Selling a Car in Texas

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If you’re selling a car in Texas, you’ll need to sign the title over, complete an inspection, and provide proof of the transfer to a DMV.
Selling a car privately with so many rules in place may seem like a headache, but it’s a relatively simple process. Each state has its own set of rules and procedures for transferring legal ownership—if you don't follow them, you could still be held liable for the car after you sell it.
The car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry is here to walk you through everything you need to know about selling a car in Texas.

What you need to sell a car in Texas

If you’re looking to sell your car privately in Texas, you’ll have to provide the buyer with the following documentation:
  • A properly signed title, including the date of sale and odometer reading
  • A signed Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U) with the sales price listed
You’ll also have to remove your license plate and registration from the vehicle. There are three options for removing license plates:
  • The seller can transfer the license plate to a new car if the vehicle classification is the same
  • The seller can keep the license plates to transfer to a new car—but the registration sticker won’t be transferred
  • If the seller doesn’t transfer or keep the license plates, they must be disposed of and defaced (i.e. with black ink)

Getting a pre-sale inspection

Texas has enacted a “Two Steps, One Sticker” policy, which entails the following:
  • You must submit a valid inspection to the state’s inspection database alongside the title and registration
  • Then, the state will grant the buyer a sticker to serve as proof of inspection and registration
As long as the seller has valid proof of inspection (and the date of sale is at least a month before the inspection expires), the buyer will be able to register the car. 
If an inspection cannot be verified electronically, the seller will have to submit a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) to the county tax office.
Keep in mind that all vehicles registered in Texas must pass an annual safety inspection to ensure compliance with state-wide safety standards.
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Documenting the sale

Though it’s not a legal requirement in Texas, it’s always a good idea to complete a Bill of Sale when selling your car.
A bill of sale will provide important legal protections for both the buyer and the seller—it can, for example, prove that you’re no longer liable for the vehicle if it’s involved in an accident post-sale.

Signing the title over

To sign the title to the new owner, the seller will have to provide the buyer with the following:
  • Properly signed title
  • Selling date
  • Selling price
  • Odometer reading
  • Signed Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U)
The seller should keep a detailed record of the transaction—contact information from the buyer, date of sale, and information regarding the vehicle, including the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Reporting the sale

In order to protect yourself as a seller, you should file a Vehicle Transfer Notification with the Texas DMV.
When it’s received, the vehicle transfer notification updates the car’s record to show it as sold. If filed within 30 days of the date of sale, you cannot be held responsible for any toll violations and parking tickets the buyer incurs once they possess the car.

Finding cheap car insurance 

Once you’ve sold your vehicle, make sure you update your car insurance policy for your new car. If you’re looking for an easy way to find the best insurance savings, just use Jerry.
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. They even help cancel your old policy! 
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Resources such as Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book can help you figure out what your car is worth so you can determine a fair price based on its make, model, year, and condition.

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