Law:Title 7. Vehicles And Traffic. Subtitle A. Certificates Of Title And Registration Of Vehicles from Chapter 502. Registration Of Vehicles (Texas)

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Subtitle A. Certificates Of Title And Registration Of Vehicles

Contents

Chapter 502. Registration Of Vehicles

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  502.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "All-terrain vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is:

(A)  equipped with a saddle for the use of:

(i)  the rider; and

(ii)  a passenger, if the motor vehicle is designed by the manufacturer to transport a passenger;

(B)  designed to propel itself with three or more tires in contact with the ground;

(C)  designed by the manufacturer for off-highway use; and

(D)  not designed by the manufacturer primarily for farming or lawn care.

 

Text of subdivision as added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933, Sec. 2E.01

 

(1-a)  "Board" means the board of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

 

Text of subdivision as added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1173, Sec. 1

 

(1-a)  "Commercial fleet" means a group of at least 25 nonapportioned motor vehicles owned by a corporation, limited or general partnership, limited liability company, or other business entity and used for the business purposes of that entity.

(2)  "Commercial motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, designed or used primarily to transport property. The term includes a passenger car reconstructed and used primarily for delivery purposes. The term does not include a passenger car used to deliver the United States mail.

(3)  "Department" means the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

(4)  "Farm semitrailer" means a semitrailer designed and used primarily as a farm vehicle.

(5)  "Farm tractor" means a motor vehicle designed and used primarily as a farm implement for drawing other implements of husbandry.

(6)  "Farm trailer" means a trailer designed and used primarily as a farm vehicle.

(7)  "Golf cart" means a motor vehicle designed by the manufacturer primarily for transporting persons on a golf course.

(8)  "Implements of husbandry" means farm implements, machinery, and tools as used in tilling the soil, including self-propelled machinery specifically designed or adapted for applying plant food materials or agricultural chemicals but not specifically designed or adapted for the sole purpose of transporting the materials or chemicals. The term does not include a passenger car or truck.

(9)  "Light truck" means a commercial motor vehicle that has a manufacturer's rated carrying capacity of one ton or less.

(10)  "Moped" has the meaning assigned by Section 541.201.

(11)  "Motor bus" includes every vehicle used to transport persons on the public highways for compensation, other than:

(A)  a vehicle operated by muscular power; or

(B)  a municipal bus.

(12)  "Motorcycle" means a motor vehicle designed to propel itself with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground. The term does not include a tractor.

(13)  "Motor vehicle" means a vehicle that is self-propelled.

(14)  "Municipal bus" includes every vehicle, other than a passenger car, used to transport persons for compensation exclusively within the limits of a municipality or a suburban addition to the municipality.

(15)  "Operate temporarily on the highways" means to travel between:

(A)  different farms;

(B)  a place of supply or storage and a farm; or

(C)  an owner's farm and the place at which the owner's farm produce is prepared for market or is marketed.

(16)  "Owner" means a person who:

(A)  holds the legal title of a vehicle;

(B)  has the legal right of possession of a vehicle; or

(C)  has the legal right of control of a vehicle.

(17)  "Passenger car" means a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, golf cart, light truck, or bus, designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons.

(18)  "Public highway" includes a road, street, way, thoroughfare, or bridge:

(A)  that is in this state;

(B)  that is for the use of vehicles;

(C)  that is not privately owned or controlled; and

(D)  over which the state has legislative jurisdiction under its police power.

(19)  "Public property" means property owned or leased by this state or a political subdivision of this state.

(19-a)  "Recreational off-highway vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is:

(A)  equipped with a non-straddle seat for the use of:

(i)  the rider; and

(ii)  a passenger, if the vehicle is designed by the manufacturer to transport a passenger;

(B)  designed to propel itself with four or more tires in contact with the ground;

(C)  designed by the manufacturer for off-highway use by the operator only; and

(D)  not designed by the manufacturer primarily for farming or lawn care.

(20)  "Road tractor" means a vehicle designed for the purpose of mowing the right-of-way of a public highway or a motor vehicle designed or used for drawing another vehicle or a load and not constructed to carry:

(A)  an independent load; or

(B)  a part of the weight of the vehicle and load to be drawn.

(21)  "Semitrailer" means a vehicle designed or used with a motor vehicle so that part of the weight of the vehicle and its load rests on or is carried by another vehicle.

