A Texas (TX) vehicle bill of sale is a legal document that provides evidence for the transfer of a vehicle from one person to another. This document provides the vital information that you’ll need to register a vehicle.
A vehicle bill of sale in Texas will contain contact information for both the buyer and seller. It will also include information about the vehicle, including the mileage information and vehicle identification number (VIN). Although a vehicle bill of sale is not technically required to register a vehicle with the DMV in Texas, you will likely want to file a Vehicle Transfer Notice, which includes much of the same information as a Texas vehicle bill of sale.
Having a bill of sale to show proof of your purchase or sale will help protect you if there are any ownership disputes or if a new buyer doesn’t properly register a vehicle.
Texas Vehicle Bill of Sale Requirements
Texas does not have a form that is used specifically for a vehicle bill of sale. Instead, they have an official Application for Texas Title and/or Registration. It’s similar, but it does not contain all of the information that a bill of sale would have.
Some of the need-to-know features of a Texas bill of sale and Texas vehicle registration include:
- Texas Vehicle Bill of Sale Form: Not required
- Notarization: No notary or witness requirements
- Timeframe: Required to title a vehicle within 30 days from the date of sale
- Liability Insurance: Registration requires proof of liability insurance
- Vehicle Inspection: A Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) provides proof of inspection
Filing a transfer notice will help protect sellers if the buyer does not register the vehicle right away. A Texas vehicle bill of sale includes most, if not all, of the information you need to file a transfer notice with the Texas DMV.
Registration of a Vehicle at the Texas DMV
After purchasing a vehicle, it will need to be registered in the State of Texas.
- Texas DMV Offices: Vehicle Registration Information
- Days to Register at DMV: 30 days from the date of sale
- Fees: Fees in Texas vary based on the type of vehicle that is being registered. There may also be local fees, inspection fees, and process and handling fees.
- Cars and light trucks: $50.75/li>
- Pickup trucks (6,001 to 10,000 pounds): $54.00
- Heavy vehicles: vary based on weight, up to 80,000 pounds
- Trailers: $45.00 for trailers up to 6,000 pounds
- Mopeds and motorcycles: $30.00
- Auto/Liability Insurance: Texas has minimum required insurance amounts. These include the following coverages.
- Bodily injury coverage: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
- Property damage coverage: $5,000 minimum
- Uninsured motorist coverage: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
- Sales Taxes: The Texas tax authorities require that a tax of 6.25% be imposed on vehicle sales. If there is a trade-in, the sale price is decreased by the value of the trade-in. The sales tax computation can be found on the Application for Texas Title and/or Registration.
- Documents to bring to renew your registration: Texas license plate number, government-issued ID, and vehicle identification number
You can renew your registration online and get a $1.00 discount on your registration fee.
Below are a few forms and information that consumers might need to transfer or sell motor vehicles in Texas.
- View vehicle inspection history based on VIN
- Track your registration sticker after registering your vehicle
- E-reminder services to register your vehicle annually
- Update your address with the DMV after you move
- Get a replacement sticker after registering for the first time
Get motor vehicle information from the Texas DMV with the Request for Motor Vehicle Information form
How to Write a Bill of Sale for a Car in Texas
Because Texas does not have a formal bill of sale requirement, the steps to create this document are more flexible in Texas compared to other states.
Step 1: Download and Review a Vehicle Bill of Sale Form
Use a bill of sale form and review it before the transfer to ensure that you gather all of the information that you need for the bill of sale. Reviewing the Texas Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification requirements is a helpful first step.
Some of the required information includes:
- Buyer and seller contact information
- Vehicle information (including plate number, make, model, year, VIN, and title document number)
- Date of sale
- Whether you kept the plates (for some types of sales)
- Mileage information
Step 2: Gather Information Required for the Bill of Sale
Now that you know what information you will need to provide the DMV for the transfer of the sale, gather that information so you can include it on the form. Negotiating the sale should also be part of this step.
Step 3: Complete and Sign the Bill of Sale
Although it is not required in Texas, it is a good idea to have both the buyer and the seller sign any bill of sale in Texas. A witness to see the signatures is not required, but it might be a good idea as well.
Step 4: Visit the Texas DMV to Register Your Vehicle
While it is not required, the Texas DMV suggests that both the buyer and the seller visit the DMV together to transfer and register the new vehicle.