Ann Harris Bennett
Tax Assessor-Collector
Buying A Used Motor Vehicle

Effective October 1, 2006:

State law changes the method to calculate motor vehicle sales and use tax due when you buy a used vehicle. The tax will continue to be due when you title and register the vehicle at the county tax office. A purchaser must pay the tax within 30 calendar days from the date of purchase or the date the vehicle was brought into Texas for use to avoid penalties.

Estimate Tax Calculation For Buying A Used Motor Vehicle:

How much tax is due?

If you buy the vehicle from a licensed dealer, the tax is 6.25% of the sales price. If you buy from a private party, such as a friend or relative, the tax is 6.25% of:

Certified Appraisal Value:

If a Certified Appraisal Value is available, the tax amount is calculated based on the Certified Appraisal Value.

Purchased Price:

The amount you paid for your used vehicle.

Standard Presumptive Value:

The tax amount is calculated based on the purchased price or 80% of the Standard Presumptive Value *, whichever is higher.
80% of the SPV:

* The vehicle's Standard Presumptive Value (SPV) can be obtained from Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website.

* VIN number and mileage are required to obtain the vehicle's SPV.


What is the Standard Presumptive Value (SPV)?

The law requires the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) to determine and publish a SPV data base for used vehicles. Check the TxDMV Web site at

My vehicle may be valued less than the calculated Standard Presumptive Value (SPV). Do I have an option?

Yes. You may obtain a certified appraisal on the Texas State Comptroller’s “Used Motor Vehicle Certified Appraisal form” (form 14-128) and submit it when you apply for title, within 30 days of the sale date. The signature on the form must be original. (no photocopy)

The certified appraisal form 14-128 must be completed and signed by one of the following:
  1. Licensed Dealer
    Appraisal fee: $100 - $300 (cars/light trucks)
  2. Licensed Insurance Adjuster
    Appraisal fee: determined by the adjuster

For details, please refer to the instructions on the form 14-128.

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


Contact the Comptroller’s office at 1-800-252-1382 or your local county tax office for more information. For more details, see Comptroller 's website, County Procedures for Standard Presumptive Value and Used Motor Vehicles.