The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles says that there are no minimum age limits for a minor to title and register a car in their name in the state. Like adults who are 18 and older, however, minors need to show proof of ownership of their vehicle as well as meet the minimum liability insurance required in the state.
Buying a vehicle or purchasing car insurance as a minor may be more challenging in Texas – and an adult will need to sign or co-sign documents for a minor to do so.
- In Texas, a minor can put a vehicle title in their name.
- Minors also can register vehicles in their names in Texas, but need to have proof of insurance, a valid driver’s license and pay registration fees.
- Buying a vehicle or obtaining insurance as a minor will require an adult to sign or co-sign a policy or contract.
Can a teenager put a vehicle title in their name in the state of Texas?
Yes, in Texas, teenagers are able to put a vehicle title in their name. The Texas DMV says that there is no minimum age for titling a vehicle – a minor must have all the necessary documents to title and register a vehicle in their name.
Some of the things that you need to put a title and registration in your name include:
- Evidence of the original release of the lien or proof that the loan is paid in full.
- Title and/or registration application.
- Current driver’s license or a government-issued photo ID.
- Proof of current insurance and a current inspection.
You also will need to pay associated fees, which may be approximately $119 plus 6.25% sales tax. However, fees can vary depending on your county of residence, the vehicle type and the vehicle weight. Your local county tax office can provide more information on total fees and accepted payment methods.
Note that all title transfers must be completed within 30 days of the date of sale of a vehicle. Otherwise, there may be penalty fees. Title and vehicle registrations take place at county tax offices. You can look on the Texas Department of Motor Vehicle website for the locations of these offices.
What about car insurance or buying a car as a minor in Texas?
Getting a title in your name may not be an issue as a minor in Texas, but purchasing or insuring a vehicle when you are under the age of 18 may be more difficult. However, teens who are 18 are considered adults who can buy, register and insure a vehicle.
Dealers, private parties and car insurance companies typically prefer not to sell or insure a vehicle to a person who is still a minor because of potential legal ramifications. While a minor has the right to enter into a contract (both verbal and written), the minor may set aside the contract before they reach the age of 18 in most states.
This means that a minor can void a contract, which makes car dealers and insurance companies wary of doing business with someone younger than 18 years old.
Because of contract law, typically the person or dealer selling to a 17-year-old will request that a parent or guardian sign on the bill of sale and other contractual paperwork. Doing this binds the adult who signed the contract to the contract terms, even if you, the minor, are not. The same holds true for car insurance companies.
Insurance providers do not want to risk a minor voiding their insurance policy, so they normally request that you have a parent or guardian sign the policy with you.
Texas allows car insurance companies to impose age restrictions on individuals. Since proof of financial responsibility, or liability insurance, is a prerequisite to obtaining Texas registration, your ability to obtain the required car insurance policy may limit your ability to register a truck.
Texas’ minimum liability insurance requirements:
- $30,000 per injured person
- $60,000 for everyone injured in an accident
- $25,000 for property damage
Also, once you move to Texas, you have 30 days to register your vehicle. You’ll need to drive your vehicle to a certified Vehicle Inspection station and obtain a passing Texas inspection prior to getting your car registered.
Our guide on car insurance for young drivers can help you to learn the best ways for parents and teens to work together to properly insure their vehicles.
– Michelle Megna contributed to this story
Resources & Methodology
- NOLO. “Who lacks the capacity to contract?” Accessed October 2022.
- Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. “Buying or Selling a Vehicle.” Accessed October 2022
- Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. “County Offices.” Accessed October 2022.
- Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. “Registering Your Vehicle.” Accessed October 2022.