Vehicle Registration Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register and title a motorcycle?

How do I contact the Montgomery County Tax Office?

I am disabled and would like to obtain license plates with the international symbol of access. What should I do?

What should I do if my license plates are damaged or stolen, or I need to replace a windshield validation sticker?

Is insurance required to purchase a one-trip or 30-day permit?

What does “Registration Purposes Only” mean? What are the circumstances for this type of transaction?

How do I obtain personalized license plates or other special plates?

I lost my title. How do I get a duplicate?

I just sold a car. How do I transfer the title?

I’ve bought a vehicle and I have liability insurance on another car. What document can I use to show proof of financial responsibility when I transfer title and registration?

I applied for a title and neither my lien holder nor I have received it yet.

Why does the state show a lien on my car if I paid it off?

What is required to correct an error in the odometer reading after the title has been issued?

If my odometer reading is not available, what am I required to enter on the Odometer Disclosure Statement?

I sold my vehicle several months ago, but the registration and title have not been changed to reflect the new owner’s name and address. I’m getting notices about parking tickets involving that vehicle and the registration renewal notice has also come to me. What can I do?

How do I sell a vehicle that is registered and titled in a former spouse’s or a deceased spouse’s name?

My title was issued incorrectly. What should I do?

Can a certificate of title be issued to a vehicle which is displaying $6.30 Machinery License Plates?

How do I register and title a rebuilt/salvage vehicle?

How do I turn a green Salvage Title into a blue negotiable Texas title?

What information is required and who is authorized to execute a Statement of Fact should one be required to correct an error on a title assignment?

What information is required and who is authorized to execute a Statement of Fact should one be required to correct an error on a title assignment?

What is a bonded title and what is it used for?

How do I renew my registration by mail?

I registered my vehicle in August. So why does the registration expire in July?

Which types of vehicles may be used on the highway without having to be registered?

I’m going out of town for vacation and my registration will expire while I am gone. May I renew it in advance?

I just moved to Texas. How do I register my vehicle?

Will my proof of insurance from either out- of-state or out- of- the- country be acceptable to cover a vehicle required to be registered in Texas? If so, should approval be based on the minimum amounts of coverage required in Texas?

For how long may a new Texas resident operate his or her vehicle in this state while displaying current out-of-state license plates?

I have not received my registration renewal notice. What do I do?

I moved to another location within Texas. How can I be sure that my registration renewal notice will get to me when the time comes?

I did not receive my renewal notice and my registration has expired. Why am I being forced to pay a 20% penalty?

What if I haven’t driven the vehicle since my registration expired. Do I still pay the 20% penalty?

 

How do I register and title a motorcycle?
Follow the same procedures as with any motor vehicle.
Please Note: Motorcycle insurance is required for all Motorcycle Titles.

How do I contact the Montgomery County Tax Office?
You may contact us in a variety of ways. You may e-mail us at mvd@mctx.org. You may telephone us at (936) 539-7896. If you wish to correspond with our office, please address your letters to Tammy J. McRae -Tax Assessor/Collector, 400 N San Jacinto, Conroe, Texas 77301.

I am disabled and would like to obtain license plates with the international symbol of access. What should I do?
Texas law allows disabled residents to obtain either a) one set of plates with the international symbol of access plus one placard, or b) two placards. A placard may be displayed in any vehicle being used to transport the disabled person. If the vehicle does not have disabled-person license plates, the law requires that the placard be displayed on the rear-view mirror whenever the vehicle is parked in a disabled-person parking space. A disability statement form is available from the Montgomery County Tax office. The applicant’s physician must complete the form, have it notarized and/or provide a written prescription. There is no charge for permanent placards. Placards must be renewed every four years. There is an exchange fee of $1.30 (+ $1.00 processing fee if done through the mail) for a set of disabled-person license plates, if the registration is current. Additional sets of disabled person plates may be obtained for vehicles specially equipped for operation by a person who has lost the use of one or both legs.

Temporary placards are issued for 6 months and the fee is $5.00.

For more information on disabled person placards and license plates, please see the Frequently Asked Questions About Disabled Person Placards/License Plates provided by the Texas Department of Transportation.

