When you move across state lines a lot of rules, regulations and laws change when it comes to owning and operating a vehicle. If you’ve got a move to the Lone Star State planned, it’s time to start beefing up on what it’s like to be a Texan behind the wheel.
How Texans Handle Vehicles
Taking to the open road in Texas isn’t too complicated. You’ve just got to get a few things in order, and then it’s easy to keep up with the annual renewals.
Vehicle Inspections – There are a number of states that don’t require annual vehicle inspections, so if you’re new to Texas you may not be aware that this is a required first step. There are lots of certified Vehicle Inspection Stations that you can take your car, motorcycle or truck to. A technician will verify that the vehicle meets the acceptable operation requirements and will give you a sticker to display on your windshield to show your vehicle has passed inspections. Just don’t forget to bring your proof of insurance with you.
Auto Insurance – It’s okay if your auto insurance was issued in another state, but it will have to meet the minimum coverage requirements for Texas. The law states that all drivers must have at least $25,000 in coverage for destruction or injury of property, $30,000 for injury or death of one person in an accident and $60,000 for injury or death of two or more people in an accident. But keep in mind these are the bare minimums.
Registering Your Vehicle – You’ve got 30 days from the time you move to Texas to get your vehicle registered in the state. After passing the vehicle inspections gather up your proof of insurance and proof of ownership in form of either the title or registration in your previous state. Your county tax assessor-collector will handle the initial registration process and then you should be able to renew online in subsequent years. For new registrations there will be three fees – a registration fee, sales tax fee and title application fee.
License Plates – During the vehicle registration you’ll also be issued two identical license plates, one for the front of your car and one for the back. The license plate number is issued at random by the TxDMV. You’ll be able to keep these plates for seven years before you’re required to get a new set.
Drivers License – Once you’ve got everything else out of the way now you can focus on getting the pinnacle of Texas residency – a Texas driver’s license. You’ve got to get one within 90 days of moving to Texas so plan to get down to your local DPS office in time. You’ll need to bring proof of your identity in the form of an official document. Examples include a passport, unexpired military ID card or U. S. Citizen Identification Card.
If you’re over 18 and already have a valid license from another state you won’t have to take the driving or knowledge test. If you are 18 or older and have a valid license from Germany, Canada, France or South Korea you’ll have to take the driving portion but not the knowledge portion of the testing. Do be aware that your current license will be confiscated by the DPS when you go in to get a Texas license. However, they will issue you a temporary paper license that you’ll need to keep with you while driving.
That’s all the need to know info for getting yourself ready for the Texas roads. Within three months you’ll be a bonafide Texan with the ID to prove it.
Image Source: flickr.com/photos/dph1110/3460882920