Updated on January 29th, 2021
The Texas DMV bill of sale for a motor vehicle, trailer, or boat is a material copy of the information detailed within the exchange of a vehicle from the seller to the buyer. The form itself consists of the significant vehicle, buyer, seller, and sale data, along with affirming signatures from both parties. In the state of Texas, a bill of sale is not an absolute requirement to be presented when transferring the vehicle from one owner to the next. It is, however, a sound piece of archival proof to certify the authenticity of the transaction for legal and tax purposes.
How to Register a Vehicle
In the state of Texas, you have 30 days to get the automobile titled from the initial sale date. When purchasing a vehicle from a private seller, it is recommended that both buyer and seller appear at your local County Tax Office with the following paperwork:
- The title to the vehicle being sold, completed with an odometer reading statement and the seller’s signature.
- An authorized Lien Release if there is a lien visible on the Title.
- A fully filled-out Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U).
- Proof of the vehicle passing inspection and accessible within the state’s database or if there is none currently on file, obtain a Vehicle Inspection Report from the seller (According to § 548.051).
- Evidence of current valid Texas car insurance policy.
- Payment for all necessary taxes and fees:
- Motor Vehicle Sales Tax – 6.25 percent of the sale price or standard presumptive value (highest of the two).
- Title Application Fee – $28 – 33
- Regional and County Fee – $31.50
- Insurance Authentication and Application Processing Fee – $2
If the exchange occurs on a weekend when the County Tax Office is closed, make sure to gather all pertinent information on the sale vehicle including:
- Seller’s Information (Name, Address, Phone Number).
- Vehicle Information (Color, Body Type, Year, Make, Model, and VIN).
- Sale Information (Sale Date and Amount).
In the case that the transaction is finalized and the seller wishes to retain their license plates, you will need to download a Vehicle Transit Permit. This is a Temporary 5-day license that will allow you to legitimately travel only to the County Tax Office to carry out the registration process.
How to Register a Vessel
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is the leading authority in the state of Texas, enforcing the mandate that, should you choose to use a boat within the jurisdiction, you will be required to furnish registration as well as a certificate of title for your vessel. All watercraft propelled by vessel or sail with an outboard motor will be required to register and title with the state of Texas with the exemption of:
- Boats with active registration in another state or country that plan to utilize Texas waters for no more than 90 consecutive days in a given calendar year.
- Sailboats not equipped with an outboard motor with a length of 14 feet or fewer.
- Government-owned watercraft.
- Documented vessels.
Keep in mind that you have 20 days from the date of purchase to register and or title a vessel to avoid an enforced penalty. Compile the following forms and required paperwork to present, in-person, at your closest county tax assessor’s office or Texas Parks and Wildlife Department facility:
How to Write
Step 1 – Download in Adobe PDF.
Step 2 – Vehicle Information – Fill in the following specifics on the vehicle:
- Vehicle Identification Number
- Odometer Reading
- Seller Registration Number
Step 3 – Indicate if you have previously applied for a title for the vehicle.
Step 4 – Seller/Buyer Information – Complete the following information on the buyer and seller:
- Seller’s Full Name
- Seller’s Street Address
- Buyer’s Full Name
- Buyer’s Street Address
Step 5 – Purchase Information – Enter relevant information about the sale of the vehicle:
- Sale Price
- If the sale was a gift, include relationship to the seller.
Step 6 – Complete the form with the signatures of both seller and buyer along with the date of sale
Step 7 – Enter the above information a second time below the dotted line to ensure a copy for both buyer and seller.