How to Transfer a Car Title in Texas

by Jason Unrau

Buying or selling a car in Texas requires the transfer of title from the old owner to the new one. The process is nearly the same for a private purchase or a dealership sale -- with one exception: In a sales transaction with a car dealership, the dealership is responsible for filing the appropriate paperwork for the title transfer.

Items you will need

  • Title application form 130-U

  • Vehicle inspection report

  • Sales tax payment

Complete form 130-U.

Form 130-U -- the Application for Texas Title -- is required by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles for any title transfer. Both the purchaser and seller must fully complete their personal information on the form as well as vehicle data, including the Vehicle Identification Number, color and odometer reading. If the form is not completed and submitted within 30 days of the sale, an escalating late fee and penalty may apply.

Submit the vehicle inspection report.

In addition to the title application form, a vehicle inspection report must be submitted if a current inspection is not on file at the DMV. The VIR is required to ensure that the vehicle complies with Texas vehicle safety standards and must be submitted with form 130-U.

Pay the sales tax.

The sales tax on a vehicle purchase must be paid before a title transfer can be completed. The sales tax is 6.25 percent of the sale amount or the standard presumptive value, whichever is higher. The sales tax is payable to the county tax assessor-collector.

Allow a minimum processing time of 20 business days for the title transfer to be complete.

Tip

  • If there is a lien registered on the vehicle, the lien holder will receive the new title.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jason Unrau is an automotive writer with 15 years experience in the automotive dealer environment, including 10 years as and automotive service consultant. He is a Certified Technology Expert, a regular contributor to Gearheads.org, and operates AutomotiveCopywriter.com.