In Texas, transferring a car title to your name requires you to pay a certain fee. The exact amount will depend on the amount you paid to acquire the vehicle and your location in Texas. In this article, I’ll discuss the cheapest way to transfer a car title in Texas.
The cheapest way to transfer a car title in Texas is to have the vehicle given to you by somebody as a gift. This means money didn’t change hands when you acquired the car. In this case, you will only pay a fee of $2 if you apply by mail or $5.45 if you go to the county tax office to apply personally.
By receiving the car as a gift from a family member, a friend, or a workmate, you are acquiring the vehicle without paying any money. When you register the car, you will not put any amount on the vehicle. Since no sale is involved in the acquisition, they can’t levy a sales tax. So you will only pay the least amount in transferring the vehicle title to your name.
Read on to learn about the cheapest fee they will require you to pay to transfer a car title in Texas, along with some of the critical details you need to know about this topic.
The Cheapest Way to Transfer Car Title in Texas
The cheapest way to pay the fee of transferring a car title in Texas is to have somebody give the vehicle to you as a gift. This means no money is involved in the acquisition of the car.
So, whoever is in charge of the car transfer title in Texas will not have an amount they can base the sales tax on. In that case, they will only charge you $2 if you apply by mail or $5.45 if you do it in person at the Texas county tax office.
How Much Is It to Transfer Ownership of a Car in Texas?
If you must pay for the vehicle to acquire it, you must declare the car price or the amount you paid when you bought it. That is the amount that the Texas tax officer will use to determine the amount of sales tax and the transfer fee that you need to pay to transfer the car title to your name.
If you acquired your car in a typical manner, that is, you paid for it with money, the transfer title fee in Texas is $33, with an additional motor-vehicle sales tax of 6.25 percent of the vehicle’s value.
They will also charge an additional fee for transferring the current registration. You might have to pay a registration fee if the vehicle registration is not updated.
Can You Do a Title Transfer Online in Texas?
If you transfer a car title in Texas, you can do it by mail. The first thing you should do is complete the required form. You can find this form online.
In Texas, the preferred method is doing it by mail. First, complete the required form online and mail it to the Texas county office.
They advise you to do it online instead of personally because if you complete the form online, you can conveniently print out your copy which you can keep as your file. This is the easiest way to transfer a car title to your name if you live in Texas.
Texas and all the states in the United States require the transfer title of any property, including vehicles, mainly because of this: When somebody buys your car, it is necessary to transfer its legal ownership to your buyer.
Who Should Pay the Car Title Fee?
Transferring the title of a property in Texas, as in every state in the United States, requires work. Those charged with registering vehicles in Texas must search for a particular title from the thousands, if not millions, of cars registered in the state.
That requires work because they must be sure that the car title is indeed the car your buyer bought. There is no room for mistakes in this type of undertaking. So their research is extensive and comprehensive.
In line with the topic, the question is: who must pay the transfer title fee? The seller usually pays for the transfer title fees in Texas. In turn, the car buyer is required to pay for its insurance.
Like any negotiations between a seller and their buyer, the costs can be negotiated between the parties.
How to Get the Cheapest Car Transfer Title Fees?
It’s natural for you to seek ways you can reduce your taxes. That includes even the taxes in transferring your car title to somebody else. How to get the cheapest car transfer title fees? Here are some suggestions:
Gift the Car as a Gift to a Family Member
Suppose you have an old but still functional vehicle you are not using anymore because you recently bought a new car. In that case, you can give it as a gift to a family member, an office mate, or a close friend who desperately needs a means of transportation.
Give the Car to a Person in Need
By giving your vehicle to this needy person outright without any money changing hands, you won’t be paying any sales tax but just the fee to transfer its title, which is not more than $6 in Texas.
It would be best to have the person sign his name on the back of the current car title. Then inform the person that they should check the “gift tax” box in their car transfer title application.
Process the Application Letter
You may have to take the signed car transfer title to the city clerk to process the application letter for creating a new vehicle title. To repeat, if you mail the application, you will only pay the fee will only be $2. If you apply personally, the price is $5.45.
Remember that even if you gave your vehicle to someone you know, the state would still charge the receiver for its current market value when registering the car. So, inform them about this possibility at the gifting time.
Again, what is the cheapest way to transfer a car title in Texas? To pay for the cheapest car title in Texas, someone should give a car to you as a gift. In this case, you’ll pay $2 if you apply by mail or $5.45 if you go to the county tax office.
Factors to Consider Before Gifting a Car to Another Person
You should be aware that several qualifications control your choice of recipient. What are these qualifications?
The recipient of your vehicle should fall under the following categories:
- Parent or stepparent or father-in-law or mother-in-law
- Spouse as their separate property
- Child or stepchild or son-in-law or daughter-in-law
- Sibling or brother-in-law or sister-in-law
- Grandparent or grandparent-in-law
- Grandchild or grandchild-in-law
- Guardian, but should give proof of the fact
In addition, three other things can qualify for the gifting of a vehicle. They are:
- As a donation to a charitable and non-profit organization and a 501 (c) (3) service organization
- Decadent Estate
- Specific Revocable Trusts
What Do I Need to Transfer Car Ownership in Texas?
Here are the documents you are required to produce when you apply for a car transfer title in Texas:
- Texas Title (130-U) application form for car transfer title
- Legal name on the buyer’s photo ID. It should match the name on the application form
- Original signature of the donor as the seller, as well as the original signature of the buyer
2. Affidavit of Motor Vehicle Gift Transfer
- Applicant should submit an Affidavit of Motor Vehicle Gift Transfer, Comptroller Form 14-317
- The donor and recipient should file the affidavit in person and give a valid identification form.
- The affidavit must bear both signatures of the donor and recipient and should be notarized.
3. Proof of Identity
- You must show proof of identity of the primary recipient
- Identification Card must satisfy Texas requirements
- A copy of the ID can be used
4. Liability Insurance
- Proof of liability insurance
- Insurance of the recipient or buyer can be used for the first 30 calendar days from the date of receipt or sale
- The vehicle must be included on the recipient’s insurance policy
- The insurance policy should satisfy Texas requirements at the time of the car title transfer
There are some additional fees that you need to pay apart from that car transfer title fee. They are the following:
- $3 credit card convenience fee for transactions of $100 or less. Government Payments for credit card processing services will collect this.
- 3% credit card convenience fee for transactions of more than $100. Government Payments will also collect this for credit card processing services
- There are no additional fees if payment is made by money order, cash, or check
The cheapest way to transfer a car title in Texas is to have somebody give it to you as a gift. This means there was no exchange of money when you acquired the vehicle.
As such, you will pay only an amount of $2 if you apply by mail and $5.25 if you do it personally at the country tax office.
If you received the car as a gift from a friend, a workmate, or a family member, you acquired the vehicle without paying any money. You can’t put any amount on the car when you register it since there is no money involved and there is no sale that happened.
So, when you transfer the car’s title to your name, they will only require you to pay a fee with the very least amount.