How To Renew Your Texas Vehicle Registration Online
In this community resource guide, you will learn how to renew your Texas vehicle registration online.
Although this is something that you have done for years, the idea of having to get another Texas registration sticker can be annoying. That being said, once it’s all over, you’ll feel relief once you leave the county clerk’s office or make your payment online.
I’m Nick Bryant, a native Texan with lots of experience renewing car registration stickers. And getting traffic tickets!
What Is The Difference Between Vehicle Registration and Vehicle Inspection?
Vehicle registration and vehicle inspection are two processes required to drive a car legally.
This involves registering your vehicle with your state or local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). You will need to show proof of ownership and pay fees for vehicle registration. It also includes obtaining license plates, which your car must display for you to drive it legally.
This annual check is conducted by qualified mechanics that look for potential safety hazards in your car, such as worn brake pads, faulty headlights, and other issues that can affect how safe your car may operate on the road. In some states (like Texas), a vehicle inspection is required before registering your vehicle.
Vehicle Inspection Or Vehicle Registration: Which Do I Get First In Texas?
You will need to get a passing vehicle inspection before you can register your vehicle in Texas.
Once your car or truck passes inspection, then you can renew your Texas vehicle registration by mail or at a county clerk’s office. You cannot renew your car’s registration online at Texas DMV if your car’s vehicle and car inspection is currently expired.
To recap, the steps in Texas to get your car registered are:
First, you need to get a passing car inspection.
THEN, you get your car’s registration.
If you still need a simple way to recall the steps for car registration just remember “Garage then Government”!
Initially, visit a garage to get your vehicle checked and inspected; once that’s done, take all of your paperwork to the government office to receive your registration sticker.
When Can I Renew My Car’s Registration in Texas?
You can renew your vehicle registration up to 90 days prior or 12 months after the expiration date has passed – as long as you haven’t been ticketed for failing to do so. Your renewal month will stay the same.
Do I Need Car Insurance To Get A Texas Registration Sticker?
To register and inspect your car in Texas, you must maintain liability insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements.
TexasSure Vehicle Insurance Verification Program will automatically check to verify that you have sufficient car insurance coverage.
Visit The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
To renew your Texas car’s registration sticker, head to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website. Once on their site, click “Renew My Registration” to start the process.
Enter Your License or VIN Number
On the next page, you will enter both your License Plate Number and the last 4 digits of your VIN. You can find your VIN on your car insurance card or by looking on the driver’s side of the front window of your car. This will be a small, metal black plate with 17 very white numbers and letters.
Have You Received A Ticket For An Expired Texas Registration Sticker?
If you have not, then the Texas DMV will allow you to continue the process of registering your car in Texas online.
If you have received a ticket for an expired registration sticker then, you cannot renew your registration online. You’ll need to find the county clerk in your area. You can visit the County Tax Offices webpage to see the County Clerk’s offices near you.
If Your Vehicle Is Out Of State
You can still get your car registered, but you will still need to get your car inspected.
Texas DMV will add a note that will state your vehicle still needs an inspection.
Police officers won’t be able to check if the inspection has been done electronically, so you need to keep the car inspection report so that it can be shown to the law enforcement officer. Once you get your car inspected the remark stating you needed an inspection will not be removed right after passing the inspection.
Verify Your Texas County Of Residence
You’ll also need to verify the Texas county that your car is registered in whether you are in Harris, Dallas, Bexar, Travis County or somewhere else.
How Much For Texas Vehicle Registration
Every new Texas resident must pay a base registration fee of $50.75, as well as an additional dollar for the Department of Public Safety’s innovative TexasSure program and other initiatives.
Paying For Your Registration
On the payment page, you will be presented with essential details about your vehicle such as its licensed plate number, VIN Number, make, and model.
Additionally, some fees must be paid – the windshield sticker ($50.75), City Road Bridge Add on Fee, Processing Costs, and Handling Fees included among them.
How Long Does It Take To Get My Registration Sticker In The Mail?
It typically takes 3 weeks to receive your Texas registration sticker after registering for it online. There is a 2-business day hold on payments before Texas DMV prints your registration sticker.
Check The Status Of Your Registration Sticker?
You can see the status of your Texas registration sticker by visiting the Where’s My Sticker webpage. Enter your license plate number and last 4 of your VIN to see when you will get your sticker in the mail.
Where Do I Place My Car’s Registration Sticker?
Your Texas registration sticker should be placed on the lower right corner of your car’s windshield for proper visibility.
Do I Need An Inspection Sticker In Texas?
No, Texas no longer issues vehicle inspection stickers. This stopped in 2015. The “Two Steps, One Sticker” system was created to make the process of keeping track of inspection stickers and registration stickers easier.
How To Renew My Car’s Registration In Person
You’ll need to visit the county clerk’s office near you. You can use the County Tax Offices look up to find the county clerk if you are unsure where to go.
Your county clerk is the same office that you might go to pay property taxes, get a marriage license, pay traffic tickets, or even get your license plates.
To get an inspection sticker in Texas, you must:
- Have valid car insurance.
- Get your car inspected first. If you cannot remember which comes first, think “Garage first, then the Government”.
- Register your car online at the Texas DMV website or visit a County Clerk to get your registration sticker in person.
If your inspection sticker has expired, you will not be able to get your car’s registration sticker online. You will need to first get a passing vehicle inspection and then visit the county clerk’s office for your registration.
Contact the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles at 888.368.4689 for more information. You can also visit their Register Your Vehicle webpage for more information.
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Nick Bryant is a Counselor with 11 years of experience working in community health. He enjoys concerts, walks with the doggo and wife, mocking Dallas Cowboy fans, and sharing community resources. Jump on the Houston Case Managers email list to receive weekly community resource guides delivered directly to your inbox.