Momentum - Business to Business Online Magazine MOMENTUM Summer 2018 - Page 15

Taxing Matters Register Or Title That Vehicle! By: Cheryl E. Johnson, PCC Galveston Co. Tax Assessor Collector cheryl.E.Johnson@co.galveston.tx.us The county tax office is the local provider of Texas Department of Motor Vehicle (TxDMV) services (vehicles–not drivers). We are one of five states that separate vehicle and driver services except for the inspection. Confused? Read on… New Residents to Texas: New residents (except for active duty members of the US Armed Forces or non-resident, full-time students attending a Texas college or university), have 30 days to register their vehicle. With proof of insurance in hand (or the declaration page of the policy), obtain an inspection at a DPS licensed station (find listing at www.dps.texas.gov). Bring the vehicle inspection report (VIR), proof of insurance and ownership along with a current drivers license (out of state is okay since you have 90 days to obtain a Texas TDL) to any county tax office. Title and registration is $123 plus fees shown at right. Registration Renewals: Windshields in Texas became less cluttered with implementation of the single sticker program in 2015. This combined inspection and registration stickers into one making it necessary to obtain an inspection up to 90 days before renewing the registration. Most stations upload activity to a centralized database each night but, like insurance companies; we are not always able to see recent activity in the TxDMV system so it is safer to bring the inspection report and proof of insurance when renewing the sticker. If writing a check (or obtaining a title), a driver’s license will also be required. Renewal notices are sent by TxDMV six weeks before expiration. Keep an eye on the windshield just in case the renewal is not received. If misplaced, we can look up the vehicle with either the plate or vehicle identification number. Sign up for email reminders at www.txdmv.gov. All TxDMV forms are available online and at www.galcotax.com. Titling New or Used Vehicles: If you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, it will typically process the title and registration but keep the paperwork handy until plates and sticker are received! If buying from an individual, you have 30 days to transfer title. It is best to have the seller come to the office with you but, if that is not possible, bring the signed title, a completed form title transfer form (130-U), release of lien (if one is recorded on the title), proof of insurance, a driver’s license and funds to pay for the title transfer, registration fees and sales tax (6.25% of the greater of the purchase price or TxDMV’s Standard Presumptive Value). Before buying a used vehicle, take advantage of TxDMV’s Title Check to insure there are no title issues. While online, look up the SPV so there are no surprises when it comes time to pay the taxes! Quick Facts 1. For your protection, we do not allow anyone with a different last name to renew registration without written permission. 2. Need a disabled placard for a permanent or temporary disability? Obtain a prescription from your doctor. 3. Lose you sticker or not receive it? Replacements are available for $6.50 or any of our offices but call first. 4. Need to update your address? Complete VTR-146 and mail to TxDMV or let us help you with that. 5. Lost your title? Complete an application (VTR-34) and obtain in person from the TxDMV Regional Service Center in Houston or (typically) within two weeks via the mail. 6. Renew registration online with TxDMV (up to six months after expiration), in person, deposit in one of the yellow drop boxes located at full time branches, mail it or visit one of our grocery partners (see listing online). 7. A vehicle may be operated up to five days after registration expiration without penalty. Fine is up to $200! Don’t do it! 8. Want a specialty or vanity plate? You will pay more but have lots of options! Visit TxDMV’s website for info! 9. Sold a vehicle? Remove liability by filing a Vehicle Transfer Notice online (within 30 days) or call (888) 368-4689. 10. Vehicle Transit Permits are available in our office or online. This allows you to legally drive the vehicle for five days. Buy A Lemon? We hope it never happens but if you purchase or lease a new vehicle that develops a defect or condition that substantially impairs its use, value or safety, Texas Lemon Law may provide relief if the manufacturer does not repair the defect after four attempts within the first two years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes first). To see if your situation passes the Lemon Test, call TxDMV’s Lemon Law Section at (888) 368-4689. For additional information, call toll free 1-877-766-2284 or send an email to galcotax@co.galveston.tx.us and, drive friendly!