(22)  "Trailer" means a vehicle that:

(A)  is designed or used to carry a load wholly on its own structure; and

(B)  is drawn or designed to be drawn by a motor vehicle.

(23)  "Truck-tractor" means a motor vehicle:

(A)  designed and used primarily for drawing another vehicle; and

(B)  not constructed to carry a load other than a part of the weight of the vehicle and load to be drawn.

(24)  "Vehicle" means a device in or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a public highway, other than a device used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 625, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 586, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1280, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933, Sec. 2E.01, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1173, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1232, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  502.002.  Registration Required; General Rule.

(a) The owner of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer shall apply for the registration of the vehicle for:

(1)  each registration year in which the vehicle is used or to be used on a public highway; and

(2)  if the vehicle is unregistered for a registration year that has begun and that applies to the vehicle and if the vehicle is used or to be used on a public highway, the remaining portion of that registration year.

(b)  The application must be made to the department through the county assessor-collector of the county in which the owner resides.

(c)  A provision of this chapter that conflicts with this section prevails over this section to the extent of the conflict.

(d)  A county assessor-collector, a deputy county assessor-collector, or a person acting on behalf of a county assessor-collector is not liable to any person for:

(1)  refusing to register a motor vehicle because of the person's failure to submit evidence of residency that complies with the department's rules; or

(2)  registering a motor vehicle under this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.44(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  502.0021.  Rules And Forms.

(a) The department may adopt rules to administer this chapter.

(b)  The department shall:

(1)  prescribe forms determined by the department to be necessary for the administration of this chapter; and

(2)  provide each county assessor-collector with an adequate supply of each form necessary for the performance of a duty under this chapter by the assessor-collector.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 625, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Renumbered from Sec. 502.009 by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 19.01(100), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section 502.0023.  Extended Registration Of Commercial Fleet Motor Vehicles.

(a) Notwithstanding Section 502.158(c), the department shall develop and implement a system of registration to allow an owner of a commercial fleet to register the motor vehicles in the commercial fleet for an extended registration period of not less than one year or more than eight years.  The owner may select the number of years for registration under this section within that range and register the commercial fleet for that period.  Payment for all registration fees for the entire registration period selected is due at the time of registration.

(b)  A system of extended registration under this section must allow the owner of a commercial fleet to register:

(1)  an entire commercial fleet in the county of the owner's residence or principal place of business; or

(2)  the motor vehicles in a commercial fleet that are operated most regularly in the same county.

(c)  In addition to the registration fees prescribed by Subchapter D, an owner registering a commercial fleet under this section shall pay:

(1)  an annual commercial fleet registration fee of $10 per motor vehicle in the fleet; and

(2)  except as provided by Subsection (e), a one-time license plate manufacturing fee of $1.50 for each fleet motor vehicle license plate.

(d)  A license plate issued under this section:

(1)  may, on request of the owner, include the name or logo of the business entity that owns the vehicle;

(2)  must include the expiration date of the registration period; and

(3)  does not require an annual registration insignia to be valid.

(e)  In addition to all other applicable registration fees, an owner registering a commercial fleet under this section shall pay a one-time license plate manufacturing fee of $8 for each set of plates issued that includes on the legend the name or logo of the business entity that owns the vehicle instead of the fee imposed by Subsection (c)(2).

(f)  If a motor vehicle registered under this section has a gross weight in excess of 10,000 pounds, the department shall also issue a registration card for the vehicle that is valid for the selected registration period.

(g)  The department shall adopt rules to implement this section, including rules on suspension from the commercial fleet program for failure to comply with this section or rules adopted under this section.

(h)  The department and the counties in their budgeting processes shall consider any temporary increases and resulting decreases in revenue that will result from the use of the process provided under this section.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1173, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1232, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  502.0025.  Effect Of Certain Military Service On Registration Requirement.

(a) This section applies only to a motor vehicle that is owned by a person who:

(1)  is a resident of this state;

(2)  is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States;

(3)  is stationed in or has been assigned to another nation under military orders; and

(4)  has registered the vehicle or been issued a license for the vehicle under the applicable status of forces agreement by:

(A)  the appropriate branch of the armed forces of the United States; or

(B)  the nation in which the person is stationed or to which the person has been assigned.

