Like anything else, the process of selling a car can be as easy as you make it, and as long as you read the title and take your time, you’ll get through it with no complications. Fortunately the DMV in Texas provides instructions for how to complete this process.
No surprises here, your title needs to be signed before the buyer takes it. That’s not all you need to provide though, as you also need to have signed a Vehicle Title Application, or Form 130-U. The purpose of Form 130-U is so the buyer can apply for a new title, and to do that they need the previous owner’s signature (that’s you) on the vehicle title application.
While it is optional for you as the seller to inform the DMV of selling your vehicle, it is required that the buyer inform the DMV within 30 days of buying your vehicle. As the seller, you’d want to make sure they apply for a title because if they do not and subsequently get tickets or into some sort of trouble, you (the last legal owner on paper) would be technically responsible.
In addition to all of the paperwork, there will be a number of fees associated with a title transfer. The transfer fee itself may cost as much as $33 depending on the county in which you sell the car and the required inspection can cost up to $40. There are also additional miscellaneous fees that could cost around $20.
Every vehicle in Texas is subject to an annual inspection, where various aspects of the car are tested for safety (i.e. brakes and steering), as well as an emissions test. While only vehicles between 2 and 24 years old are required to undergo an emissions evaluation, all vehicles including motorcycles must be inspected for safety. While this is technically only required for the buyer to have, keeping proof of a recent inspection handy to show the buyer and give them at the time of purchase would help the sale immensely.
Be sure to have everything ready so the buyer doesn’t have to come back to you with some kind of paperwork problem. It’s an extra pain for the both of you, and being patient, reading the title before you sign it and doing everything correctly will save unnecessary trips to the DMV.
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