Title Transfer Texas

You can complete a title transfer in Texas through your county tax office with a few key documents.
Written by Sara Schaffer
Edited by Pat Roache
You’ll need to complete a title transfer at your county tax office for a fee of $28 or $33, depending on where you live, to transfer ownership of a vehicle in Texas.
  • A title transfer is required to legally transfer ownership when buying or selling a car.
  • Your car dealer will handle the Texas title transfer when you buy from a dealership, but the vehicle buyer will have to handle the title transfer in a private sale.
  • A county tax office clerk will check any issues that may affect the title transfer process when you buy or sell a car in Texas.

Title transfers: What you need to know

car title transfer
is the process of transferring ownership of a car from a buyer to a seller.
A title transfer is most often required when you buy or sell a car, but there are some other common reasons for a title change:
There are two basic steps to a title transfer:
  • The seller signs the title, releasing their claim on the car.
  • The buyer brings the endorsed title to the county tax office to get a new title and
    vehicle registration
    in their name.
Who is responsible for a title transfer varies, depending on how you buy or sell your car:
  • Dealership: Your car dealer will handle the details of your title transfer and have the state mail you your vehicle title when you buy a car from a dealership.
  • Private transaction: The buyer and seller will need to file the title transfer paperwork at the local county tax office for a car in a
    private sale
Generally speaking, the required information for a title transfer includes:
  • An odometer reading
  • The seller’s signature
  • Information about the buyer

Car title transfer in Texas

In Texas, the vehicle buyer must complete a title transfer at their local county tax office within 30 days of the date of sale. 
How much it costs: Depending on which county you’re in, the title transfer fee is either $28 or $33.
What to do: The buyer and seller should go together to the county tax office. if possible, to deal with any surprises that might come up during the process.
The seller provides:
At the county tax office, a tax office representative will let you know if the title:
  • Is correct
  • Is a salvage vehicle
  • Has any legal issues
  • Has any issues that will affect the car’s value
It’s also a good idea to keep a written copy of the name and address of the seller, the sale date, and vehicle information including the VIN.
Key Takeaway The county tax office representative will make sure you know all about the car you’re buying while helping you process the title transfer.

Registering a car in Texas

After a title transfer, you’ll need to register the vehicle with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TXDMV). Registration proves that the car belongs to you and that you can legally drive it.
How much it costs: The registration fee in Texas is $50.75 per year, or $54 per year for vehicles 6,001-10,000 lbs.
Other fees may apply based on local government, special license plates, inspections, processing, and handling. These fees vary depending on vehicle type, county of registration, and county of inspection.
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If your car still has a
car loan
, call the lender and ask them to help you with the title transfer. They’ll be able to help with what your next steps should be.
On the back of the title, the seller signs on the line where it says “seller’s signature.” All owners listed on the title should sign. There’s a separate line where the buyer endorses the title as well.
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