(b)  Unless the registration or license issued for a vehicle described by Subsection (a) is suspended, canceled, or revoked by this state as provided by law:

(1)  Section 502.002(a) does not apply; and

(2)  the registration or license issued by the armed forces or host nation remains valid and the motor vehicle may be operated in this state under that registration or license for a period of not more than 90 days after the date on which the vehicle returns to this state.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 836, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  502.003.  Registration By Political Subdivision Prohibited.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a political subdivision of this state may not require an owner of a motor vehicle to:

(1)  register the vehicle;

(2)  pay a motor vehicle registration fee; or

(3)  pay an occupation tax or license fee in connection with a motor vehicle.

(b)  This section does not affect the authority of a municipality to:

(1)  license and regulate the use of motor vehicles for compensation within the municipal limits; and

(2)  impose a permit fee or street rental charge for the operation of each motor vehicle used to transport passengers for compensation, other than a motor vehicle operating under a registration certificate from the department or a permit from the federal Surface Transportation Board.

(c)  A fee or charge under Subsection (b) may not exceed two percent of the annual gross receipts from the vehicle.

(d)  This section does not impair the payment provisions of an agreement or franchise between a municipality and the owners or operators of motor vehicles used to transport passengers for compensation.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.45, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  502.004.  Collection Of Fees.

A person may not collect a registration fee under this chapter unless the person is:

(1)  an officer or employee of the department; or

(2)  a county assessor-collector or a deputy county assessor-collector.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.005.  Refusal To Register Unsafe Vehicle.

(a) The department may refuse to register a motor vehicle and may revoke a registration if the department determines that a motor vehicle is unsafe, improperly equipped, or otherwise unfit to be operated on a public highway.

(b)  The department may refuse to register a motorcycle and may suspend or revoke the registration of a motorcycle if the department determines that the motorcycle's braking system does not comply with Section 547.408.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section 502.006.  Certain Off-highway Vehicles.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person may not register an all-terrain vehicle or a recreational off-highway vehicle, with or without design alterations, for operation on a public highway.

(b)  The state, a county, or a municipality may register an all-terrain vehicle or a recreational off-highway vehicle for operation on a public beach or highway to maintain public safety and welfare.

(c)  A recreational off-highway vehicle registered as provided by Subsection (b) may be operated on a public or private beach in the same manner as a golf cart may be operated on a public or private beach under Section 502.0071.  The operator must hold and have in the operator's possession a driver's license issued under Chapter 521 or a commercial driver's license issued under Chapter 522.

(d)  Section 502.172 does not apply to an all-terrain vehicle or a recreational off-highway vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 311, Sec. 1, eff. May 29, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1280, Sec. 6, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  502.0072.  Manufactured Housing.

Manufactured housing, as defined by Section 1201.003, Occupations Code, is not a vehicle subject to this chapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  502.0073.  Power Sweepers.

(a) An owner of a power sweeper is not required to register the power sweeper.

(b)  In this section, "power sweeper" means an implement, with or without motive power, designed for the removal by broom, vacuum, or regenerative air system of debris, dirt, gravel, litter, or sand from asphaltic concrete or cement concrete surfaces, including surfaces of parking lots, roads, streets, highways, and warehouse floors. The term includes a vehicle on which the implement is permanently mounted if the vehicle is used only as a power sweeper.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  502.0074.  Motorized Mobility Device.

The owner of a motorized mobility device, as defined by Section 542.008, as amended by Chapter 497, Acts of the 77th Legislature, Regular Session, 2001, is not required to register the motorized mobility device.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  502.0075.  Electric Bicycles. (a)

In this section, "electric bicycle" has the meaning assigned by Section 541.201.

(b)  This chapter does not require the owner of an electric bicycle to register the electric bicycle.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1085, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  502.0078.  Vehicles Operated On Public Highway Separating Real Property Under Vehicle Owner's Control.

Where a public highway separates real property under the control of the owner of a motor vehicle, the operation of the motor vehicle by the owner or the owner's agent or employee across the highway is not a use of the motor vehicle on the public highway.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  502.0079.  Vehicles Operated By Certain Nonresidents.

(a) A nonresident owner of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that is registered in the state or country in which the person resides may operate the vehicle to transport persons or property for compensation without being registered in this state, if the person does not exceed two trips in a calendar month and each trip does not exceed four days.

(b)  A nonresident owner of a privately owned vehicle that is not registered in this state may not make more than five occasional trips in any calendar month into this state using the vehicle. Each occasional trip into this state may not exceed five days.

