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041-12 Provisions of “Transfer of Removed Plates” (Plate to Owner) and Invalidation of Registration

Registration and Title Bulletin - #041-12

Date: November 09, 2012

To:

All County Tax Assessor-Collectors

Subject:

Provisions of “Transfer of Removed Plates” (Plate to Owner) and Invalidation of Registration

These documents contain text of correspondence sent by TxDMV to the county tax assessor-collectors, statutory agents who provide vehicle registration and titling services for citizens in Texas. This information is provided to apprise the general public of issues affecting the state's vehicle titling and registration process.

PURPOSE

To clarify the provisions of “transfer of removed plates” for passenger cars and light trucks along with the provisions of invalidating any remaining registration at time of sale by a dealer.

DETAILS

We want to clarify that while the mandatory provisions of "transfer of removed plates" and registration invalidation each apply to licensed dealers, the VEHICLES that are affected by these provisions are not wholly the same. "Transfer of removed plates" applies to passenger vehicles and light trucks only, while registration invalidation affects ANY vehicle sold, traded, or transferred to a dealer and then subsequently sold.

Transfer of Removed Plates

Texas Administrative Code, Rule 217.41, provides that “transfer of removed plates” applies to passenger vehicles (6,000 lbs. or less) and light trucks. The following are the key provisions:

  • Licensed dealers must remove the general issue license plates and registration sticker from a passenger vehicle or light truck when the vehicle is sold, traded, or transferred to the dealer. The dealer must then inform the customer they have three options:
    1. Transfer their plates to the new vehicle they purchased, if the classification is the same;
    2. Keep the plates for future transfer to another vehicle (sticker is not transferable); or
    3. Dispose of the plates and registration sticker to prevent fraudulent use.
  • In a private sale, a vehicle owner may remove the license plates and registration sticker. However, the same three options for plate disposition apply.

Invalidation of Registration

During the 82nd Legislative Session both Senate Bill 1057 and House Bill 2357 enacted provisions pertaining to invalidating registration. The prevailing provision is from House Bill 2357, effective January 1, 2012, and requires that current registration be invalidated at the time a vehicle traded in to a dealer is subsequently sold to a new owner. There is no provision requiring removal of all license plates.

This legislation also requires the dealer to collect registration fees for a minimum of 12 months (except for registrations with fixed expiration months, such as Combination, which may be less than 12 months) at the time of application for Texas title.

In a private sale, a vehicle owner may remove the license plates and registration sticker. Any remaining registration stays with the vehicle, regardless of whether the license plates and registration sticker are removed.

COUNTY ACTION

Work with your dealers to ensure they understand the provisions provided in this RTB.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, please contact your local TxDMV Regional Service Center.

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