What should I do if my license plates are damaged or stolen, or I need to replace a windshield validation sticker?
You can obtain replacement plates or validation stickers at the Montgomery County Tax Office. If your plates are damaged or you are only missing one plate, then you will need to bring in the registration sticker off the windshield AND the remaining license plate(s). You must also bring in your current registration receipt and fill out a replacement affidavit. There will be a $6.30 fee.

Is insurance required to purchase a one-trip or 30-day permit?
Yes, insurance must be on the vehicle the permit is for, unless it is a trailer.

What does “Registration Purposes Only” mean? What are the circumstances for this type of transaction?
“Registration Purposes Only” means that the vehicle is registered, but not titled, in Texas. This type of ownership document may be requested when a vehicle that was registered or titled in another state is subject to registration in Texas but the owner or operator cannot or does not wish to surrender the negotiable out-of-state evidence of ownership in order to obtain a Texas negotiable title.

How do I obtain personalized license plates or other special plates?
You may apply for Personalized License Plates at www.myplates.com. There is a charge in addition to the regular registration fee. The amount charged for personalized and special plates varies according to the type ordered. In some cases, the applicant must meet eligibility requirements before applying for special plates. Follow the instructions on the website.

If applying for Military or Collegiate Plates, you may obtain an application at the Tax Office or www.txdmv.gov.

I lost my title. How do I get a duplicate?
Complete the Application for Certified Copy of Title which is available at any Montgomery County Tax Office. Make sure it has been signed by the registered owner(s) or lien holder. Mail the form and the $2 fee (no cash) to the address shown on the bottom of the form. For same-day service, an owner, lien holder, or verified agent of either may apply at a VTR Regional Office, and pay a $5.45 fee. These applicants must provide valid personal identification that includes a photograph issued by an agency of the State of Texas or the United States government. If a person is acting as an agent, he or she must provide proof, verifiable by telephone, that he or she is authorized to pick up the copy of the title. Otherwise, the application will be held for four days before the copy is issued and mailed.

I just sold a car. How do I transfer the title?
The seller must write the purchaser’s name and address, the odometer reading and date of sale in the title assignment. Purchaser and seller must each sign both the title and the title application form (Form 130-U). Both signed documents must be given to the purchaser, along with the registration receipt. The purchaser must then go to any Montgomery County Tax Office location and file the title application. Proof of current insurance will be required. The fee is $33, plus motor-vehicle sales tax (6.25 percent). There is also a $2.50 transfer fee. If the license is not current, there may be a registration fee. When you purchase a vehicle from a licensed Texas dealer located in Montgomery County, the dealer is required to complete all the paperwork necessary to title and register the vehicle in your name. The dealer is also required to file the documents with the Montgomery County Tax Office within 20 business days of the date you purchased the vehicle.

I’ve bought a vehicle and I have liability insurance on another car. What document can I use to show proof of financial responsibility when I transfer title and registration?
The personal automobile policy for any other vehicle an individual owns provides 30-day coverage after an additional vehicle has been acquired. Therefore, a copy of the personal automobile insurance policy or the card issued for the policy is acceptable as proof of financial responsibility.

However, this does not apply for Motorcycles, unless you currently have proof of Motorcycle insurance. Proof of Motorcycle insurance is required for all Motorcycle Titles.

I applied for a title and neither my lien holder nor I have received it yet.
Customers should receive their titles within three weeks from the date the application was filed. Contact the Montgomery County Tax Office and ask to have the record checked.

Why does the state show a lien on my car if I paid it off?
This occurs if you have not advised the State of Texas that your lien has been satisfied. To remove the lien information, fill out a Title Application Form (130-U). Submit the application, title and a release of lien to the Montgomery County Tax Office. The fee for this service is $33.00. The State of Texas will mail a title to you that does not show a lien.

What is required to correct an error in the odometer reading after the title has been issued?
A statement of fact will be required. This statement must address the discrepancy and must be acknowledged by both the seller and the buyer involved in the transaction in which the error was made.

If my odometer reading is not available, what am I required to enter on the Odometer Disclosure Statement?
The Odometer Disclosure Statement should contain an explanation from the seller as to why a mileage reading is not available. If there is a reading of any sort displayed on the odometer, this reading must be disclosed, and an indication as to whether the mileage is actual, not actual, or exceeds mechanical limits must be made.