(c)  A nonresident owner of a privately owned passenger car that is registered in the state or country in which the person resides and that is not operated for compensation may operate the car in this state for the period in which the car's license plates are valid. In this subsection, "nonresident" means a resident of a state or country other than this state whose presence in this state is as a visitor and who does not engage in gainful employment or enter into business or an occupation, except as may otherwise be provided by any reciprocal agreement with another state or country.

(d)  This section does not prevent:

(1)  a nonresident owner of a motor vehicle from operating the vehicle in this state for the sole purpose of marketing farm products raised exclusively by the person; or

(2)  a resident of an adjoining state or country from operating in this state a privately owned and registered vehicle to go to and from the person's place of regular employment and to make trips to purchase merchandise, if the vehicle is not operated for compensation.

(e)  The privileges provided by this section may be allowed only if, under the laws of the appropriate state or country, similar privileges are granted to vehicles registered under the laws of this state and owned by residents of this state.

(f)  This section does not affect the right or status of a vehicle owner under any reciprocal agreement between this state and another state or country.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  502.008.  Release Of Information In Vehicle Registration Records.

(a) The department or a county may not release to any person information contained in vehicle registration records in response to a telephone inquiry by license number. The department or a county may release information only if the person:

(1)  submits in writing a request that:

(A)  provides the person's name and address; and

(B)  states that the use of the information is for a lawful and legitimate purpose; or

(2)  enters into a written service agreement with the department or county to receive the information.

(b)  This section does not apply to the release of information to:

(1)  a peace officer, as defined in Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, acting in an official capacity; or

(2)  an official of this state or a political subdivision of this state if the official is requesting the information for:

(A)  tax purposes; or

(B)  the purpose of determining eligibility for a state public assistance program.

(c)  The department shall provide a dedicated line to its vehicle registration record database for use by other state agencies. The access to or transmission of information under this subsection does not affect whether the information is subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.

(d)  This section does not authorize the release of information that is prohibited from disclosure under Chapter 730.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.46(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1187, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  502.009.  Motor Vehicle Emissions Inspection And Maintenance Requirements. (a) The

Department of Public Safety shall ensure compliance with the motor vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program through a vehicle inspection sticker-based enforcement system except as provided by this section or Section 548.3011. Subsections (b)-(e) apply only if the United States Environmental Protection Agency determines that the state has not demonstrated, as required by 40 C.F.R. Section 51.361, that sticker-based enforcement of the program is more effective than registration-based enforcement and gives the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission or the governor written notification that the reregistration-based enforcement of the program, as described by those subsections, will be required. If Subsections (b)-(e) are made applicable as provided by this subsection, the department shall terminate reregistration-based enforcement of the program under those subsections on the date the United States Environmental Protection Agency gives the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission or a person the commission designates written notification that reregistration-based enforcement is not required for the state implementation plan.

(b)  The department may not register a motor vehicle if the department receives from the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission or the Department of Public Safety notification that the registered owner of the vehicle has not complied with Subchapter F, Chapter 548.

(c)  The county tax assessor-collector may not register a vehicle denied registration under Subsection (b) unless the tax assessor-collector has verification that the registered vehicle owner is in compliance with Subchapter F, Chapter 548.

(d)  The department, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, and the Department of Public Safety shall enter an agreement regarding the responsibilities for costs associated with implementing this section.

(e)  A county tax assessor-collector is not liable to any person for refusing to register a motor vehicle because of the person's failure to provide verification of the person's compliance with Subchapter F, Chapter 548.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1069, Sec. 3, eff. June 19, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1075, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Subchapter B. State Administration

Section 502.051.  Deposit Of Registration Fees In State Highway Fund.

Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, the board and the department shall deposit all money received from registration fees in the state treasury to the credit of the state highway fund.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933, Sec. 2E.02, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  502.052.  Design Of License Plates And Registration Insignia; Reflectorized Material.

(a) The department shall prepare the designs and specifications of license plates and devices selected by the board to be used as the registration insignia.

(b)  The department shall design each license plate to include a design at least one-half inch wide that represents in silhouette the shape of Texas and that appears between letters and numerals. The department may omit the silhouette of Texas from specially designed license plates.

(c)  To promote highway safety, each license plate shall be made with a reflectorized material that provides effective and dependable brightness for the period for which the plate is issued.  The purchase of reflectorized material shall be submitted to the comptroller for approval.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 937, Sec. 1.113, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933, Sec. 2E.03, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  502.053.  Cost Of Manufacturing License Plates Or Registration Insignia.

