8 Tips to Get Your New Texas Plate, License, Registration in 4 Hours or Less

Moving to a new state is hard enough on its own. From learning your way around town to making friends and adjusting to a new job, getting your Texas license is the last thing on your mind. Oh, and the pressure of having only 90 days from the time you move to change your plates, license and registration doesn’t help.

Don’t worry we are here to help the process go smooth and help you reduce your time at the DMV. Here are eight quick tips to make the process go smoothly:

  1. Fill out an Application for Texas Driver License or ID Card, which can be found here.
  2. Before heading to the DMV, get in line online! That’s right, you can check in on the way to the DMV at the following locations: The South Mega Center, Garland Mega Center and Fort Worth Mega Center.
  3. As you head out the door, double check that you have all five necessary documents. Let’s break it down for you:
    1. Proof of identity: a passport, military ID or birth certificate, etc. A complete list of acceptable documents to prove your identity can be found here.  
    2. Proof of residency: Heads up, this step requires two documents that contain your name and Texas address. Some acceptable forms include monthly rent statement; utility, cable or water bill within the last 90 days; car insurance policy, paycheck or stub; or concealed handgun license.
    3. Proof of social security number: Health card with SSN, university transcript with SSN, W-2 or 1099 tax form, pay stub with SSN or SSN card.

Pro Tip: bring your actual SSN card not a photocopy. DMV workers tend to frown on that and point you to the door.

    1. Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence: birth certificate or birth record issued by _____ (insert state name) State Bureau or equivalent U.S. state or local government.
    2. Proof of vehicle insurance: With this document the smiling DMV workers are looking for proof of financial responsibility for each vehicle you have owned. You can also provide a U.S. passport, citizenship certification, permanent resident card just to name a few.
  1. This is the most important and painful step. Ready? Drive to the DMV. I know this can be painful, but try to hold back your tears. You’ve got this.
  2. At the DMV, you’ll have to “surrender” (they make it sound so serious, don’t they?) your previous license.
  3. No matter your age, you have to take the knowledge exam and driving test (unless you’re transferring). Pretty much Texas wants to make sure you know what a stop sign is, how to use your blinker and how to use your break.
    1. If you’re transferring an out-of-state license to Texas, you can skip exam and test mentioned above (lucky you). Instead, you’ll need proof of vehicle registration if the car is in your name and registered in Texas.
  4. Pay $25 for a new license at the DMV.
  5. Once you check DMV off your list, relax. The next steps are easy– seeing when your license will be delivered. All you need is your driver’s license or ID card number and your date of birth (not much brain power required for that).  

Hope this helps! For more DMV information and to find a location near you visit www.dmv.org.

Cassidy Ritter is currently exploring and writing about Texas while dreaming of beaches in Australia. She’s originally from Colorado and a University of Kansas alumni (Rock Chalk). She enjoys traveling everywhere and anywhere so you’ll often catch her exploring a nearby city or her own backyard.

Twitter: @CassidyRitter

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/cassidy-ritter]

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