Electronic Lien Titles

How do I obtain a paper title for a vehicle taken in trade when paying off a loan, if title is electronic?

When a dealer pays off a loan for a vehicle taken in trade with an e-Title, the lienholder has 10 business days after receipt of payment to release the lien. The lienholder sends an electronic transaction to TxDMV with the name and address of the dealer. TxDMV will remove the lien and mail the paper title to the dealer.


If I have a Dealer Title Application (DTA) vendor who provides my dealership with software, how will ELT affect me?

Each DTA vendor's software applications are different; contact your vendor for information on how ELT affects you.


How will ELT affect my business?

Download the revised Form 130-U and begin determining if your customer's lienholder is an ELT participant and prefers e-Titles.

Dealer License Plates

plp dealerFranchise (new) and Independent (used) motor vehicle dealers are eligible to buy and use metal dealer plates. The number of dealer plates a dealer may purchase depends on the number of sales made by the dealer. The department also issues special metal plates to manufacturers, converters and in-transit operators.

Franchise and independent motor vehicle dealers may apply for metal dealer's license plates for the type of vehicles the dealer is licensed to sell. For example, a dealer who is licensed to sell only cars and light trucks may use its dealer plate only on a car or light truck in the dealer’s inventory and not on a motorcycle or trailer the dealer may own.

In-Transit plates are issued by the department to licensed drive-a-way operators who transport vehicles from a manufacturer or other point of origin to a dealer.

Only one plate is issued for these types of plates and the plate is displayed in the rear license plate holder of the vehicle in most cases. The plate expires when the license expires. During the license renewal process, the licensee has the option to renewing their existing plates. If a plate is renewed, the department will issue a new year sticker to be affixed to the plate.

Metal Plate Uses

Dealer Uses Include:
  • On vehicles being used for demonstration or test drives
  • On vehicles used by the dealer, the dealer’s family or employees for personal use
  • On courtesy vehicles used by the dealer if there is no signage on the vehicle
Converter Uses Include:
  • On vehicles the converter is demonstrating or test-driving
  • On vehicles being driven by the converter to and from the franchised dealer that sells the vehicle
Vehicles with Dealer’s or Converter’s Plates
  • MUST have a current inspection
  • CANNOT display signs on the vehicle
  • CANNOT be used on a vehicle carrying a load or performing services for the dealer, such as carrying parts or operating as a rental unit (There is a special provision under the law for independent dealers carrying vehicles to and from the auction.)
  • MUST have the title assigned to the dealer

Questions about the proper use of dealer, manufacturer, converter and in-transit plates should be referred to the TxDMV’s Enforcement Division.

License Plate Log

The law requires a dealer/converter to maintain a record of all metal plates and each vehicle assigned a license plate. The log shall consist of:

  1. the assigned plate number;
  2. the year/make of the vehicle displaying the plate;
  3. the vehicle identification number; and
  4. the name of the person in control of the vehicle.
Dealer Plate Log

Plate Allowance

Dealers are limited in the number of plates they may order depending on the type of license issued and the number of vehicles sold.

New Application

If you are ordering metal dealer plates with your application for a new license, make sure you do not order more than the number allowed by law. These numbers depend on the license type.

Exemptions to these plate limits for new applications may apply if the license applicant is:

  • a franchised dealership that has been subject to a buy-sell agreement, regardless of a change in the entity or ownership, or
  • any dealership that relocates and has been licensed for a period of one year or more.

LF701 Plate Application



When renewing, the number of license plates you may renew includes the number of plates you received with your license.

For example, if you are a franchised motor vehicle dealer and you received five plates when you first received your license, then you may receive up to 25 additional plates upon renewal for a total of 30. If you are a franchised motor vehicle dealer and you did not receive any plates when you first received your license, then you may receive up to 30 license plates upon renewal.

Plate Allocation Summary Table
License Type New Application Allowance Total Allowed with Renewal
Independent motor vehicle dealer 2 3
Independent motorcycle dealer 2 3
Franchised motor vehicle dealer 5 30
Franchised motorcycle dealer 5 10
Franchised or independent travel trailer dealer 2 3
Utility trailer or semi-trailer dealer 2 3
Wholesale dealer 1 1
Independent mobility motor vehicle dealer 2 3
Additional Plates

If it is renewal time and you have already reached the maximum allowed plates, you may submit a VIT document or other proof of sales with your renewal application to receive additional plates. *VIT must be submitted each time with the renewal.*

If you are a non-wholesale dealer who sold this many vehicles according to VIT or other proof of sales Then you may receive this many additional plates
Fewer than 50 1
50 to 99 vehicles 2
100 to 200 vehicles 5
More than 200 vehicles May obtain any number of metal dealer plates at dealer’s discretion.
If you are a wholesale dealer Then you may receive one (1) additional plate, regardless of how many vehicles you sell.

LP703 Number of Metal Dealer Plates Allowed with License Renewals


A licensed motor vehicle dealer may obtain a personalized metal dealer license plate.

Cost: $85 per year/ plate

Plates are issued on a two-year basis and expire with the dealer’s license.

New applicants

Mail a completed application, documentation, and fee to your county tax office.


Mail renewal form, documentation, and fee to your county tax office.

More Information

Dealer plate allocation rules apply and documentation must be submitted to MVD before personalized plates will be approved


Making eTags Work for You

System Requirements

The eTag system was developed so that it could be readily used in a typical business environment that uses a Windows-based operating system, the most commonly used Web browser, and high-speed broadband (DSL) or cable internet connections. While it is possible to vary from these standards somewhat, for your convenience, we have spelled out the optimal hardware and software environment for dealers below. Hardware and Software to Optimize eTag Performance

  • Internet connection: High-speed broadband (DSL) or cable. (Note: Dial-up and slow broadband connections put you in the slow lane and will require patience.)
  • Computer: Windows Intel Pentium® III or faster (or equivalent processor) with a minimum of 512mb of memory
  • Operating system: Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Vista, or Windows 7
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher (The download is available free at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/ie/getitnow.mspx )
  • If you prefer Apple® computers, use Mozilla Firefox® as your browser to access the eTag Database.
  • Printer: Any printer supported by the Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 operating systems, but laser will produce the highest quality.
  • Software: Adobe Reader 8 or higher. You must have Adobe Acrobat® Reader installed on your computer. You can visit Adobe's website to install the latest version of the Adobe Reader for free. Uncheck the box next to “Free Google Toolbar” then click “Download Now” to begin the download. When the download is complete, follow the screen instructions to install Adobe Reader. Please double check the System Requirements section to see if your computer is compliant with Adobe Reader V 8.0 or higher.

Login Information

Where to Log In


Login to eTag

Usernames and Passwords

When a dealer license is approved, a user name and password are sent to the email address you provided in the application.

If you do not receive your username and password, contact the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please include your license number (‘P’ number) with your request.

If you need to reset or change your username or password, please use the E-Tags Change Form.

Change to eTag Contact Information


All dealers with eTag accounts and all new dealers are automatically subscribed to a mailing list for eTag Updates. Important messages, including eTags status, are relayed to all dealers on our mailing list.

These updates are distributed to authorized dealers through email and you should check your email regularly for new messages.

Please remember that this list is only as good as the email address you provide when you create your account.

This list is owned exclusively by TxDMV and will not be sold or used by anyone for any purposes other than the distribution MVD or VTR related information.

Record Keeping

Access to the E-Tags database

Only current, GDN licensees and Converters can access the Dealer eTag application.

Unless a dealer is careless with his username and password, no unlicensed entities will be able to obtain a system generated number.

Multiple user accounts

The dealer’s primary eTags user will have the ability to act as system administrator for the dealer.

He/she may create, delete, change or reset additional usernames and passwords for your location, so dealers may allow more employees to issue eTags.

Visibility of records

Only state agency personnel will have access to records.

Licensees can only view their own entries into the database.

Only dealership personnel with a dealer issued username and password will be able to access your records.


Computer Settings

  • Pop-up blockers will need to be disabled for the eTag system. In most cases, you can set your pop-up blocker to "always allow" for the eTag system. If you are not automatically prompted to allow for pop-ups when you enter the eTag system, you will need to enter https://vision21.txdmv.gov/ into your pop-up program as an allowed site.
  • Plug-ins should be enabled for the eTag site.
  • ActiveX filtering should be unchecked within the eTag site. If you have problems printing with the Adobe Reader® ActiveX® plug-in while using the Internet Explorer® browser, here is another workaround:
    1. In Adobe Reader® or Acrobat®, choose Edit > Preferences.
    2. Select Internet.
    3. Deselect "Display PDF In Browser", and then click OK.
  • Phishing filters may interfere with processing eTags. Disable the filters on your computer or set them to "always allow" access from https://vision21.txdmv.gov/.
  • Set your computer's security setting at medium or make an exception for the eTag system by adding https://vision21.txdmv.gov/ to your allowed sites.
  • Your computer's content advisor may need to be disabled or set to allow access to https://vision21.txdmv.gov/.

If you are unsure of how to change the settings on your computer, please consult the "Help" manual that was installed on your computer with the operating system. If you have installed other programs, such as an anti-virus program or your online provider gave you phishing filters and pop-up blocker features, please consult with your internet service provider about how to change your settings for use with the eTag system.

Other considerations

  • Check for any critical updates to your operating system, browser(s) and Adobe Acrobat® or Adobe Reader®. Visit the respective software manufacturer's website to check for updates and follow their instructions for downloading and installing these updates.
  • If problems persist, you may uninstall and reinstall Adobe Reader®. Sometimes, an incomplete installation of this application may prevent printing.
  • If printing problems persist while using Internet Explorer®, you may wish to install another browser to use with eTags, such as Mozilla Firefox®.

Printing Problems

If you click on "Print Tag Image" or "Reprint Tag Image" and get an error message, first be sure you have Adobe Reader installed on your computer.

If you are still having trouble printing with Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader, try using an alternate web browser or change your Adobe Reader preferences to open documents directly in Adobe Reader. Here's how:

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. Select "Preferences" from the Edit menu.
  3. Select "Internet" from the Categories: list.
  4. Uncheck the box that says "Display PDF in browser"

When you click on "Print Tag Image" Internet Explorer will ask you to verify that you want to download the file. Then retry the webpage. The tag and receipts will now open in a separate, stand-alone version of the Adobe Reader.

If you can log in but cannot print or if you can't log in to the eTags system

  • If you can log onto the system but can't print the eTag images, try reprinting the tag image. If this does not work, use an Internet Down Tag to manually enter the owner and vehicle information, and contact the eTag Help Desk for assistance.
  • If you have already received your login information from MVD and you can't login to the eTag database then contact the eTag Help Desk by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (512) 465-4010 for assistance, Monday – Friday 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Trailers without VINs

Many utility trailers less than 4,000 lbs. do not have a VIN. The eTags System requires a VIN to obtain a buyer's tag or a vehicle-specific dealer tag. To complete the transaction, in the VIN field, you will enter the words "novin" along with the date and time.

For example: novin04052015341 represents a no VIN trailer eTag transaction was processed on 04/05/2015 at 3:41 pm.

You will still have the option to obtain a VIN for the trailer frame from the TxDMV Regional Service Centers.

More Help

If you have problems with the eTag Database, please provide feedback with as much specific information as possible so we can troubleshoot the problem. Here’s what we need to know:

1. Your contact information

  • Name,
  • Phone or email,
  • eTags username,
  • Your license (P) number

2. A description of the problem (examples enclosed)

  • I receive a message “Invalid username or password” when logging into the system.
  • I have created my allotment of Internet Down Tags and now I need more allotted.
  • The eTag system works on some computers but not others.
  • The eTag system prints to some printers but not others.
  • There is a message about pop-ups.
  • The eTag system displays a message “There has been an error in the operation you are trying to perform, please contact the system administrator.”
  • The eTag system displays a message “You don’t have permission to view this page.”
  • The eTag system will not create an eTag image. (Specify what type of tags this is affecting.)
  • The eTag system creates an eTag image but it will not print.
  • Other - Provide a description of the problem you are experiencing with the eTag system

3. Where and when the problem occurs

  • When logging on
  • All screens after login
  • When an item is selected (specify what item)
  • Only with printing/viewing all tags
  • Only with printing/viewing specific tags


Call (toll free) 1-877-933-2020 or email e-Tags Support at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

If your DBA(s) is missing or your location information is incorrect, please contact the TxDMV Contact Center at (888) 368-4689 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We will review the license record to determine the next steps necessary. Please provide:

  • Your license (P) number
  • All locations tied to the license number
  • All DBAs associated to that license (and location of each DBA)
  • A contact person and a phone number where they can be reached

If you have any questions regarding the rules for use of temporary tags, or other motor vehicle dealer licensing, please call (888) 368-4689 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

eTags 101

The eTag system is designed to make processing dealer tags fast and easy for dealerships throughout the state while making temporary tag information available in almost real-time to law enforcement.

  • Works via a web-based application
  • Provides greater security by using unique numbers on every eTag
  • Replaces old style tags that are no longer legal

Make sure you have printed your allotment of Internet Down tags in case they are needed when eTags is unavailable.

Types of Tags

Dealers and Converters use the eTags system and are required by law to have Internet access at their place of business to connect to the eTags Database. 

Dealers who hold a General Distinguishing Number license may issue dealer temporary tags, buyer's temporary tags, and Internet-down temporary tags for each type of vehicle the dealer is licensed to sell.

A converter may only issue converter temporary tags. 

Dealer's and Converter's Tags

Dealer TagConverter Tag

These tags contain vehicle-specific information or agent-specific information.

  • Uses:
    • Vehicle demonstration
    • Transit from dealer to dealer
    • Auction
    • Reconditioning, etc.
    • May be used on a loaner to a customer while vehicle is being repaired
  • CANNOT be used for carrying a load UNLESS vehicle is carrying another vehicle with a temp tag from same dealer on the way to or from the auction
  • Cannot be used by dealership personnel for personal use
  • MUST be displayed and properly secured in rear plate holder
  • Does NOT need current inspection
  • CANNOT display signs on vehicle
  • Valid from 1 to 60 days
  • More than one tag may be issued to any agent but only one tag may be assigned to any specific vehicle at a time.
  • TITLE must be in name of or assigned to dealership
  • Fees are not collected for these tags.

Buyer's Tags

Buyer TagThe buyer’s tag is issued with a retail sale. The dealer must enter the vehicle’s and the buyer’s information into the e-Tags System. The system then assigns a vehicle-specific number to the transaction, which can be printed out in the form of a temporary registration tag.



  • Issued to a retail purchaser
  • MUST have current inspection
  • MUST be displayed and properly secured in rear plate holder
  • MUST keep Buyer’s Tag Receipt in vehicle until registered
  • If tag is stolen or lost, replacement is reprinted with original expiration date
  • CAN display signs and carry load on vehicle
  • TAG is good for 60 calendar days
  • Dealer is required to apply for title and registration within 20 working days of the date of sale or 45 calendar days if Seller financed

The law requires you to collect a $5.00 fee from each buyer that is issued a buyer's eTag. This fee will be paid to the county at the time the title and registration is filed just like the TT&L. The buyer tag is the only tag for which this fee is charged. This fee also applies to out of state transactions.

$5 Buyer Tag Fee Facts

Buyer tags are good for 60 days. Only one tag is allowed for one VIN/Buyer.

Internet-Down Tags

Internet Down BuyerIf the eTags System is unavailable at the time of a retail sale, you must use an Internet-down tag and provide a buyer's receipt. You will enter sales information into the database once the eTags System is available again. This must be no later than the close of the next business day that you have access to the Internet.

  • Used when Internet is down as an alternate Buyer’s tag. Tags and receipts are preprinted by dealer with the assigned number. Buyer and vehicle info is hand-printed by the dealer.
  • Dealer required to enter all information into eTag database within 24 hours of resuming Internet service.
  • Issued to a retail purchaser
  • MUST have current inspection
  • MUST be displayed and properly secured in rear plate holder
  • MUST keep Buyer’s Tag Receipt in vehicle until registered
  • If tag is stolen or lost, replacement is reprinted with original expiration date
  • CAN display signs and carry load on vehicle
  • TAG is good for 60 calendar days
  • Dealer is required to apply for title and registration within 20 working days of the date of sale or 45 calendar days if Seller financed

All dealers should make sure they have printed their allotment of Internet Down tags in case they are needed when eTags is unavailable.

If you need more than your allotment, please send us an email at etags_allotment@TxDMV.gov to request an increase to your eTags Internet-down tags allotment.

Dealer's Metal Plate

plp dealer


  • Vehicle demonstration
  • Personal Use
  • Only on vehicles dealer is licensed to sell
  • Only one plate is issued for display on vehicle and must be displayed and properly secured in rear plate holder.
  • MUST have current inspection
  • CANNOT display signs on vehicle
  • CANNOT be displayed on vehicle carrying load
  • TITLE must be in name of or assigned to dealership

How to Use the Tags

Where They Go

eTags are to be placed on all (new, used, and trailers) vehicles sold.

  • eTags need to be placed in the rear license plate display area of the vehicle.
  • Paper tags should be secured with double sided tape or with a license plate holder to keep the tag from flapping up in the wind.
  • If the buyer wants to put their old plates on the “new” vehicle they buy, the eTag must go on top of the old plate until the registration sticker is issued by the county tax office. As a service to the customer, the temporary tag may be placed over the metal plate so the buyer can simply remove the paper tag once they receive their registration sticker from you.
Transporting Vehicles To and From Auctions

When sending a vehicle to the auction, you may issue a vehicle-specific dealer tag for the specific vehicle that will be driven to the auction to be sold. If the vehicle is not sold, it can be brought back to the lot on that same tag. If the vehicle is sold, then the buying dealer will put a dealer agent tag on the vehicle.

If you are buying vehicles from an auction, you should take agent specific dealer tags with you to the auction to put on the vehicles you buy to be transported back to your lot. If you buy through an online auction, you can fax your agent specific dealer tags to the transport company for mounting on the vehicle if it is driven back to the dealer lot.

Reprinting and Voiding Tags

The eTags System allows you to:

  • Void tags
  • Correct errors and reissue the tag
  • Replace lost or stolen tags by reprinting the same tag

Here are a few tips:

  • You do not have to print a dealer's tag every time a vehicle is demonstrated: With the Dealer eTags you can issue an agent’s tag to a particular agent to be used by that person on whatever vehicle they drive for the dealer. The dealer is still responsible for that agent’s tag and can void it at any time.
  • To reprint a specific numbered tag image: look under the “What would you like to do?” list and select “reprint tag images.” Enter the tag number to be reprinted and select “Look up Tag Number.” Follow the screen instructions to reprint the eTag.
  • To create an Agent Specific Dealer Tag: first add agent names to the list. Click on the “Activity Home” link near the top of the page, then select “Manage Agent Names” from the “What Would you like to do?” list. Click “add new” then type in the First and Last Name of the agent; then click “save”. The name will now appear on the list of agents when you create agent specific tags.

Please note: only one tag at one time can be issued for a VIN, whether it is a dealer tag or buyer tag.




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