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Titles - Auto Insurance - New Liability Law - Vehicle Safety Inspection
Financial Responsibility Verification System(FRVP) - Texas Driver's License

Texas Auto Registration Requirements
"Everything you need to know to register your car in Texas!"

State Law Requires You to Register and Title Your Vehicle in Texas if:

1. You establish residence, or,
2. You become gainfully employed.

Your vehicle may be operated with current out-of-state license plates for 30 days.
Immediate registration is required at the end of such 30-day period.

You are not required to register and title your vehicle in Texas if:

1. You are a nonresident member of the U.S. Armed Forces or,
2. You are a nonresident student attending an accredited Texas college or university on a full-time basis. Part-time employment is allowed.

NOTE: However, your vehicle must display valid license plates and remain currently registered.

Before you register your vehicle in Texas,
it must pass a vehicle safety inspection and vehicle identification number inspection
made by a state appointed safety inspection station.


A Form V1-30-A, Vehicle Identification Certificate certifying the correct vehicle identification number will be completed by the inspection station. This form must be submitted to the County Tax Assessor-Collector along with your evidence of ownership, valid proof of liability insurance, application for registration and certificate of title.

Titles Return to Top
Your application for certificate of title and vehicle registration must be filed with the County Tax Assessor-Collector's office located in the county where you reside.

You are required to submit the following items with your application.

1. An out-of-state title or foreign ownership document
2. Vehicle Identification Certificate, Form VI-30A
3. Valid proof of financial responsibility in the form of: a. a liability insurance card b. an insurance policy c. an insurance binder, or d. certificate of self insurance
4. Your vehicle's current odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than 10 years old
5. If your vehicle is from a foreign country, a bond release letter from the U.S. Department of Transportation(DOT) may be required, confirming that the vehicle conforms with federal safety standards, and
6. If your vehicle has not been previously registered by you in another state, sales or use tax verification is required.

Registration and title forms are available at your local County Tax Assessor-Collector's office.

To save yourself time and trouble, you may wish to telephone your county tax office beforehand. The following questions may be helpful.

1. Where is the local County Tax Assessor-Collector's office located?
2. What are the normal office hours?
3. What is the exact cost to register and title my vehicle?

Auto Insurance Return to Top
You cannot legally operate a motor vehicle in Texas without liability insurance coverage. You must present valid proof of liability insurance coverage to receive or renew your:
1. Motor vehicle registration
2. Driver's license
3. vehicle safety inspection

Acceptable evidence of such proof may be an original or photocopy of one of the following: a liability insurance card, an insurance policy, an insurance binder, or a certificate of self-insurance.

The minimum amounts of coverage prescribed by law are:
$20,000 bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident,
$40,000 bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, subject to $20,000 limit for one person, and
$15,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
(But the law is changing, see New Liability Law below.)

Bill SB502 - New Texas Liability Law Return to Top
(Recently passed by the 80th Texas Legislature)


URGENT REPORT:
Legislature Bill Passes to increase the minimum auto insurance liability limits from $20,000/$40,000/$15,000 to $25,000/$50,000/$25,000

Bill SB502 by Averitt - increases in the minimum liability limits required to meet the Financial Responsibility Act. Effective 9/1/07, the minimum limits increased to 25/50/25 and on 9/1/11 the limits increase to 30/60/25. IIAT supported the increase due to the higher medical costs and the cost of vehicles compared to 21 years ago when the limits were raised.
Effective 9/1/07 (policies renewing after 4/1/08)

Vehicle Safety Inspection Return to Top
Every car, truck, bus, motorcycle, moped, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or travel trailer registered in Texas and operated on a public roadway must display a valid vehicle inspection certificate at all times. Trailer-type vehicles with a gross weight of 4,500 pounds or less are exempt.

Vehicle inspections are conducted at official state appointed vehicle inspection stations.

Defects disclosed during the inspection may be corrected by the vehicle owner or by a repair facility of the owner's choice. When a vehicle passes the inspection, an inspection certificate displaying the month and year of expiration will be affixed to the windshield. The windshield certificate expires 12 months from the date of the inspection.

Financial Responsibility Verification System-FRVP Return to Top
The new Financial Responsibility Verification System will launch February 2008. If you do not have current insurance you may want to know about it.

The Texas Department of Insurance expects to launch the pilot program of the Financial Responsibility Verification System by mid February. Initially, only Travis county police officers will have access to the system.

Currently it is estimated that 25% of the vehicles being driven on Texas roads today are uninsured. Alliance of Insurance Agents of Texas (AIAT) has conducted independent studies that show that number to be as high as 60% in areas such as San Antonio and El Paso.

In 2005, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 1670, requiring the FRVP to be implemented. The FRVP is a database of all active personal automobile insurance policies in Texas. Every insurer has been required to report their active policy records to the state as of last June.

Twenty seven other states currently have similar systems. States such as Utah saw a 56.83% decrease in the number of uninsured drivers after their system was enacted.

The pilot program is expected to run for sixty days. "This is a time for our officers to gain confidence in the system." Lt. Sanchez from the DPS in Travis County comments "When the license plate of the vehicle is run, the officer will be advised whether insurance coverage is confirmed or unconfirmed for that vehicle."

WILL PROOF OF INSURANCE CARDS STILL BE REQUIRED?
Lt. Sanchez of the Travis County Department of Public Safety clarified vehicle operators are still required by law to carry proof of insurance cards. "The Transportation Code 601.053, still requires vehicle operators to provide evidence of insurance, if requested by a peace officer. That portion of the law was not amended when the FRVP was enacted."

WHAT ABOUT THE WHAT IF's????
During the pilot program, officers will be instructed to first check the FRVP to see if insurance coverage is confirmed. If it comes back unconfirmed, but the vehicle operator can provide a proof of insurance card, the officer will then make an attempt to verify whether the card is valid. This may be done at the time of the traffic stop or after the officer returns to the station. "If the officer has a cell phone, he most likely will attempt to contact the agent or insurance company listed on the insurance card to verify if the card is valid." Lt. Sanchez explained, "it is our main goal though, after the pilot program is complete, to rely solely on the FRVP system."

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Getting a Texas driver's license Return to Top
If you are a driver establishing residence in Tx, you are required to obtain a Texas Driver's License within 30 days.

You may apply for a driver's license at any Texas Department of Public Safety Driver's License Office. By law, if you are required to take the driving test when applying, you will be required to present proof that your vehicle has been registered in Texas along with valid proof of liability insurance.

When making initial application, you must present a certified copy of your birth certificate or other qualified evidence which documents the date of your birth.

At the time you make application, you must pass an examination for vision, rules, signs, and driving skills. Your thumb prints are required at this time.

To prepare for the driver's license examination, a driver's handbook containing all of the necessary information is available at any Texas Department of Public Safety office. Proof of Driver Education Completion and parental authorization is required for minors ages 15 through 17.

For further information about driver's license fees and vehicle safety inspection, you may wish to contact your local TX Department of Public Safety office or headquarters in Austin at (512)424-2000.

Overview-Registering your car in tx Return to Top
STEP 1: Obtain Texas Insurance.

STEP 2: Get a vehicle safety inspection, which can be done in a garage rlocal service station.

STEP 3: Take the vehicle inspection certificate, evidence of ownership, and proof of insurance to the county courthouse.
 
For More Information:
Texas Department of Transportation  | www.dot.state.tx.us
Texas Online (Auto Registration)  | www.texasonline.com

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