Out of State and Imported Vehicles

If you did not purchase your vehicle in Texas, please choose the scenario that best fits your situation.

A vehicle must be titled in your name within 30 days of the date of sale to avoid delinquent transfer penalties. Additionally, you must register the vehicle within 30 days of bringing the vehicle to Texas, and the vehicle must pass a Texas inspection before it can be registered. After having it inspected, take the following to your county tax office to title and register the vehicle:

  • Proof of Inspection (Vehicle Inspection Report)
  • Proof of liability insurance meeting State of Texas minimum requirements
  • The vehicle's odometer reading if it is required
  • An original out of state title or other valid ownership evidence
  • Proof of sales tax payment or current foreign/military ownership document
  • Completed Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U)
  • The following fees:
    • Registration fee (base fee of $50.75 for passenger vehicles and light trucks),
    • Title application fee of $28 or $33, depending on the county,
    • State portion of the vehicle inspection fee (up to $30.75)
    • Local county fees (up to $31.50)
    • 6.25% vehicle sales tax,
    • $1 Insurance verification fee
    • $4.75 processing and handling fee

The vehicle must meet all federal and state importation requirements prior to titling and/or registering the vehicle in Texas.

Step 1: Properly import your vehicle

Your vehicle must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

More information concerning customs matters is available from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Step 2: Obtain a Safety inspection

Your vehicle must pass a Texas vehicle safety inspection if you are going to be obtaining registration. You can have your vehicle inspected at any Texas-certified Safety Inspection Station. The inspection station will provide you with an original Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) signed by the inspector.

Step 3 Obtain a VIN inspection

The vehicle must be inspected by a trained auto theft investigator who has been authorized by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. The investigator must be an employee of, or assigned to, a:

  • Municipal Police Auto Theft Unit
  • County Sheriff's Auto Theft Unit
  • Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division
  • Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority Task Force
    Note: An authorized employee of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) may also perform these inspections.

Upon completion of this VIN inspection, you will be provided with an original Law Enforcement Identification Number Inspection (Form VTR-68-A) signed by the investigator.

Step 4: Apply for Texas title/registration

After your vehicle passes customs, federal and state inspection, take the following forms, along with proof of insurance, to your county tax office:

  • U.S. Department of Transportation Form HS-7, or any other document establishing customs entry/clearance and compliance with, or exemption from, federal safety standards
  • If the imported vehicle is under bond, an original bond release letter from the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR), completed by a safety inspection station
  • The inspection report on the bottom of Form VTR-68-A completed by a law enforcement agency's auto theft unit. Note: U.S. military personnel, including immediate family members, returning to Texas military bases are not required to submit a completed form VTR-68-A. Please refer to our Military Packet for more information.
  • A completed Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U)
  • Provide the vehicle's odometer reading if it is required.
  • Present the ownership document. You must provide a certified English translation of any document printed in any language other than English.