Texas requires all non-farm trailers to be registered if they travel on public highways. Trailers over 4000 pounds gross weight (weight of the trailer plus the weight it can carry) must also be titled.
Trailers are categorized by their gross weight and whether they are manufactured or assembled. All newly assembled trailers must be titled. The requirements for titling and registering manufactured or assembled trailers differ by weight.
Registering a Trailer in Texas
All Texas vehicles, including trailers, are registered in their county of residence. The location of county tax offices and DMVs can be found here, along with a vehicle value calculator and other helpful tips.
To register your trailer, you must first determine what type it is. The manufacturer’s name or ID should be stamped on the trailer’s tongue. If unsure, you can have the trailer inspected by an auto theft law enforcement officer. Contact the county tax assessor’s office or the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for the agency’s name.
Newly purchased vehicles must be titled and registered within 30 days of the date of sale. New residents in Texas must transfer their titles and register their vehicles within 30 days of establishing residency.
What Paperwork Is Required To Register a Trailer in Texas?
If your trailer needs a title, you can obtain it while you register it. The Texas DMV recommends private sellers accompany buyers to the DMV office to transfer the title to the purchaser properly. You will need to bring the following:
- Application for Texas Title and/or Registration
- Proof of ownership. This depends on the type of trailer:
- New trailer: Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin
- Used trailer under 4000 pounds gross weight: Certificate of Title
- Used trailer over 4000 pounds gross weight: Texas trailer bill of sale and current registration receipt
- Current driver’s license
- Fees and taxes
Assembled trailers may require an inspection and additional documents before they can be titled and registered. Salvaged or flood-damaged vehicles may not be titled or registered in Texas.
Farm trailers have a separate titling and registration schedule. Individuals who want to title and register their farm trucks and trailers should use Form VTR-52-A instead of the regular Application for Texas Title.
Trailer Registration Fees
Registration fees are handled in the county tax assessor’s office. Depending on statutory requirements, you may be able to pay registration fees in other counties. The county of purchase or the lienholder’s county may also be able to process your title and registration fees. The state DMV recommends contacting the office before paying your fees there.
Title for Trailer
All trailers in Texas over 4000 pounds gross weight must be titled, except manufactured farm trailers. New assembled farm trailers are not exempt from the title and registration requirement.
Non-motorized trailers are not required to have insurance in Texas. Texas requires basic liability insurance for all drivers on Texas highways. Motor homes and other self-propelled RVs must have liability and collision coverage.
Trailers under 4000 pounds gross weight (trailer and load) must be registered but do not have to be titled. Farm trailers which will only be used on agricultural property, do not need titles or registration.
Texas Trailer Bill of Sale Sample
Download a Texas trailer bill of sale template below in PDF or Word format: