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Specialty License Plates eVIEW

Welcome to eVIEW where the TxDMV seeks your input on proposed specialty license plate designs.

Here you can review and share feedback on new designs.

There are no plates to eVIEW at this time.

The TxDMV approves and oversees the manufacturing of personalized and specialty license plates. We review the designs submitted by the specialty plate marketing vendor and/or non-profit organizations, making sure the plates meet safety legibility requirements.

Some plates are available directly from the TxDMV while others are offered by My Plates, the state's specialty plate marketing vendor. TxDMV provides the system to collect and distribute the proceeds and register the plates to vehicles.

Office of Administrative Hearings

The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) was created by HB 1692 (83rd Texas Legislature, Reg. Session) and began operations on January 1, 2014. OAH conducts hearings statewide adjudicating Lemon Law and Warranty Performance complaints filed by Texas consumers. OAH ensures that the complaints are resolved efficiently and effectively by issuing decisions and orders in a consistent and timely manner. The Hearing Examiners are based in Austin and travel throughout the state in order to conduct the hearings.

Prehearing
Procedures

A Lemon Law or Warranty Performance complaint is initiated in the Lemon Law Section of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles’ (TxDMV) Enforcement Division. The Lemon Law case advisors help the parties attempt to resolve the complaint without the need for a hearing. If a resolution cannot be reached, then the complaint is referred to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) for a hearing.

Once a complaint has been referred to OAH, a hearing notice will be mailed to the parties. The notice will inform the parties of the date, time, and location of the scheduled hearing, as well as the legal authority under which the hearing is conducted. In addition, the notice provides information to the parties of the hearing procedures, the parties’ right to representation, the parties’ right to submit exhibits and how to submit them, along with other necessary information.

Discovery may begin immediately. Parties may informally seek discovery anytime and persons may voluntarily provide documents and testimony. Formal discovery requires a subpoena. Parties may request subpoenas to require production of documents and subpoenas to require attendance at hearings. The following deadlines apply unless ordered otherwise. The discovery period ends 10 days before the hearing. Discovery requests must be served at least 40 days before the hearing (30 days before the discovery period ends). Responses to discovery requests shall be made within 30 days after receipt of the request. A party alleging failure to comply with a discovery request shall file a motion to compel no later than 10 days before the hearing. Parties may obtain subpoena request forms from the Office of Administrative Hearings.

All hearings are scheduled for four hours and are conducted in or near the complainant’s city of residence. The hearings are informal and, as such, the parties are not required to be represented by an attorney. However, a party may have an attorney or an authorized representative represent the party. If a party decides to obtain an attorney or an authorized representative for a hearing, the party must notify the hearings examiner at least five business days prior to the hearing date of the identity of the attorney or authorized representative. In addition, an attorney must file a written notice of appearance to be the attorney of record. Parties are not entitled to have an attorney appointed for them.

Prior to the scheduled hearing date, the hearings examiner will conduct a prehearing telephone conference with the parties. During the prehearing conference, the hearings examiner will address the hearing date, time, and location; the identities of representatives and witnesses; exhibits; arranging for a prehearing vehicle inspection, if necessary; and any other matters that may assist in the fair, efficient, and expeditious conduct of the hearing. No evidence regarding the underlying complaint will be taken by the hearings examiner during the prehearing conference, as its purpose is informational and it is not a fact-finding procedure.

Law and Rules Governing Hearings

OAH has the authority to conduct hearings and issue decisions under Sections 2301.601 through 2301.613 of the Texas Occupations Code.

In addition, the hearing procedures followed by the hearings examiner can be found in Sections 2301.701 through 2301.713 of the Texas Occupations Code and the Texas Administrative Code, Title 43, Part 10, Chapter 215, Sections 215.21 through 215.58 and Sections 215.201 through 215.210.

