Ann Harris Bennett
Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector
AUTOMOBILE SERVICES
I just moved to Texas. How do I register my vehicle?
The information shown below includes the sequence of events pertaining to registering a vehicle in Texas when it is titled out-of-state. Also note - *you must register your vehicle before applying for a Texas driver's license.
You may apply for registration-only by not surrendering your current title or surrender your current title in order to obtain a Texas title.
To obtain registration-only, please submit:
  • Your current out-of-state registration showing your name as owner. You will be applying for a "Registration Purposes Only" title. (Texas title will not be issued). Your out-of-state title will continue to be held by your lienholder or yourself (if you have no lien).
  • An original signed Form VIR, Texas Safety Inspection Certificate, (this form will be issued by the emissions/safety inspector) Vehicle Inspection for nearest locations (type ‘inspection location’ in the ‘search’ box)
  • Proof of current liability insurance meeting Texas minimum requirements ($30k-$60k-$25k)
  • Form 130-U (Application for Texas Certificate of Title) Your name, as shown on the out-of-state registration will be entered in section 16 and show a Harris County address in section 18.If you have a lienholder, complete section 33. You will sign on the Signature of Applicant/Owner line.
    Our office accepts payment in the form of check, credit/debit, money order or cashier’s check.
    To obtain a Texas title, please submit:
  • Your out-of-state title. If you have a lienholder holding your out-of-state title, we can request it from them. (This is not a requirement to get license plates in Texas.)
  • Form 130-U (Application for Texas Certificate of Title) Your name, as shown on the out-of-state registration will be entered in section 16 and show a Harris County address in section 18. If you have a lienholder, complete section 33. You will sign on the Signature of Applicant/Owner line.
  • An original signed Form VIR, Texas Safety Inspection Certificate, (this form will be issued by the emissions/safety inspector) Vehicle Inspection for nearest locations (type “inspection location" in the ‘search’ box)
  • Proof of current liability insurance meeting Texas minimum requirements ($30k-$60k-$25k).
  • You may file by mail. Send the total fees and documents to:
    Ann Harris Bennett
    Harris County Tax Assessor
    PO Box 4089
    Houston TX 77210-4089
    Attn: Titles, 2nd Floor Auto
    Make your check payable to Ann Harris Bennett

    You may request an in-office Appointment to complete your transaction:

    Click here for Auto Appointments.
    Please Note: If this is a purchase, please provide your bill of sale or invoice at the time of title transfer. In some instances you may be taxed based on the standard presumptive value (SPV) of the vehicle instead of the sales price listed on your bill of sale. Please review information regarding SPV on the TxDMV website.

    Texas law does not allow our office to accept insurance from a no-fault state.

      Fees:
    • Sales Taxes: Depends on when residency was established and the application type.
    • $90.00 new resident tax, if residency is within 30 days of application as required by law.
    • The difference between the former out-of-state sales tax paid and Texas sales tax (6.25% of sales price) if application is later than 30 days of establishing residency .
    • 6.25% of the sales price if ownership is transferred and no taxes have been paid to a previous state.
    • $33.00 application fee.
    • 12 month registration fees ($68.00) The registration will include a set of license plates. Texas law requires both plates to be displayed (front and back). The $68.00 fee is for passenger and truck vehicles that have a total weight of 6000 pounds or less.
    • Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) portion of the inspection fee. This fee can range from $7.50-$14.25 depending on the type of inspection that you obtain.
    • $4.75 Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) Processing and Handling Fee.
    Proper sequence of events:

    1.Provide proof of Texas liability insurance minimum requirements of $30k/$60k/$25k. (If you do not meet Texas minimum requirements, call your agent to raise the minimum or purchase Texas insurance.) If your state does not meet Texas minimum requirements, but your policy has the required amount, please provide a copy of the declarations page of your policy. Insurance from a "no-fault" state is not accepted.

    2.Obtain a Texas safety inspection and receive a signed, current, passing Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) from the inspection station. You must present your insurance at the time of inspection.

    3. Apply for title/registration on vehicles to get a receipt from the Harris County Tax Office.

    4. *Apply for a driver's license at the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). You must take your Tax Office receipt and liability insurance with you. Go to here for requirements and location information.

    For general information visit:
    Harris County at www.hctx.net; Houston at www.houstontx.gov; and Texas at www.texasonline.com.