(a) The department shall reimburse the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the cost of manufacturing license plates or registration insignia as the license plates or insignia and the invoice for the license plates or insignia are delivered to the department.

(b)  When manufacturing is started, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the department, and the comptroller, after negotiation, shall set the price to be paid for each license plate or insignia.  The price must be determined from:

(1)  the cost of metal, paint, and other materials purchased;

(2)  the inmate maintenance cost per day;

(3)  overhead expenses;

(4)  miscellaneous charges; and

(5)  a previously approved amount of profit for the work.

(c)  The annual profit received by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice from all contracts for the manufacturing of license plates or related manufacturing may not be less than the profit received by the Texas Department of Corrections for manufacturing license plates for use in 1974.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1056, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 937, Sec. 1.114, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933, Sec. 2E.04, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  502.054.  Agreements With Other Jurisdictions; Offense.

(a) The department, through its director, may enter into an agreement with an authorized officer of another jurisdiction, including another state of the United States, a foreign country or a state, province, territory, or possession of a foreign country, to provide for:

(1)  the registration of vehicles by residents of this state and nonresidents on an allocation or mileage apportionment plan, as under the International Registration Plan; and

(2)  the exemption from payment of registration fees by nonresidents if residents of this state are granted reciprocal exemptions.

(b)  The department may adopt and enforce rules to carry out the International Registration Plan or other agreement under this section.

(c)  To carry out the International Registration Plan or other agreement under this section, the department shall direct that fees collected for other jurisdictions under the agreement be deposited to the credit of the proportional registration distributive fund in the state treasury and distributed to the appropriate jurisdiction through that fund.

(d)  This section prevails to the extent of conflict with another law relating to the subject of this section.

(e)  A person commits an offense if the person owns or operates a vehicle not registered in this state in violation of:

(1)  an agreement under this section; or

(2)  the applicable registration laws of this state, in the absence of an agreement under this section.

(f)  An offense under Subsection (e) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1215, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  502.055.  Determination Of Weight.

(a) The weight, net weight, or gross weight of a vehicle, as determined by the department, is the correct weight for registration purposes, regardless of any other purported weight of the vehicle.

(b)  The department may require an applicant for registration under this chapter to provide the department with evidence of:

(1)  the manufacturer's rated carrying capacity for the vehicle;

(2)  the nominal tonnage rating of the vehicle;

(3)  the gross weight rating of the vehicle; or

(4)  any combination of information described in Subdivisions (1)-(3).

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 625, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  502.056.  Disputed Classification Of Vehicle.

In a disputed case, the department may determine:

(1)  the classification to which a vehicle belongs; and

(2)  the amount of the registration fee for the vehicle.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter C. County Administration

Section  502.101.  Registration By Mail Or Electronic Means; Service Charge.

(a) A county assessor-collector may collect a service charge of $1 from each applicant registering a vehicle by mail. The service charge shall be used to pay the costs of handling and postage to mail the registration receipt and insignia to the applicant.

(b)  With the approval of the commissioners court of a county, a county assessor-collector may contract with a private entity to enable an applicant for registration to use an electronic off-premises location. A private entity may charge an applicant not more than $1 for the service provided.

(c)  The department may adopt rules to cover the timely application for and issuance of registration receipts and insignia by mail or through an electronic off-premises location.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.102.  Disposition Of Fees Generally.

(a) Except as provided by Sections 502.103 and 502.104, this section applies to all fees collected by a county assessor-collector under this chapter.

(4) Expired.

(b)  Each Monday, a county assessor-collector shall credit to the county road and bridge fund an amount equal to the net collections made during the preceding week until the amount so credited for the calendar year equals the total of:

(1)  $60,000;

(2)  $350 for each mile of county road maintained by the county, according to the most recent information available from the department, not to exceed 500 miles; and

(3)  an additional amount of fees equal to the amount calculated under Section 502.1025.

(c)  After the credits to the county road and bridge fund equal the total computed under Subsection (b), each Monday the county assessor-collector shall:

(1)  credit to the county road and bridge fund an amount equal to 50 percent of the net collections made during the preceding week, until the amount so credited for the calendar year equals $125,000; and

(2)  send to the department an amount equal to 50 percent of those collections.

