Texas is not like its neighbor Louisiana. Louisiana residents can have only rear license plates. While Texas residents should have both front and rear license plates.
But there are exceptions as well. For example, motorcycles can have only rear license plates. Antique autos and trailers can also have only rear plates.
There are some important things you should know. They will make your TX license plate lookup easier.
Currently, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TXDMV) issues license plates. You should be careful about having 2 license plates. Otherwise, you may get a $200 fine.
Moreover, you should place both plates on the bumper of the vehicle. Besides, rear plates visibility should be 50 feet. You can also use digital license plates. They are available since July 2, 2020.
Driving a vehicle for 90 days without TX license plates is also possible. You need to get no temporary license plate. There are 3 cases when you can do so.
Note: Driving for more than 90 days will be a law violation.
As we have already mentioned Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TXDMV) issues license plates. But Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is responsible for driver licenses.
Getting a license plate in TX consists of many steps.
First of all, you should register your car. After, you can get your license plate in TX.
You should provide some documents to get a license plate in TX. If you meet all these requirements there will no problem for you to get a license plate.
Are you going to stay in TX for a short time? In this case, you will need to get a temporary permit. The permit allows you legally drive in TX. They are just like temporary license plates. Thus, you can drive with them legally in TX.
There are 4 different temporary permits in TX.
A one-trip permit is valid only for up to 15 days. As the name hints to us it is valid only for one trip. Thus, you can drive your vehicle from the starting point to the destination point. But the vehicle should not carry any load.
It is a must to place the temporary permit on the rear of the vehicle. However, there is no need to have a TX inspection card.
There are 2 ways to apply for a one-day permit.
The fee for the one-day permit is $5. Besides, there is a processing $4,75 fee. The latter fee is non-refundable.
You can pay it credit card or cash. Certified checks and deposits are also accepted. But you can’t pay the fee via personal check.
You need the transit permit. But you need it if you bought the vehicle in TX. And now you should take it to your home.
The permit is valid for up to 5 days. However, this permit is only available to light trucks and passenger cars. Moreover, you can get only one permit for each vehicle.
You can apply for a transit permit online.
The temporary permit allows you to drive on the TX highways. But you should be a resident of the US, Canada, or Mexico. Also, the permit is for busses and commercial vehicles.
You can get the temporary permit in 3 ways.
The fee for 3 days permit is $25. Meanwhile, the fee for 6 days permit is $50. There is also a non-refundable $4,75 processing fee.
The 30 days permit is the maximum temporary permit. Unlike a 3 to 6 days permit, you can get it online. You can only get it from the tax collector office. Getting it from regional service centers is also possible.
The fee for a 30-day-permit is $25. The processing fee is also $4.75.
There are base license plate fees. They are based on the type of vehicle. For example, the fee for a car is $50,75. Meanwhile, the fee for a motorcycle’s license plate is $30.
License plate fees are also based on the weight of the vehicle. For instance, the fee for a light truck is $50,75. While heavy trucks have 7 different fees. They are based on the 7 weight categories.
Note: The fees don’t include additional taxes. The fees may also vary from county to county.
You should renew your license plate in TX each year. The registration expires after a year at the last day of the month. The month is on the registration sticker.
Generally, TXDMV notifies you when the registration expires.
You have 3 ways to renew your license plates.
There are also counties having alternative ways of renewal. For example, you can renew it even in a grocer store.
Before 2016 TX conducted automatic replacement of license plates. It took place every 7 years. The replacement is for increasing the quality of the plate.
However, now TX no longer does the automatic replacement. Yet, you can apply for a replacement if the quality of the license plate is low. For example, it is impossible to read the license plate numbers.
You may also replace your license plate if you lost it. It is also possible if someone stole the plate.
First, you should complete the Application for Replacement License Plate. After, you can mail it to the TXDMV.
The fee is $6,50. It is non-refundable. Also, you can’t pay in cash through the mail.
You should visit the tax collector office. They will assist you in transferring your license plate.
It is possible to transfer license plates from one vehicle to another. But they should be your own. Both vehicles bought from the private sector and dealer are eligible for this function.
There is no fee for transferring license plates in TX.
Texas doesn’t retain ownership of the license plates. Hence, the license plate is your own property. You don’t need to return it to TX. Besides, you can keep it as a souvenir.
Anyway, if you choose to get rid of it you can cut it.
You can’t find that much variety of TX license plates. There are only 3 types of TX license plates.
The current general-issue license plate was introduced in 2012. The plate is also known as “The Texas Classic”. The plate has 7 characters. In the beginning, there are 3 capital letters. After, there is a dash in the form of TX. In the end, there are 4 numbers.
There’s also the TX slogan “The Lone Star State”. You can also see a “TEXAS” written above the plate. TXDMV decides the numbers. Hence, you can’t personalize it.
Visit our banned Texas license plates page for more details.
There are two specialty license plate subtypes: qualifying and non-qualifying.
You should meet some requirements to get a qualifying plate. But each TX citizen can have a non-qualifying plate.
Generally, you can personalize specialty license plates. You can get a plate only from your local tax office.
You can’t use souvenir license plates to drive the car. They only have a decorative function. You can also give them as a present.
The fee for a souvenir license plate is $20. Additionally, you will pay $20 if you want to personalize it.