Texas is home to the second-largest number of vehicles among US states with more than 14 million registered cars and trucks. If you are planning on selling your car, you need to submit some paperwork to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to officially transfer the ownership of your vehicle.
Luckily, the process is fairly simple if you do your research beforehand. We did the leg work for you and compiled this article to discuss all the paperwork you need to sell a car in Texas.
Please note, we are not lawyers and this is not legal advice. It’s for informational purposes only.
The Texas Certificate of Title
Once the prospective buyer has agreed to purchase the car, Texas laws require that the transfer of the title to the new owner is completed within one month from the date of sale. Fail to do this means you may be liable for any crimes committed with the vehicle such as tickets and tax violations. This is why you must ensure that you file a Texas Vehicle Transfer Notification – Form 130-U.
The title has a section where the owner signs the car over to the new owner. You’ll also be required to include the date of sale and the odometer reading. Once filled out and have received the cash from the sale, you then transfer it to the buyer. For additional safety and security, be sure to include a signed copy of Form 130-U.
Keep in mind that if there’s a lienholder of the title, then you need to sign off that first. This involves settling any outstanding balance owed.
For those who have lost their title, they will need to apply for the Texas DMV Form VTR-34 which is an application for a certified copy of a title. Here, you will need to provide your valid ID, a signed lien release (if any) and a small administrative fee.
Buyer’s Application for the Title
After filling out the original title, the buyer also needs to apply for a new copy in their name. The process involves filling out the DMV Form 130-U and presenting it to the DMV. This form will require you (the owner) to sign as proof that you’ve approved the sale. Ensure that the price indicated here is accurate to avoid issues with sales taxes later on.
Vehicle History and Service Records
Besides having the paperwork you need to sell your car in Texas, it’s important to have the service records and history ready. Most potential buyers will want to see them to know more about the car that they’re about to buy. Keeping your service records can also be convenient for the buyer when they want to check the VIN for recalls.
The idea here is to boost the buyer’s confidence as they know you’ve maintained the car according to the manufacturer’s standards.
Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification
The final paperwork that you need to sell your car in Houston, TX is to notify TxDMV that you have sold the vehicle. This helps you to avoid being held accountable for tickets and other violations. Legally, you have a month to report it. However, since the step is simple, we recommend that you take care of it immediately. When you submit the form, TxDMV will add a remark to the vehicle record to show the date you sold the car.
There are two ways to file a Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification – do it online or print off a paper and mail a physical copy. If you submit the transfer notification within 30 days of the sale, the buyer assumes the ownership of the car subject to criminal or civil liability for parking tickets and other penalties after the date of sale.
Bill of Sale (Optional)
Part of selling a car in Texas is to actually document the sale of your vehicle. The transaction is recorded on a bill of sale. In most cases, you don’t have to provide the Bill of Sale but if you do, it’s important to include all the essential details as follows:
- Your contact details
- VIN, model and model year
- Car’s ownership history
- Purchase price
- Signatures from the seller and buyer
Keep this document in your records because it serves as proof of the vehicle sale transaction.
Sell Your Car or Truck to Motors on Wheels
Texas has nuanced laws concerning vehicle safety and ownership. As a seller, you must provide specific documents including a valid vehicle title, history and records of your vehicle, transfer notification and bill of sale.
Keep copies of these documents because you never know if any legal or technical challenges will pop up in the future. Also, keep the buyer’s details, the amount and date of sale, and the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
If you have a well-maintained car or truck that you’re looking to sell, Motors on Wheels would like to give you an irresistible offer now. Just fill out the short form on this page and we’ll get back to you within a day. We offer more than Carmax, Vroom and even AutoNation and pay in cash within days. Reach us today for a quick and unbeatable deal!