|(a) Titles. Unless otherwise exempted by law or this
chapter, the owner of any motor vehicle that is required to be registered
in accordance with Transportation Code, Chapter 502, shall apply for
a Texas title in accordance with Transportation Code, Chapter 501.
(1) Motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, and mopeds.
(A) The title requirements of a motorcycle, motor-driven
cycle, and moped are the same requirements prescribed for any motor
(B) A vehicle that meets the criteria for a moped and
has been certified as a moped by the Department of Public Safety will
be registered and titled as a moped. If the vehicle does not appear
on the list of certified mopeds published by that agency, the vehicle
will be treated as a motorcycle for title and registration purposes.
(2) Farm vehicles.
(A) The term motor vehicle does not apply to implements
of husbandry, which may not be titled.
(B) Farm tractors owned by agencies exempt from registration
fees in accordance with Transportation Code, §502.453, are required
to be titled and registered with "Exempt" license plates issued in
accordance with Transportation Code, §502.451.
(C) Farm tractors used as road tractors to mow rights
of way or used to move commodities over the highway for hire are required
to be registered and titled.
(D) Farm semitrailers with a gross weight of more than
4,000 pounds that are registered in accordance with Transportation
Code, §502.146, may be issued a Texas title.
(3) Neighborhood electric vehicles. The title requirements
of a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) are the same requirements
prescribed for any motor vehicle.
(4) Exemptions from title. Vehicles registered with
the following distinguishing license plates may not be titled under
Transportation Code, Chapter 501:
(A) vehicles eligible for machinery license plates
and permit license plates in accordance with Transportation Code, §502.146;
(B) vehicles eligible for farm trailer license plates
in accordance with Transportation Code, §502.433, unless the
owner chooses to title a farm semitrailer with a gross weight of more
than 4,000 pounds that is registered in accordance with §502.146,
as provided by Transportation Code, §501.036.
(5) Trailers, semitrailers, and house trailers. Owners
of trailers and semitrailers shall apply for and receive a Texas title
for any stand alone (full) trailer, including homemade or shopmade
full trailers, or any semitrailer having a gross weight in excess
of 4,000 pounds. House trailer-type vehicles must meet the criteria
outlined in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph to be titled.
(A) In the absence of a manufacturer's rated carrying
capacity for a trailer or semitrailer, the rated carrying capacity
will not be less than one-third of its empty weight.
(B) Mobile office trailers, mobile oil field laboratories,
and mobile oil field bunkhouses are not designed as dwellings, but
are classified as commercial semitrailers and must be registered and
titled as commercial semitrailers if operated on the public streets
(C) House trailer-type vehicles and camper trailers
must meet the following criteria in order to be titled.
(i) A house trailer-type vehicle designed for living
quarters and that is eight body feet or more in width or forty body
feet or more in length (not including the hitch), is classified as
a manufactured home or mobile home and is titled under the Texas Manufactured
Housing Standards Act, Occupations Code, Chapter 1201, administered
by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
(ii) A house trailer-type vehicle that is less than
eight feet in width and less than forty feet in length is classified
as a travel trailer and shall be registered and titled.
(iii) A camper trailer shall be titled as a house trailer
and shall be registered with travel trailer license plates.
(iv) A recreational park model type trailer that is
primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational,
camping or seasonal use, is built on a single chassis, and is 400
square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection
when in the set up mode shall be titled as a house trailer and may
be issued travel trailer license plates. If the park model type trailer
exceeds one hundred two inches in width or forty feet in length, the
title will include a brand to indicate that an oversize permit must
be obtained to move the trailer on the public roads.
(6) Vehicles that may not be titled. The department
will not title a vehicle, with the exception of a trailer as defined
in Transportation Code, §501.002, that does not have a body,
motor, and frame manufactured by a motor vehicle manufacturer.
(b) Initial application for title.
(1) Time for application. A person must apply for the
title not later than the 30th day after the date of assignment, except:
(A) that in a seller-financed sale, the title must
be applied for not later than the 45th day after the date the motor
vehicle is delivered to the purchaser;
(B) as provided by §215.144(e) of this title (relating
to Record of Sales and Inventory); or
(C) a member of the armed forces or a member of a reserve
component of the United States, a member of the Texas National Guard
or of the National Guard of another state serving on active duty,
must apply not later than the 60th day after the date of assignment
(2) Place of application. When motor vehicle ownership
is transferred, a title application must be filed with the county
tax assessor-collector in the county in which the applicant resides
or in the county in which the motor vehicle was purchased or encumbered,
as selected by the applicant, except:
(A) as provided by Transportation Code, Chapters 501
and 502 and by §217.63(a) of this chapter (relating to Application
for Non-repairable or Salvage Vehicle Title); or
(B) if a county has been declared a disaster area,
the resident may apply at the closest unaffected county if the affected
county tax assessor-collector estimates the county offices will be
inoperable for a protracted period.