Hearing Procedures

Presentation of Evidence – In each hearing, the Complainant has the burden of proof to establish that the vehicle has a complained of defect that the respondent (the manufacturer, distributor, or converter) or its agent has been unable to repair. Since the complainant has the burden of proof, s/he presents his/her evidence first, followed by the respondent. All testimony will be taken under oath.

Witnesses – Each party may call witnesses. Witnesses first answer questions from the party who called them, and then opposing parties may cross-examine the witness. The hearings examiner may question a witness at any time. In some circumstances, witnesses may be required to wait outside the hearing room until they are called in to the room to testify.

Exhibits – The hearings examiner frequently requests that a party provide certain documents to be entered into evidence at the hearing. The most commonly requested documents are: the vehicle sales contract or purchase order, an odometer statement for the vehicle, warranty documents, repair orders or receipts for repairs performed to the vehicle, correspondence with the respondent relating to the repairs, and written notice to the respondent of the alleged defect/nonconformity in the vehicle. A party submitting a document to be used as evidence, must bring two copies of the document to the hearing: one for the hearings examiner and one for the opposing party. In addition, the submitting party should have a copy of the document for reference at the hearing. Some documents a party may wish to submit may be inadmissible and excluded by the hearings examiner. The Texas Rules of Evidence govern objections and what may be admitted as evidence. When submitting any documents, correspondence or e-mails to OAH, please ensure that all parties are copied.

Vehicle Inspection – The TxDMV’s rules generally require the complainant to bring the subject vehicle to the hearing so that the vehicle may be inspected and test driven, unless otherwise ordered by the hearings examiner upon a showing of good cause by the Complainant.

Closing Statement – Each party may summarize what the evidence shows and argue why the hearings examiner should decide in that party’s favor. The closing statement is not evidence and should not be used as an opportunity to provide additional evidence that was not submitted earlier in the hearing.

Decision and
Final Order

After the hearing is completed and the hearing record closed, the hearings examiner will prepare a written decision and final order based on all of the evidence admitted at the hearing. The hearings examiner must issue the decision and final order within 60 days from the date that the hearing record closes.

If the hearings examiner determines that the vehicle has a defect or noncomformity that still exists, then he can order replacement, repurchase, or repair of the vehicle in question. If the hearings examiner determines that the Complainant has not established that a defect still exists in the vehicle, that the vehicle has been repaired, or that the Complainant has not met all of the requirements to establish relief under the Lemon Law, then the hearings examiner can dismiss the complaint.

Once a decision and final order is issued, either party may file a motion for rehearing if they disagree with it. A motion for rehearing must specify the findings of fact or conclusions of law which the party disagrees with and any evidentiary or legal ruling that they are claiming to be wrong. The motion must also state the legal and factual basis for the claimed error. When submitting a motion for rehearing, the moving party must ensure that the opposing party or parties are served a copy of the motion.

A motion for rehearing must be filed with OAH not later than the 25th day after the date the decision and final order is signed. The opposing party may file a reply to a motion for rehearing not later than the 40th day after the date the decision and final order is signed. The Chief Hearings Examiner must act on the motion for rehearing not later than the 55th day after the date the decision and final order is signed.

According to Texas Government Code §2001.146(g): A motion for rehearing must identify with particularity findings of fact or conclusions of law that are the subject of the complaint and any evidentiary or legal ruling claimed to be erroneous. The motion must also state the legal and factual basis for the claimed error. https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/GV/htm/GV.2001.htm

If a party’s motion for rehearing on a Lemon Law complaint filed under Subchapter M of Chapter 2301 of the Occupation Code is denied, then the party may file a petition for judicial review of the decision in a district court in Travis County. However, if a party’s motion for rehearing in a Warranty Performance case is denied, then the petition for judicial review of the decision may be filed in a district court in Travis County or the Third Court of Appeals. Any petition for judicial review must be filed not later than the 30th day after the date on which the decision became final and appealable.

List of Decisions and Final Orders

Frequently
Asked Questions

What is the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH)?

House Bill 1692 (83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session) established the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles’ (TxDMV) Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) effective January 1, 2014, to streamline the process of conducting hearings under the Texas Lemon Law. OAH is tasked with conducting fair and unbiased administrative hearings and issuing decisions in a timely manner.

What is a Hearings Examiner?

A hearings examiner is a neutral presiding officer who is an unbiased, independent adjudicator. The hearings examiner conducts the hearing, listens to the evidence and arguments of the parties, and writes a decision and final order based on the evidence presented at the hearing. In addition, the hearings examiner is authorized to conduct conferences before and after the hearings, issue written orders, and generally control the course of the hearing. OAH’s hearings examiners are licensed Texas attorneys.

What is an administrative hearing?

An administrative hearing is similar to a trial in court. An administrative hearing is conducted in basically the same way as a trial, but more informally. The parties may present documentary evidence to be entered as exhibits in the hearing. They have the right to question their own witnesses and cross-examine opposing witnesses. In addition, the parties are provided with an opportunity for a closing statement indicating why they believe that the hearings examiner should rule in their favor. The hearings examiner rules on objections and the admissibility of evidence and acts as both the judge and fact finder.

I feel that my vehicle is a lemon, how do I file a Lemon Law complaint?

Lemon Law complaints may be filed with TxDMV’s Enforcement Division’s Lemon Law Section. A request for replacement or repurchase of the complained of vehicle, must be accompanied by a $35 filing fee. Additional information regarding the complaint process can be found here: /motorists/consumer-protection/lemon-law

Do I need an attorney or may I represent myself?

If you are a party in an OAH hearing, you are not required to be represented by an attorney. You may represent yourself in the hearing. The hearings examiner is responsible for ensuring that the hearing record is fully developed and that you have been given an opportunity to present all of your evidence. However, the hearings examiner cannot provide you with legal advice.

Can I resolve my complaint without an administrative hearing?

Even though your complaint may have been forwarded to OAH and a hearing scheduled, you are always free to attempt to settle your complaint with the manufacturer. If you do reach a settlement prior to the hearing date, please notify OAH of the settlement and request a dismissal of your complaint. The dismissal request must be in writing and mailed or e-mailed to OAH with a copy to the other party. This is a sample of a Motion to Dismiss.

What if I need an interpreter?

If you need a language or sign language interpreter to participate in your hearing, please contact OAH at least two weeks before the hearing date so an interpreter can be scheduled. OAH will arrange and pay for the interpreter.

Where will my hearing be held?

Hearings are conducted in various locations throughout the state. OAH attempts to set the hearing in a location near the Complainant’s home, but some travel to the hearing location may be required by the parties.

The main locations for our hearings are:

May I submit a video or audio recording as evidence for a hearing?

Video or audio recordings may be submitted as evidence in a hearing. However, the recording must be on a USB flash drive or a CD or DVD. In addition, copies of the recording must be submitted to the opposing party at least five (5) days prior to the hearing date.

Can I obtain a transcript of my hearing?

OAH does not provide written transcripts of the hearing recording. However, you can obtain a CD with the recording on it at no charge.   Request For Audio Recording

Can I request a Motion for Continuance?

A party may request a continuance of a hearing prior to the hearing date by filing a Motion for Continuance. The motion must be provided to the opposing party, as well as OAH as soon as the need for a continuance is determined. The opposing party in the hearing will be given an opportunity to protest the granting of any continuance. A continuance will be granted by the hearings examiner at his discretion. Motion for Continuance

If you have any questions regarding your hearing or any other matter related to the hearing process, please do not contact the hearings examiner directly as this is prohibited without the opposing party’s presence. OAH staff can answer any questions and can be contacted by phone at (512) 465-5000 or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What if my address changes?

OAH requires the parties to notify our office of any telephone, email or address changes.

Additional documents

Contact Us

  • Phone: 512-465-5000
  • Fax: 512-465-5656
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Texas Lemon Law

LemonLawIf you are having repeated problems getting your new vehicle to operate the way that it should, the Texas Lemon Law may help you get it repurchased, replaced or repaired.

