How to Register Your Used Vehicle with the DMV

Follow these steps to register your used vehicle with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

Written By Matthew Monagle (Member Support)

Updated at February 16th, 2023

When someone agrees to sell you their used vehicle, your next step will be to register that vehicle with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In this article, we will explain the process and timeline for registration stickers, license plates, and temporary tags.

Key Takeaways:

  • If you choose to keep your license plates, you will need to order a new registration sticker.
  • If you choose to have new plates issued, you will need temporary tags from the DMV.
  • It can take upwards of 12 weeks for a new license to be shipped.
  • Amplify does not offer vehicle loans outside of the State of Texas.

Do I need to change license plates?

As the buyer, you can choose whether you keep the license plates or not. Either decision will require you to complete a few steps following the title work.

  • If you choose to keep the license plates, both the registration sticker and license plates will remain on the vehicle. You will receive a new registration sticker in the mail once the title work is completed.
  • If you choose to remove the original plates, you will need to visit the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website and print off a transfer permit. This transfer permit will be good for five calendar days as you request temporary tags.

If you are purchasing a recreational vehicle or a motor home over 10,000 pounds, you can also obtain temporary tags valid for 3-6 days. Visit the Texas DMV website for county-specific instructions.

How do I get temporary tags while I wait for new plates?

If you are having new plates issued for your vehicle, you will need to purchase temporary tags from the DMV. You will need to bring three documents to your nearest DMV drive-thru or in-person office:

  • Proof of current vehicle inspection.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • DMV fee of $29.75.

Once you have this documentation in-hand, you can obtain three 30-day temporary tags from the State of Texas. Please note that Texas only offers temporary tags in 30-day elements. To see a full list of drive-thru or in-person DMV offices, visit the DMV website.

How long will it take for a new license to be issued?

Once the title work on your new vehicle has been completed by the DMV, new registration stickers and plates will be mailed to you directly. The turnaround time for title work varies but can take up to 12 weeks.

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