(3) Information to be included on application. An applicant
for an initial title must file an application on a form prescribed
by the department. The form will at a minimum require the:
(A) motor vehicle description including, but not limited
to, the motor vehicle's:
(iv) identification number;
(v) body style;
(vi) manufacturer's rated carrying capacity for commercial
motor vehicles; and
(vii) empty weight;
(B) license plate number, if the motor vehicle is subject
to registration under Transportation Code, Chapter 502;
(C) odometer reading and brand, or the word "exempt"
if the motor vehicle is exempt from federal and state odometer disclosure
(D) previous owner's name and city and state of residence;
(E) name and complete address of the applicant;
(F) name and mailing address of any lienholder and
the date of lien, if applicable;
(G) signature of the seller of the motor vehicle or
the seller's authorized agent and the date the title application was
(H) signature of the applicant or the applicant's authorized
agent and the date the title application was signed.
(4) Vehicle identification number. If no vehicle identification
number is die-stamped by the manufacturer on a motor vehicle, house
trailer, trailer, semitrailer, or item of equipment required to be
titled, or if the vehicle identification number assigned and die-stamped
by the manufacturer has been lost, removed, or obliterated, the department
will on proper application, presentation of evidence of ownership,
and presentation of evidence of a law enforcement physical inspection,
assign a vehicle identification number to the motor vehicle, trailer,
or equipment. The manufacturer's vehicle identification number or
the assigned vehicle identification number will be used by the department
as the major identification of the motor vehicle or trailer in the
issuance of a title.
(5) Accompanying documentation. The title application
must be supported by, at a minimum, the following documents:
(A) evidence of vehicle ownership, as described in
subsection (c) of this section;
(B) an odometer disclosure statement properly executed
by the seller of the motor vehicle and acknowledged by the purchaser,
(C) proof of financial responsibility in the applicant's
name, as required by Transportation Code, §502.046, unless otherwise
exempted by law;
(D) an identification certificate if required by Transportation
Code, §548.256, and Transportation Code, §501.030, and if
the vehicle is being titled and registered, or registered only; and
(E) a release of any liens, provided that if any liens
are not released, they will be carried forward on the new title application
with the following limitations.
(i) A lien recorded on out-of-state evidence as described
in subsection (c) of this section cannot be carried forward to a Texas
title when there is a transfer of ownership, unless a release of lien
or authorization from the lienholder is attached.
(ii) A lien recorded on out-of-state evidence as described
in subsection (c) of this section is not required to be released when
there is no transfer of ownership from an out-of-state title and the
same lienholder is being recorded on the Texas application as is recorded
on the out-of-state title.
(c) Evidence of motor vehicle ownership. Evidence of
motor vehicle ownership properly assigned to the applicant must accompany
the title application. Evidence must include, but is not limited to,
the following documents.
(1) New motor vehicles. A manufacturer's certificate
of origin assigned by the manufacturer or the manufacturer's representative
or distributor to the original purchaser is required for a new motor
vehicle that is sold or offered for sale.
(A) The manufacturer's certificate of origin must be
in the form prescribed by the department and must contain, at a minimum,
the following information:
(i) motor vehicle description including, but not limited
to, the motor vehicle's year, make, model, identification number,
body style and empty weight;
(ii) the manufacturer's rated carrying capacity when
the manufacturer's certificate of origin is invoiced to a licensed
Texas motor vehicle dealer and is issued for commercial motor vehicles
as that term is defined in Transportation Code, Chapter 502;
(iii) a statement identifying a motor vehicle designed
by the manufacturer for off-highway use only; and
(iv) if the vehicle is a "neighborhood electric vehicle",
a statement that the vehicle meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard
500 (49 C.F.R. §571.500) for low-speed vehicles.
(B) When a motor vehicle manufactured in another country
is sold directly to a person other than a manufacturer's representative
or distributor, the manufacturer's certificate of origin must be assigned
to the purchaser by the seller.
(2) Used motor vehicles. A title issued by the department,
a title issued by another state if the motor vehicle was last registered
and titled in another state, or other evidence of ownership must be
relinquished in support of the title application for any used motor
vehicle. A letter of Title and Registration verification is required
from a vehicle owner coming from a state that no longer titles vehicles
after a certain period of time.
(3) Motor vehicles brought into the United States.
An application for title for a motor vehicle last registered or titled
in a foreign country must be supported by documents including, but
not limited to, the following:
(A) the motor vehicle registration certificate or other
verification issued by a foreign country reflecting the name of the
applicant as the motor vehicle owner, or reflecting that legal evidence
of ownership has been legally assigned to the applicant;
(B) verification of the vehicle identification number
of the vehicle, on a form prescribed by the department, executed by
a member of:
(i) the National Insurance Crime Bureau;
(ii) the Federal Bureau of Investigation; or
(iii) a law enforcement auto theft unit; and
(C) for motor vehicles that are less than 25 years
old, proof of compliance with United States Department of Transportation
(USDOT) regulations, including, but not limited to, the following
(i) the original bond release letter with all attachments
advising that the motor vehicle meets federal motor vehicle safety
requirements or a letter issued by the USDOT, National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration, verifying the issuance of the original bond