Eligibility

How does the Lemon Law work?

The Texas Lemon Law is a state law administered by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles that helps consumers who buy or lease new motor vehicles and have repeated problems getting their vehicles properly repaired under the manufacturer’s original warranty. The Lemon Law can help a consumer get the vehicle repurchased, replaced or repaired. It can be less complicated and less expensive than going to court.

What does it cover?

New vehicles, including cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, motor homes, towable recreational vehicles (TRVs), and neighborhood electric vehicles that develop a defect(s) covered by a manufacturer’s written warranty. Demonstrator vehicles that have not been previously titled are considered new vehicles.

The law does not cover repossessed vehicles, non-travel trailers, boats, or farm equipment. Nor does it cover defects that do not substantially impair the use or market value of the vehicle such as minor rattles, radio static, etc.

Are used motor vehicles covered?

Your used vehicle may be covered under current state laws. Texas law related to warranty performance may cover your used vehicle if it is still covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty (not an extended service contract), or if the defect started and was reported to the dealer while under the manufacturer’s original warranty and the defect continues to exist, repair assistance for that problem may be available to you.

How do I know if my vehicle is a Lemon?

The vehicle must meet the following conditions:

  1. It has a substantial manufacturing defect;
  2. The defect is covered by a manufacturer’s written warranty;
  3. The owner reports the defect to the dealer or manufacturer within the warranty term;
  4. The owner gives the dealer a reasonable number of attempts to repair the defect or condition;
  5. The owner gives the manufacturer written notice (preferably by certified mail) of the defect and at least one opportunity to cure the defect; (Sample letter); and
  6. The defect persists and substantially impairs the vehicle’s use or market value, or creates a serious safety hazard.
How many chances does the dealer get to fix the problem?

The law presumes you have given the manufacturer or authorized dealer a reasonable number of attempts to fix the defect if you pass one of the tests listed below. Determining if the dealer has had a reasonable number of repairs is easy. Simply see if you pass the four-times test, the serious safety-hazard test, or the 30-day test. The mileage requirements generally do not apply to TRVs or other vehicles that do not have an odometer.

Four-times test

You pass the four-times test if you have taken the vehicle to a dealership for repairs:

  • Four times for the same defect within the first 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first, and the defect is still not repaired.
Serious safety-hazard test

A serious safety hazard is a life-threatening malfunction that substantially impedes your ability to control or operate the vehicle normally or that creates a substantial risk of fire/explosion.

You pass the serious safety-hazard test if you have taken the vehicle for repair of a serious safety-hazard:

  • Twice during the first 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first, and the defect is still not repaired.
30-day test

You pass the 30-day test if your vehicle has been out of service for repair because of a defect covered by the original factory warranty:

  • For a total of 30 days or more - not necessarily all at one time - during the first 24 months or 24,000 miles (if a comparable loaner vehicle was provided while the vehicle was being repaired, that time does not count toward the 30 days) a substantial defect still exists.
How long do I have to file a Lemon Law complaint?

A Lemon Law complaint must be filed within six (6) months following the earlier of:

  1. Expiration of the express warranty term;
  2. 24 months after purchase; or
  3. 24,000 miles following the date of delivery of the vehicle (except TRVs).

The filing period is determined by which of the above events comes first. To be safe, the complaint should be filed as soon as the consumer realizes the dealer is having problems repairing the vehicle.

What happens if I win?

The law provides basic guidelines for what type of relief you may get if you prove your case. Every situation is different. The department reviews the facts of each particular case when making a decision.

If you win your case, the department can order one of the following (Please Note: only new vehicles can qualify for a refund or replacement):

Refund

The manufacturer must buy back the vehicle for the full* purchase price (including taxes, title and license fee) minus an amount charged for vehicle use. The amount deducted is decided according to a formula, (see spreadsheet links below) that takes into account the number of miles on the vehicle at the time of the hearing and other factors. This does not include any interest paid on the vehicle.