I sold my vehicle several months ago, but the registration and title have not been changed to reflect the new owner’s name and address. I’m getting notices about parking tickets involving that vehicle and the registration renewal notice has also come to me. What can I do?
It is likely the new owner has not transferred title into his or her name. Contact the Montgomery County Tax Office or VTR Regional Office and fill out the Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification (Form VTR-346). Or write a letter to: Texas Department of Motor Vehicle, Vehicle Titles and Registration Division, Attention: Customer Information Services Branch, Austin, TX 78779-0001. Your letter must provide the vehicle description (year, make, vehicle identification number), date of sale, and purchaser’s name and address. There is no charge for filing the VTR-346 form.


How do I sell a vehicle that is registered and titled in a former spouse’s or a deceased spouse’s name?
If the divorce decree awards the vehicle to you, provide the Montgomery County Tax Office with a certified copy of the decree and apply for title. If the decree does not award the vehicle to you, a properly assigned title will be required. In the case of a deceased spouse, the ownership will be determined based on whether there is a will, trust, etc. Contact the Montgomery County Tax Office or a VTR Regional Office for help.


My title was issued incorrectly. What should I do?
Contact the Montgomery County Tax Office and we’ll help you resolve the problem.


Can a certificate of title be issued to a vehicle which is displaying $6.30 Machinery License Plates?
No. Vehicles issued the $6.30 distinguishing Machinery License Plate cannot be titled under the Certificate of Title Act.


How do I register and title a rebuilt/salvage vehicle?
For information about rebuilt and salvage vehicles, contact our office via e-mail or call us at (936)539-7896.


How do I turn a green Salvage Title into a blue negotiable Texas title?
If a salvaged vehicle for which a salvage title certificate has been issued is repaired and placed in operable condition by a salvage yard or by a purchaser of such salvaged vehicle, the salvage yard or the person or firm who purchased and repaired the vehicle (Texas licensed dealers excepted) must apply for title and registration in their name. The following must support the application for title:

• A salvage certificate
• A form 61- Rebuilder’s Affidavit
• An inspection report completed by a law enforcement officer verifying the vehicle identification
number (VIN). The inspection report may be made either on the reverse side of the title in the
space provided or on the department’s prescribed form, VTRD-75-1. In lieu of the VIN
inspection by a law enforcement officer, a pencil tracing of the VIN may be submitted.
However, in situations when a pencil tracing cannot be made, the applicant must execute a
Statement of Physical Inspection (Form VTR-20). In either case an Identification Certificate
Form (VI-30-A) must be submitted, showing that the vehicle has been safety inspected. This
inspection is required even though the vehicle may already display a valid inspection certificate,
which was issued prior to rebuilding the vehicle.
• An odometer statement
• A copy of the current license receipt
• If the vehicle for which the salvage certificate has been issued has a non-conforming USA VIN,
proof of compliance with the Texas Department of Transportation safety regulations is required.
In any case when a negotiable title is issued and a Salvage Certificate is in evidence, the
negotiable title will contain a notation to indicate that the vehicle was previously damaged.
“Flood Damaged” will be shown, when applicable, or “Reconditioned” will be shown unless
there is a different notation (“Rebuilt,” “Reconstructed,” etc.) required. These notations are
carried permanently in the master title records and will appear on all subsequent titles.
• Valid proof of financial responsibility, covering the described vehicle, in the applicants name


What information is required and who is authorized to execute a Statement of Fact should one be required to correct an error on a title assignment?
The statement must certify to the correct information and must include a description of the vehicle identification number and the date the statement was executed. Only the seller is authorized to execute the Statement of Fact. However, if the Statement of Fact is required for the odometer disclosure portion of the assignment, in addition to the seller’s signature, the buyer must also acknowledge the statement.


Why can it be difficult to change a vehicle title to my name?
The title law protects ownership rights for more than 15 million vehicles in Texas. Therefore, the statutes require transfer of ownership by proper execution of certain ownership documents. When these specific documents are incomplete or unavailable, Texas statutes require that the applicant apply for a Tax Collector’s hearing or bonded title.


What is a bonded title and what is it used for?
A bonded title is a notation on a title document, as well as on the motor vehicle records, which indicates that a Certificate of Title Surety Bond has been surrendered in support of the application for title. The bond is issued in the title applicant’s name, for a three-year period. The bond is required by statute in cases where proper ownership documents are unavailable. Purpose of a bonded title is to protect previous and future owners of the vehicle, as well as lien holders, from potential claims.


