Tip for selling a car in Texas

Essential Tips for Selling a Car in Texas

If you are Texan and selling a car for the first time, it is important that you are aware about the documentation and process. Buzzle provides you with some essential tips that tell you how to sell a car in Texas.
Quick Tip
If you have a Certificate of Title, you may not need a Bill of Sale. However, it is advisable that you get the latter, especially when you are doing the transaction privately without involving the help of a dealer.

If you are a Texan who wants to sell his/her car, you must be aware about the formalities that are involved in the process. Right from title transfer to bill of sale, you must know the documents and procedures in order to sail smoothly through your car-selling process. It is very easy to find a buyer for your car online or through ads. However, if you are planning to conduct the transaction on your own without the help of a dealer, you must follow certain guidelines for selling a car in Texas. While the formalities may be more or less similar to other states, improper procedures and incomplete documents can invite penalties and charges.


» In Texas, it is crucial that as a car owner, you have auto insurance coverage especially when you put it on the market for sale.

» Car insurance policies are often applied to the vehicle identification number (VIN). As a seller, it is your duty to get the car insured at least for the initial 30 days when the title is under transfer.

» However, after these 30 days, you will not have to bother as the onus for getting relevant insurance now falls on the buyer of the car as he is the new owner.

» Having proof that you have an automobile insurance is compulsory.

» It is important that you get in touch with your automobile insurance provider to transfer or cancel the car's insurance policy after it is sold.

Transfer of Title

» The title of the car will get transferred from your name to the new buyer. You will have to fill in information on the Certificate of Title to transfer the ownership to the buyer.

» You will have to sign the title, put the date of sale, odometer reading, etc., correctly on the title.

» Apart from filling the title, you will also have to fill the gray areas in Form 130-U or application for Texas title.

» The buyer will then hand over this to the County Tax Assessor-Collector's office within a month for the title transfer formalities.

» There are separate formalities if, as an owner, you have lost the title or if it is bonded.

Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification

» It is very important that you get the 'Texas Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification' or VTR-346, fill the form, and submit it to your local County Tax Assessor-Collector's office immediately. You can also download Form VTR-346 from the website of Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

» This move will ensure that even if there are any new parking tickets, criminal cases, toll road bills issued, etc., with the car, you will not be held responsible for the same.

» Otherwise, if the new buyer defaults on the parking or is a part of any crime, it can be easily traced back to you.

Notarized Bill of Sale

» The bill of sale, though not mandatory, is an important document. It is proof that your car has been sold to the buyer.

» It is highly recommended that you get a bill of sale as it is proof that the sale has taken place and your liability of the vehicle has ended.

» According to DMV.org, you can get a basic bill of sale from Jefferson county, which is applicable in all counties.

» You can also visit the County Tax Assessor-Collector's office for getting your bill of sale.

Discourage Fraud

» Many car buyers would like to ask your permission to take your car to a mechanic before the deal is sealed for a review of its condition.

» While there is no problem in allowing a potentially safe prospective buyer to take the car or drive it to his place, you must be absolutely sure that you are not falling prey to any kind of con or handing over your car to a thief.

» Do not let go of your car until you are absolutely sure about the buyer, as it may pose a threat to your car as well as your life.

» Don't transfer the car till you get payment in full through cash, money order, or cashier's check so that the question of non-payment and return of car will not arise.

Some Tips

Take away your license plates so that you can reuse them for your new car for a small fee; the new buyer can put his own.

Encourage the buyer to apply for the title within the initial 30 days, or else you may be still held responsible for the car.

It is advisable that you maintain a record of the buyer and vehicle details, date on which vehicle was sold, etc.

You will have to report the selling price of the car to the DOT for tax purpose.

Don't forget to remind the buyer about the 'use tax', which he will be liable to pay.

It is advisable that you scrape off the registration number from the windshield.

You must keep a record of your car's odometer reading before handing it over.

If the Texas car is sold to a buyer outside Texas, he will be entitled to pay the sales tax in his state.

Ensure that you take your car to a mechanic before selling it.

You can also refer to a comprehensive guide for more general tips on selling your car here. Hope these essential tips will help you seal a better deal.