Replacement

The manufacturer must replace the defective vehicle with one that is comparable to the original vehicle (usually same make, model and accessories) and acceptable to the consumer, minus the mileage used.

Repair

The manufacturer must fix the vehicle’s defects. Out-of-pocket expenses for repairs that should have been covered by the warranty will also be reimbursed.

Complaint Process

Relief under the Lemon Law is available to eligible consumers. The process is simple, easy-to-follow and includes the following:

  1. The consumer files a Lemon Law complaint with the $35 filing fee with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and provides notice of the complaint with a last opportunity to repair defect to the applicable manufacturer.
  2. The complaint is reviewed by Lemon Law Section administrative staff and the assigned TxDMV staff case advisor for completeness of the complaint and eligibility for statutory relief, and an attempt to resolve the complaint through mediation between the parties will be made.
  3. If unresolved, the matter will be referred for a hearing before an assigned hearing examiner in which both parties will be able to present their case. For information about the hearing process see the Office of Administrative Hearings page.
  4. The hearing examiner will issue a final written decision to the parties on the matter within 60 days after the close of the hearing; and
  5. Either party may challenge the final order by filing a motion for rehearing with TxDMV. If still dissatisfied, the aggrieved party may file an appeal with a state district court in Travis County, Texas.

Because the filing deadline and other requirements are very specific, call the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Lemon Law Section for more information or assistance concerning warranty repair problems at (888) 368-4689, or promptly consult legal counsel of your choice.

Vehicle Ownership Tips

Taking The First Step (“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”)
  • Read your warranty and owner’s manual to know what parts and systems are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • If you have a problem with your vehicle, take the vehicle to your servicing dealer and inform the dealer about the specific problem(s).
  • The problem(s) under repair should be fully described on the repair order and confirmed by the vehicle owner.
  • Be certain the problem has been repaired by the dealer and return the vehicle for additional repair, if the problem persists.
  • If the problem(s) with your vehicle are recurring, maintain a log that describes the issue with date/time and location recorded.
  • Keep all repair orders and records for your vehicle in a safe place.
  • Maintain good communications with the dealer’s service department.
  • Follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule.
Stay Informed

Check manufacturer’s website for any technical service bulletins (TSB) on your vehicle. Stay aware of any recall information on your vehicle. Check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for additional information on TSBs and recalls.

If You Need to File a Lemon Law Complaint
  • Check the information on the Texas Lemon Law that came with your vehicle. This website will provide you with further information on your rights under the law and the complaint process and eligibility.
  • Consult with legal counsel, if necessary.
Dispute Resolution
  • TxDMV can help the parties settle lemon law cases, which can save you time and money.
  • Keep good records on your vehicle
  • Keep lines of communications open between yourself and the manufacturer.
If I Have a Hearing
  • Lemon Law cases are heard by an independent administrative hearing examiner.
  • Be prepared.
  • Organize the major points.
  • Bring witnesses, if any and your vehicle for inspection.
  • After the hearing, review the hearing examiner’s written recommendation on your case.
  • If you disagree with it, file your objections timely with the hearing examiner.
Final Determination by TxDMV
  • The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for issuing a final order. If you disagree with the final order, you may file an appeal with the agency, and if still not satisfied, a Travis County, Texas State District Court.
  • Contact a licensed attorney or TxDMV for details.
Vehicle Care Tips
  • “Take care of your vehicle and it will take care of you.”
  • Service and maintain your vehicle according to the owner’s manual.
  • Make sure an authorized dealer performs warranty repairs on your vehicle.

Look before you leap! Research the manufacturer of the make and model of the motor vehicle you wish to buy before you buy!!! It could save you future headaches.