How do I renew my registration by mail?
Follow the instructions on the renewal notice. Send the renewal notice, registration fee and all requested information to the Montgomery County Tax Office. Add an additional $1 for the processing and mailing fee. Include a photocopy of your current insurance card to show proof of financial responsibility. Please make your check payable to Tammy J. McRae – Tax Assessor/Collector. Our mailing address is Tammy J. McRae – Tax Assessor/Collector, 400 N San Jacinto, Conroe, Texas 77301.


I registered my vehicle in August. So why does the registration expire in July?
A vehicle registration period is for 12 consecutive months or any portion thereof. Registration for vehicles registered during August will expire on July 31.


Which types of vehicles may be used on the highway without having to be registered?
• A farm trailer or farm semi-trailer used in farming operations that does not exceed 4,000 pounds
gross weight
• A farm tractor used in a farming operation and not “for hire” and
Implements of husbandry (those devices used to till the soil and harvest crops)


I’m going out of town for vacation and my registration will expire while I am gone. May I renew it in advance?
Yes, the Tax Office can process your renewal two months in advance, and if needed, can be mailed to almost any location in the world.


I just moved to Texas. How do I register my vehicle?
Before it can be registered, your vehicle must pass a State of Texas vehicle safety inspection and a visual verification of the vehicle identification number. These services are available at state-approved Safety Inspection Stations. If you are leasing the vehicle you must have the vehicle inspected in Texas.

The inspection facility will provide you with a Vehicle Identification Certificate (Form VI-30-A). You must submit this form to the Montgomery County Tax Office along with an Application for Certificate of Title . You must also submit your out-of-state title, or out-of-state registration, with the signed Application. If your vehicle is leased, a copy of the lease agreement and a copy of the bill of sale through which the leasing company purchased the vehicle will be required.

A New Resident Fee of $90.00 will be due. Title and registration fees are due at the time the application for title is made. You may do this in person at any Montgomery County Tax Office or by mail. Proof of liability insurance is required in Texas in order for these services to be provided. If you have out-of-state insurance you will need to bring the policy when registering the vehicle.

Will my proof of insurance from either out- of-state or out- of- the- country be acceptable to cover a vehicle required to be registered in Texas? If so, should approval be based on the minimum amounts of coverage required in Texas?
The Texas Department of Insurance is unaware of provisions in the law which limit proof of liability coverage to Texas companies. Nothing less than the minimum limits as prescribed by law are acceptable as minimum amounts of coverage in Texas.

For how long may a new Texas resident operate his or her vehicle in this state while displaying current out-of-state license plates?
He or she can operate the vehicle for a period of thirty days after establishing residence or entering gainful employment, after which time the vehicle must be registered in Texas.


I have not received my registration renewal notice. What do I do?
Your vehicle registration can be renewed at any of the Montgomery County Tax Office locations, by using your license receipt from the previous year, the title, or the license plate number along with proof of insurance and identification.

Your registration can be verified electronically by Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or license plate number. The Department of Motor Vehicle can also mail you another renewal notice, depending on the amount of time remaining before your registration expires. Just call the Montgomery County Tax Office (936) 539-7897 and we’ll help you correct the problem.


I moved to another location within Texas. How can I be sure that my registration renewal notice will get to me when the time comes?
Your mail will be forwarded if you filed a Change of Address Form with the U.S. Postal Service. However, the registration record will not be updated in the State’s system. Contact this office or one of 17 VTR Regional Offices and fill out the Notice of Address Change for Texas Motor Vehicle Registration (Form VTR-146). Or, write a letter to:

Texas Department of Transportation, Vehicle Titles and Registration Division, Attention: Customer Information Services Branch, Austin, TX 78779-0001. They will take the information you have provided and update your vehicle registration record accordingly.

You must provide the description of each vehicle you own. You may also call their Customer Help Desk at (512) 465-7611, TDD (512) 302-2110.


I did not receive my renewal notice and my registration has expired. Why am I being forced to pay a 20% penalty?
The 20% penalty is required by law if a vehicle is driven on public highways and a citation is issued for expired registration.


What if I haven’t driven the vehicle since my registration expired. Do I still pay the 20% penalty?
Anyone who re-registers after the five-day grace period and has a valid reason for late renewal may not be required to pay penalty per HB89. For additional information call the Montgomery County Tax Office at (936)539-7896