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Do I need a Texas driver's license to register and insure a car in Texas?


A driver's license is not needed to register and plate a vehicle in Texas. 

You will need auto insurance to register a car. Typically, a driver's license is needed for insurance purposes. So, while you can register a car without a license, you would need a license in order to obtain Texas auto insurance on the vehicle. That usually doesn't have to be a Texas license. 

If you just moved to Texas and still have a valid out-of-state license, you should be able to register and insure your car in Texas. An insurance company needs a valid U.S. driver's license to check your driving history and generate an insurance rate.

If you have just moved to Texas, you need to be aware that new residents are required to do the following within 30 days of moving to Texas:

  • Get a vehicle inspection
  • Register and title their vehicle

New residents must have their vehicles pass inspection before having it registered and titled. After having it inspected, owners should take the following to their county tax office:

  • Inspection certification
  • Proof of liability insurance
  • The vehicle's odometer reading if it is less than 10 years old
  • An original out-of-state title, proof of registration, proof of sales tax payment or current foreign/military ownership document
  • Completed Form VTR 130-U, and the following fees:
  1. Registration fee
  2. Title application fee of $28 or $33, depending on the county
  3. New resident tax of $90

Additional fees may also be due at the time of registration. For more information, contact your Texas county tax office. For information about the new resident tax, contact the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces and non-resident, full-time students attending a Texas college or university aren't required to title or register their vehicles in Texas.

New residents are required to get a Texas driver's license within 90 days of moving to Texas. 

Before buying insurance for a car in Texas, learn everything you need to know to be a smart shopper by reading our Texas car insurance page.

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