Recalls and Safety

Texas motorists who want to see if their vehicle is subject to a manufacturer’s recall can check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website, NHTSA.gov.
NHTSA.gov

If Texas consumers seek to file a case under the Texas Lemon Law alleging a substantial defect[s] with his/her motor vehicle, they are required to comply with the statutory provisions under Chapter 2301, Subchapter M of the Texas Occupations Code.

If consumers have further questions on these issues, they may contact the TxDMV at 888-368-4689 or txdmv.gov.

Dealer Closures

iStock 000019356388 SmallWhen a dealer closes unexpectedly, you may find your vehicle registration and title paperwork and related fees were never transferred to the county tax office. This leaves you without proper ownership evidence for your vehicle.

Dealer Status

The first step is to determine the official status of the dealership. Did the dealer go on an extended vacation or did it permanently close? Did the dealer file for bankruptcy in court? The official status of the dealership determines your course of action.

Your dealer closed

Licensed Texas dealers are required to apply for title on behalf of the purchaser for most vehicle types. Exclusions to this include trailers and semitrailers with a gross weight of 4,000 pounds or less and vehicles with a gross weight in excess of 11,000 pounds. If you purchased a qualifying vehicle from a dealer that has gone out of business without applying for title as required, you may apply for title and registration (if applicable) for your vehicle at your county tax assessor-collector’s office and obtain one 30-Day Permit at no fee, if needed.

Prior to applying for title, you will need to obtain a letter from a Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Regional Service Center on department letterhead stating the dealer has gone out of business and what fees may be waived.

The fees waived are determined by the evidence provided to the Regional Service Center showing the purchase of the vehicle and any fees that were paid to the dealer. Evidence would include a sales contract, retail installment agreement, or buyer’s order. Fees that were not determined to have been paid to the dealer will be collected at the time of application for title.

The department may waive the following fees:

  • title application fee;
  • delinquent transfer penalty;
  • all registration and optional county fees under Transportation Code, Chapter 502;
  • all inspection fees under Transportation Code, Chapter 548; and
  • buyer tag fee.

The county tax assessor-collector may waive motor vehicle sales and use tax in accordance with the Tax Code when proof of payment is submitted to the county with the title application.

Once a letter is received from the Regional Service Center, take the following to your county tax assessor-collector’s office:

  • The letter issued by the department;
  • Sales contract, retail installment agreement, or buyer’s order as proof of ownership evidence;
  • Government issued photo identification; and
  • Completed Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U).

Form 130-U

Note: If a lien is recorded on the vehicle’s record, you must provide a release of lien unless the lienholder on record is the dealer that went out of business. Additionally, if the vehicle is subject to odometer disclosure and a properly completed odometer disclosure statement is not included with the title application, the odometer will be recorded as Not Actual Mileage.

Your dealer filed for bankruptcy,
but remains open for business

Title and registration transactions are still processed normally.

Sales Tax

For more information, contact the State Comptroller's Office at (800) 252-1382

Complaint

To file a dealer complaint with the Enforcement Division, complete and submit an online complaint form.

Motor Vehicle Dealer Complaint System

Moving in Texas

householdgoodslogo3We understand moving is stressful and the TxDMV wants to help you to protect yourself. That's why we say "Don't Make A Move Without Us!" By law, Texas movers must be licensed with the TxDMV. If you hire one that isn't, you risk losing your belongings.

Keep in mind that the lowest price may not be the best deal - especially those offered on Internet message boards or sites. You might fall prey to a dishonest moving company that may demand more money to unload your possessions or fails to show up for delivery.

Before you hire a mover, first check our Truck Stop, the database that can tell you whether a company is licensed with the TxDMV. A licensed Texas mover will have an "Active" TxDMV certificate number on file.

truck-stop

Step 1: Look Up
A Mover Online

 

We also prepared a Moving Checklist to help you with your move. If you do have a problem, we'll try to help. Please take the time to read the information below so you know what steps to take before and after the move.