    Please note: If the vehicle is coming from another country, please contact us for additional requirements at 713-274-8000

    How do I register and title a motorcycle?

    Follow the same procedures as with any motor vehicle. Registration fee’s for motorcylces in Harris County are $54.75.

    What does “Registration Purposes Only” mean? Does this apply to my title?
    “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. This may also be used in some instances when the original title is held by a lienholder out of state and the owner does not yet have access to the title.
    What are the minimum liability limits for automobile insurance in Texas?
    The minimum liability limits per accident are:
    $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of
    $60,000 per accident, and
    $25,000 for property damage.
    Will my proof of insurance from out-of-state, or out-of-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?
    Proof of liability insurance coverage from out-of-state insurance companies is acceptable if it meets Texas minimum liability amounts. If you have out-of-state insurance, you will need to bring the policy when registering the vehicle. The policy must be for a least the minimum ($30k/$60k/$25k) limits prescribed by Texas law. Insurance from a “No Fault” state is not acceptable as proof of liability insurance.
    How long may a new Texas resident operate their vehicle in this state while displaying current out-of-state license plates?
    A driver can operate the vehicle for a period of thirty (30) days after establishing residence or entering gainful employment, after which time the vehicle must be registered in Texas.
    What documents do I need to transfer an out-of-state titled trailer?
    You will need:
    Negotiable Out of State Title .
    (Form 130-U) Application for Texas Certificate of Title .
    May need weight certificate if weight is not indicated on title
    A copy of a current, passing Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) for trailers with gross weights over 7500 pounds. However, a $7.50 state Mobility/Clean Air fee will be added to the total registration fee for trailers with gross weights of 4501 to 7500 pounds.
    Acceptable form of owner/applicant identification.
    If the trailer is a travel trailer, complete a travel verification form, VTR-141.
    Property Tax Services for Property Owners
    One of the primary responsibilities of Ann Harris Bennett, the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector, is to levy, collect, and disburse property taxes. Property taxes also are known as ad valorem taxes because the taxes are levied on the value of the property. The Harris County Tax Office’s Property Tax Division maintains approximately 1.5 million tax accounts and collects property taxes for over 70 taxing entities including Harris County. The Harris County Appraisal District, known as HCAD, assesses the value of all Harris County property. HCAD is a political subdivision of the State of Texas established in 1980 for the purpose of discovering and appraising property for ad valorem tax purposes for each taxin unit within the boundaries of the district. HCAD grants and manages property tax exemptions in Harris County.
    How are Property Taxes Determined?
    Once HCAD establishes the taxable values for Harris County properties, a certified appraisal roll is delivered to the Harris County Tax Office. The property values are loaded into the Tax Office's internally developed computer system. The governing body of each taxing unit, the Commissioners Court for Harris County, sets the annual tax rate. The certified appraisal roll and the tax rates are used to levy the current property taxes in October/November of each year. Tax statements are then printed and mailed to property owners and mortgage companies. Most tax payments are mailed to a lockbox at the Harris County depository. There, the payment documents are scanned, and the checks are deposited and recorded. Thereafter, the Tax Office disburses the taxes collected to the various taxing entities for which it serves as collector.
    Note - since HCAD is responsible for placing a taxable value on real property and personal property - all questions about property values should be referred to HCAD at 713-957-7800. Property owners may also visit the HCAD website at www.hcad.org.
    Property owners have the right to protest their property taxes with HCAD. The protest deadline is May 15, unless it falls on a weekend or holiday, in which case the deadline would be the next business day. You can file until May 15, or 30 days after the date your notice of appraised value was mailed, whichever is the later date.
    If HCAD does not mail a required notice of appraisal value on or before April 15, the protest deadline will be 30 days after the date printed on the notice of appraised value.
    What is a property tax exemption?
    Texas law provides for certain exemptions, or deferrals, to help reduce the property tax obligations of qualifying property owners. Exemptions lower the property taxes owed.
    You must apply to HCAD for any exemptions for which you qualify. There are several types of property tax exemptions available like exemptions for property owners who are over 65, disabled, and military veterans. Visit HCAD’s website at www.hcad.org for all applicable forms and additional property tax exemption information.
    What is a homestead exemption?