(d)  After the credits to the county road and bridge fund equal the total amounts computed under Subsections (b) and (c)(1), each Monday the county assessor-collector shall send to the department all collections made during the preceding week.

(e)  Each Monday the county assessor-collector shall send to the department a copy of each receipt issued the previous week for a registration fee under this chapter.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 9.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.



Section  502.1025.  Calculation Of Additional Fee Amounts Retained By A County.

(a) The county tax assessor-collector each calendar year shall calculate five percent of the tax and penalties collected by the county tax assessor-collector under Chapter 152, Tax Code, in the preceding calendar year. In addition, the county tax assessor-collector shall calculate each calendar year an amount equal to five percent of the tax and penalties that the comptroller:

(1)  collected under Section 152.047, Tax Code, in the preceding calendar year; and

(2)  determines are attributable to sales in the county.

(b)  A county tax assessor-collector shall retain under Section 502.102(b) fees based on the following percentage of the amounts calculated under subsection (a) during each of the following fiscal years:

(1)  in fiscal year 2006, 90 percent;

(2)  in fiscal year 2007, 80 percent;

(3)  in fiscal year 2008, 70 percent;

(4)  in fiscal year 2009, 60 percent;

(5)  in fiscal year 2010, 50 percent;

(6)  in fiscal year 2011, 40 percent;

(7)  in fiscal year 2012, 30 percent;

(8)  in fiscal year 2013, 20 percent;

(9)  in fiscal year 2014, 10 percent;

(10)  in fiscal year 2015 and succeeding years, 0 percent.

(c)  The county shall credit the amounts retained under Subsection (b) to the county road and bridge fund. Money credited to the fund under this section may only be used for:

(1)  county road construction, maintenance, and repair;

(2)  bridge construction, maintenance, and repair;

(3)  the purchase of right-of-way for road or highway purposes; or

(4)  the relocation of utilities for road or highway purposes.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 9.03, eff. Sept. 1, 2005.



Section  502.103.  Disposition Of Optional County Road And Bridge Fee.

Each Monday a county assessor-collector shall apportion the collections for the preceding week for a fee imposed under Section 502.172 by:

(1)  crediting an amount equal to 97 percent of the collections to the county road and bridge fund; and

(2)  sending to the department an amount equal to three percent of the collections to defray the department's costs of administering Section 502.172.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.104.  Disposition Of Certain Special Fees.

Each Monday a county assessor-collector shall send to the department an amount equal to collections for the preceding week for:

(1)  each transfer fee collected under Section 502.175; and

(2)  each fee collected under Section 502.169(b), 502.1715, or 502.279.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 19B.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  502.105.  Report Of Fees Collected. Together

with each remittance of fees under Sections 502.102, 502.103, and 502.104, a county assessor-collector shall send to the department a complete report of the fees collected and the disposition of those fees. The department shall prescribe the form and the content requirements of the report.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.106.  Deposit Of Fees In Interest-bearing Account.

(a) Except as provided by Sections 502.103 and 502.104, a county assessor-collector may:

(1)  deposit the fees in an interest-bearing account or certificate in the county depository; and

(2)  send the fees to the department not later than the 34th day after the date the fees are due under Section 502.104.

(b)  The county owns all interest earned on fees deposited under this section. The county treasurer shall credit the interest to the county general fund.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.107.  Interest On Fees.

(a) A fee required to be sent to the department under this chapter bears interest for the benefit of the state highway fund at an annual rate of 10 percent beginning on the 60th day after the date the county assessor-collector collects the fee.

(b)  The department shall audit the registration and transfer fees collected and disbursed by each county assessor-collector and shall determine the exact amount of interest due on any fee not sent to the department.

(c)  The state has a claim against a county assessor-collector and the sureties on the assessor-collector's official bond for the amount of interest due on a fee.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.108.  Use Of Registration Fees Retained By County.

(a) Money credited to the county road and bridge fund under Section 502.102 or 502.103 may not be used to pay the compensation of the county judge or a county commissioner. The money may be used only for the construction and maintenance of lateral roads in the county, under the supervision of the county engineer.

(b)  If there is not a county engineer, the commissioners court of the county may require the services of the department's district engineer or resident engineer to supervise the construction and surveying of lateral roads in the county.

(c)  A county may use money allocated to it under this chapter to:

(1)  pay obligations issued in the construction or improvement of any roads, including state highways in the county;

(2)  improve the roads in the county road system; or

(3)  construct new roads.