Before Your Move

1. Choose a Licensed Mover

You will have many choices when it comes to selecting a moving company. If your mover isn't licensed to conduct moves in Texas, you could risk losing your material possessions, family heirlooms or other items of personal and irreplaceable value. It is illegal for a mover to operate without a license to conduct moves. You can check that your mover is licensed in Texas by checking our Truck Stop database.

An "Active" certificate status means the mover is licensed.

If you can't find a moving company in our database, ask your mover to give you a copy of their TxDMV Certificate number and check that information in our Truck Stop database.

Because prices and services offered vary from mover to mover, we recommend you shop around before hiring a licensed mover. Keep in mind that the lowest price may not make the best deal. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure you get everything in writing. Licensed movers are insured and will provide you with the proper documents for your move.

How to Spot an Unlicensed Mover

 

Low Priced Moves

If it's too good to be true, it probably is. What may look like a low cost move may not turn out to be a smart move. Unlicensed movers may advertise a very low cost for a move then increase the price once your items are loaded onto their truck. Your items would be in their custody until you pay the higher price.

Generic Contact Information

Unlicensed movers typically have no local business address, use cell phones as their business phones or answer the phone with vague terms as "Movers" or "Moving Company". Ask questions. Ask the mover to give you their TxDMV certificate number; then check their number in our Truck Stop database.

Unmarked Trucks

Unlicensed movers will typically have no markings on their trucks or use rental trucks. TxDMV requires all licensed movers to have their name, TxDMV certificate number, USDOT number on both sides of their truck either permanently attached or with a magnetic sign.

No Proposal/Contract Documents

Unlicensed movers may not provide you with a proposal or contract document, or, may rush you through a contract form and make you sign it before reading it. A licensed mover will provide you with both a proposal and a contract document and will ask you to sign it at different stages of the move. A licensed mover will not assess additional charges after the contract is signed unless you both agree to them in writing. Please make sure you read any documents before you sign them.

No "Rights and Responsibility" brochure provided

All licensed movers are required to provide you this document prior to loading your items. 

Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move in Texas

2. Review Proposals and Contracts

Read all documents before you sign your name.

Even though most movers are legitimate and reputable, unwary consumers may fall prey to dishonest moving companies and could lose more than just what they paid to have their items moved.

Proposals

Once you've selected your mover, make sure to get your agreement in writing. A licensed mover will provide you with both a proposal/estimate and a moving services contract BEFORE they begin to load your items. Some will give you a combined form that includes both the proposal and the contract together.

Prior to loading, the mover must provide you with a written proposal describing the services to be performed and indicating the maximum amount that you could be required to pay for their services. The proposal may be either binding or not-to-exceed:

  • A binding proposal states the exact price of the move.
  • A not-to-exceed proposal states the maximum price of the move but allows the mover to charge less than the maximum.

To receive an accurate estimate, you must notify your mover of all items to be moved and specify required services such as moving your items up or down several flights of stairs, via long carries to/from your dwelling or using an elevator. Some movers will provide services such as these at an additional cost. The proposal should also indicate when payment is due and what forms of payment are accepted.

Contracts

Licensed movers will also provide you with a moving services contract prior to loading your items. The items written on your proposal become a part of your contract along with the contract terms and conditions.

Don't rely on any verbal agreements.

Be sure all agreements between you and your mover are written into the moving services contract. Last, but not least, remember to read all documents thoroughly and carefully before signing them.

3. Understand Liability vs. Transit Insurance

Mover's Liability

All licensed movers have a basic liability of $.60 per pound, per article. For example, if your 50 pound television is damaged during your move, your mover is liable for a maximum of $30.00 (50 lbs. X 0.60 = $30.00). While your mover cannot reduce the amount of liability below $.60 per pound, per article; they can agree to a higher amount of liability which must be agreed upon in writing by both parties and which may come at an additional cost to you. Remember, this is not insurance.