    A homestead exemption is the most common type of property tax exemption. A property owner must reside in the property to qualify for a homestead exemption. Homestead exemptions do not transfer from one homeowner to another. You must always apply for a homestead exemption when you purchase a new home.
    How do I apply for a homestead exemption?
    You must complete and submit the form, Residence Homestead Exemption Application, and the following to the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD):
    A copy of your valid Texas Driver’s License showing the homestead address.
    requirement may be waived if you are:
  • a resident of a facility that provides services related to health, infirmity, or aging; or certified for participation in the address confidentiality program administered by the AG.
  • The license must bear the same address as the property for which the homestead exemption is requested (homestead address) unless you are:
  • active duty military or their spouse, showing proof of military ID and a utility bill.
  • a federal or state judge, their spouse or a peace officer whose address information has been omitted from your driver’s license. You must provide a copy of your application for the driver’s license.
  • If you do not have a driver’s license, you may submit a copy of a state issued personal ID showing the homestead address.
    Proof of disability, for those who are applying for an exemption due to disability.
    *Specific questions about exemptions, values, or name and address changes should be directed to HCAD at: 713-957-7800, or online at www.hcad.org.
    What is the last day that I can pay my property tax bill without penalty and interest?
    Property Tax payments are due by January 31 in order to be considered timely. The only exception to this rule is when the last day of the month is a Harris County holiday or falls on a weekend. In that case, then the next business day (or first business day in February) is honored as timely for receipt of payment.
    The extended due date also applies to:
  • the date of USPS postmark
  • receipt mark from a contract carrier (such as UPS or FedEx)
  • transaction date of Harris County Tax Office online payment portal
  • transaction date of telephone payment
  • Where can I pay my property taxes?
    Property tax payments may be made by cash, check, money order, or credit card.
    Credit/debit card, or free e-check payments may be made online here, or by phone at 713-274-(CARD) 2273.
    Checks and money orders may be mailed to P.O. Box 4622, Houston, TX 77210-4622.
    Property taxpayers may use any combination of credit cards, and or e-checks for payment.
    Payments by check should be made out to Ann Harris Bennett, the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector.
    Special note – VISA debit card transaction fees for property taxes paid online and by phone have changed.
    All Visa debit card transaction charges are now 2.35% of the transaction with a $1.00 minimum.
    All Harris County Tax Office locations have drop boxes available for property owners to drop off their property tax payments.
    Receipts are be mailed to property owners once their property tax payments have been processed.
    Why do I make checks payable to Ann Harris Bennett?
    The County Tax Assessor-Collector is an office created by the Texas Constitution. Under the Constitution’s provisions, the Assessor-Collector is personally liable for the funds collected and deposited in separate bank accounts under their control. The Assessor-Collector is relieved of this responsibility and liability when the funds are deposited with the Harris County Treasurer.
    In Texas, you must still pay your property taxes even if you do not receive a bill or tax statement electronically or by mail. Why?
    As a property owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that you receive a bill and that it is paid on time. The statements are mailed and the taxes are due at the same time each year. If you have not received a property tax bill by the middle of December, you should call and request that another one be mailed to you. You are also able to call and get an amount due over the phone as early as October, or look up your account on the website www.hctax.net. It is not necessary to have a statement to make a payment as long as you have your account number and know the correct amount. You can either mail, or take your payment to any Harris County Tax office location.
    CONTACT THE HARRIS COUNTY TAX OFFICE
    Main Telephone Number:
    713-274-8000
    Military Help Desk:
    713-274- HERO (4376)
    Hours:
    Downtown and Branch Offices normal hours:
    Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM through 4:30 PM

    Location of Branch Offices:
    All branch locations can be found on our homepage
    Customer Service E-mail Address:
    tax.office@hctx.net (Tax and auto questions)
    Automobile Title/License:
    Ann Harris Bennett Tax Assessor-Collector
    P.O. Box 4089 Houston, Texas 77210-4089

    Property Tax Payments:
    Ann Harris Bennett Tax Assessor-Collector
    P.O. Box 4622 Houston, Texas 77210-4622
    Property Tax Correspondence:
    Ann Harris Bennett Tax Assessor-Collector
    P.O. Box 4663 Houston, Texas 77210-4663

    Open Government

    In our commitment to open government, we invite open records requests in writing. Click here to access an Open Records Request form.
    Once you have completed the form listing the requested information, you may mail it to:
    Harris County Tax Office,
    P.O. Box 2109.
    Houston, Texas 77210-2109.

    Please do not include open records requests with any other Tax Office correspondence.