vehicle Insurance

Meet the bare minimum of Texas coverage requirements, which are $25,000 in property damage and $60,000 in personal injury protection.

Register Your Vehicle

Register your vehicle with the county tax assessor-collector within 30 days of moving to Texas. Remember to bring proof of insurance and ownership – either the title or prior state registration. You should be able to renew your registration online after your initial registration. There will be three fees to pay: a registration fee, a sales tax fee, and a title application fee. As a new Texas resident, you must transfer your vehicle's title from your previous home state to your current home state of Texas. You will need to fill out a Certificate of Title and a bill of sale. Other documents required to transfer your vehicle's registration to the state of Texas are as follows:
  • Proof of a valid TX vehicle insurance policy
  • Vehicle inspection report
  • Odometer reading
  • Out-of-state vehicle title
  • Proof of a valid vehicle registration
  • Proof of sales tax payment
  • Completed application for Texas vehicle title and or registration
  • Payment for the applicable vehicle taxes and fees
Please remember that you must have all the necessary documents to successfully transfer your out-of-state vehicle registration at your local TX DMV branch. You may also be required to perform the following tasks:
  • Comply with all state and federal regulations.
  • Bring your vehicle over.
  • Pass a vehicle safety inspection in Texas
  • Obtain a VIN (vehicle identification number) inspection
  • Make an application for a Texas vehicle title and registration.
Keep in mind that you may be required to fulfill additional requirements to complete your Texas vehicle registration.

License Plates

You will be given two identical license plates at the time of vehicle registration, one for the front and one for the back of your vehicle. They have a seven-year warranty. Personalized plates are available for an additional fee.

Driver's License

Within 90 days of your move, you must apply for a new driver's license at your local Texas Department of Public Safety office. Bring identification, such as a passport, an unexpired military ID card, or a U.S. Citizen Identification Card in the U.S. Drivers in Texas must pay between $28 and $33 to complete a vehicle title transfer, depending on the county in which they live. In addition to the vehicle titling fee, you must be prepared to pay the vehicle registration fees and taxes. The following fees are associated with transferring a vehicle registration in Texas:
  • Vehicle registration fee: $50
  • Part of the vehicle inspection fee: $30
  • Local county fee: $31.50
  • Vehicle sales tax: 6% of the total cost
  • Insurance verification fee: $1
  • Processing and handling fee: $4.75

Transferring an Out-of-state License

When you move to Texas for the first time, the first thing you should do is transfer your driver's license to the state. You can drive a vehicle in Texas for 90 days if you have a valid, unexpired driver's license from another U.S. state or Canadian province. You must apply for a valid Texas driver's license and surrender your out-of-state driver's license before the 90-day grace period expires. You must take specific steps when transferring your driver's license to Texas.

Schedule An Appointment

To avoid standing in long lines, make an appointment at your local TX Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If at all possible, schedule your appointment as soon as possible. You are not required to make an appointment, but it is a good idea. To avoid unnecessary penalties and delays, make sure you have the necessary TX license transfer forms before going to your local TX DPS office. You must have the following credentials ready to present at the DMV office:
  • Proof of:
    • Texas residency
    • Identification
    • Social security number
    • U.S. citizenship or evidence of the lawful presence
  • Proof of a valid TX vehicle registration
  • Proof of a valid TX car insurance policy
  • A valid out-of-state driver's license (Form DL-14A)
  • A completed TX driver's license application
  • Payment for the TX application fee

Vision Test

When transferring your driver's license to Texas, you must pass a vision test. A trained clerk will administer the vision test with the Texas DPS, or you can present an eye test report from a specialist, such as a qualified physician, nurse, or optician. If you wear contact lenses or glasses, make sure to bring them. The vision exam requires a minimum passing score of 20/40 in one eye or better.

Temporary License

After completing the preceding steps, you must wait for the DPS to process your new Texas driver's license transfer application. Because this process will take a few weeks, you will be issued a temporary license. With this temporary license, you can legally and freely drive in Texas.