Transit Insurance

Some movers may offer to sell you a transit insurance policy, which helps cover loss or damage to your items, or you may wish to purchase transit insurance separately. Your mover is required to provide you with a copy of the policy and/or any other appropriate evidence of insurance purchased through them. Transit insurance is not regulated by the TxDMV or the Texas Department of Insurance so be sure to read the transit insurance policy carefully and understand the coverage and any deductibles.

During your Move

Inventories

Some licensed movers may offer to prepare a descriptive inventory of your items for an additional cost. The inventory should list all items to be moved and their condition. The document should be signed by both you and the mover at both the point of origin and the destination. Remember to review the inventory for accuracy before you sign it.

Inventories are often used during the claims process so inspect your shipment carefully. Make sure all items are accounted for and indicate any obvious damages during the move.

Movers may prepare an inventory for their own use without an agreement between you and them. If so, the mover cannot assess a fee for preparing it.

Packing and Loading

Depending upon your agreement with your mover, you may be doing some of the preparation for your move.

If you're doing your own packing, be careful about overloading boxes. To avoid damage, do not pack fragile items with heavy items in the same box. Mark fragile boxes.

Do not pack valuables (such as jewelry or money), medications or important papers for loading into the mover's truck. The mover is not responsible for these items.

Your mover may have additional tips for preparing for your move.

Delivery

Your mover must provide you with a completed copy of the moving services contract, signed by the two of you upon delivery of the shipment.

Check the condition of your property and make any notations on the contract document before signing. Signing the contract upon delivery does not release the mover from any liabilities. The signatures only confirm that the shipment was delivered.

Payment of Charges

The proposal document must explain when you will be required to pay your mover and what form of payment is accepted. Remember that the last amended contract or written proposal lists the total price that you will be required to pay at the time of delivery.

You should be prepared to pay the maximum amount of money shown on the written proposal provided by your mover.

In Case of a Problem

Damage Claims

If you have a dispute about the charges or loss/damage to your goods, you must first file a written claim with your mover within 90 days of the delivery date. You must include enough information for the mover to investigate your claim along with any specific monetary amounts requested or other type of compensation you are seeking. If your mover does not receive your claim on time, your claim could be denied. If your claim involves damaged goods, you should preserve the containers along with the damaged goods so your mover may inspect them.

Your mover has 20 days (excluding Sundays and nationally recognized holidays) to acknowledge your claim in any written form, unless the claim is resolved within 20 days. The acknowledgment letter must contain specific language required by the TxDMV rule regarding the claims process and the claimant’s right to request mediation from TxDMV. Your mover’s acknowledgment letter will look similar to the sample posted below. Your mover has 90 days from receipt of a claim to pay, decline to pay, or make a firm settlement offer in writing to the claimant. Your mover has the right to inspect containers or damaged goods within 30 days of receiving your claim. If you are not satisfied with your settlement, you can contact the TxDMV for mediation or you may pursue the claim in a court of law (some counties require mediation before you can pursue your claim in a court of law).

Claim Acknowledgement Letter

Mediation

Mediation is conducted by a neutral third party and coordinated by TxDMV at no cost to you. Ideally, mediation will be held by telephone conference, by written submission or in person at TxDMV facilities in Austin, Texas. If mediation is unsuccessful, you may pursue the claim in a court of law at your expense.

If you wish to file for mediation through TxDMV, please download our form and submit your request within 30 days after the mover has responded to your claim with an unsatisfactory offer or a denial of your claim, or 90 days after the date you submitted your original claim you have not received a response from the mover. 

Household Goods Mover Mediation Request Form

Mover Complaints

If you feel that your mover is not complying within the rules and regulations set out by the State of Texas you can file a complaint with TxDMV against a mover in several ways:

  • Use our automated Complaint Management System (CMS), 

     File a Complaint
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Call our consumer helpline at 1-888-368-4689. Hours of operation are between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Interstate Moves

Movers that conduct interstate moves are subject to federal regulations under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). For more information on interstate moving companies or to file a complaint regarding an interstate move, visit www.protectyourmove.gov.

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