(d)  To the maximum extent possible, contracts for roads constructed by a county using funds provided under this chapter should be awarded by competitive bids.

(1) Expired.

(2) Expired.

(3) Expired.

(4) Expired.

(e)  Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 9.04, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

(f)  Repealed by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.47, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.47, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 9.04, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  502.109.  Compensation Of Assessor-collector.

(a) A county assessor-collector shall receive a fee of $1.90 for each receipt issued under this chapter. If the assessor-collector may be compensated by fees, a fee received is compensation for services under this chapter. The assessor-collector shall deduct the fee weekly from the gross collections made under this chapter.

(b)  A county assessor-collector who is compensated under this section shall pay the entire expense of issuing registration receipts and license plates under this chapter from the compensation allowed under this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.44(b), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  502.110.  Contingent Provision For Distribution Of Fees Between State And Counties.

If the method of distributing vehicle registration fees collected under this chapter between the state and counties is declared invalid because of inequality of collection or distribution of those fees, 60 percent of each fee shall be distributed to the county collecting the fee and 40 percent shall be sent to the state in the manner provided by this chapter.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.111.  Branch Offices.

(a) The commissioners court of a county may authorize the county assessor-collector to:

(1)  establish a suboffice or branch office for vehicle registration at one or more locations in the county other than the county courthouse; or

(2)  appoint a deputy to register vehicles in the same manner and with the same authority as though done in the office of the assessor-collector.

(b)  The report of vehicles registered through a suboffice or branch office shall be made through the office of the county assessor-collector.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.112.  Deputy Assessor-collectors.

(a) A county assessor-collector, with the approval of the commissioners court of the county, may deputize an individual or business entity to:

(1)  issue motor vehicle registration receipts as a limited-service deputy; or

(2)  issue motor vehicle registration receipts and prepare or accept applications for title transfers as a full-service deputy.

(b)  An individual or business entity is eligible to be deputized as a limited-service deputy if the person:

(1)  is trained to issue registration receipts by the county assessor-collector; and

(2)  posts a bond payable to the county assessor-collector:

(A)  in an amount determined by the assessor-collector; and

(B)  conditioned on the person's proper accounting and remittance of all fees the person collects.

(c)  An individual or business entity is eligible to be deputized as a full-service deputy if the person:

(1)  meets the requirements of Subsection (b); and

(2)  has experience in title transfers.

(d)  A person deputized under this section shall keep a separate account of the fees collected and a record of daily receipts.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.113.  Limited-service Deputies.

(a) A limited-service deputy appointed under Section 502.112 may only accept registration renewal cards provided by the department and may not prepare or accept an application for title transfer.

(b)  The county assessor-collector may pay a limited-service deputy an amount not to exceed the fee the assessor-collector could collect under Section 502.109(a) for each registration receipt issued. The commissioners court of the county may permit a limited-service deputy to charge and retain an additional fee not to exceed $1 for each registration receipt issued.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.114.  Full-service Deputies.

(a) A full-service deputy appointed under Section 502.112 shall accept any application for registration, registration renewal, or title transfer that the county assessor-collector may accept.

(b)  A full-service deputy may charge and retain an additional motor vehicle registration fee not to exceed $5 for each motor vehicle registration issued.

(c)  A county assessor-collector may delegate to a full-service deputy, in the manner selected by the assessor-collector, the authority to use data processing equipment and software provided by the department for use in the titling and registration of motor vehicles. The department may not limit a county assessor-collector's ability to delegate the assessor-collector's functions regarding the titling and registration of motor vehicles to a qualified full-service deputy in the manner the assessor-collector considers appropriate.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter D. Registration Procedures And Fees

Section  502.151.  Application For Registration.

(a) An application for vehicle registration must:

(1)  be made on a form furnished by the department;

(2)  contain the full name and address of the owner of the vehicle;

(3)  contain a brief description of the vehicle;

(4)  contain any other information required by the department; and

(5)  be signed by the owner.

(b)  For a new motor vehicle, the description of the vehicle must include the vehicle's:

(1)  trade name;

(2)  year model;

(3)  style and type of body;

(4)  weight, if the vehicle is a passenger car;

(5)  net carrying capacity and gross weight, if the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle;

(6)  vehicle identification number; and

(7)  date of sale by the manufacturer or dealer to the applicant.

(c)  An applicant for registration of a commercial motor vehicle, truck-tractor, trailer, or semitrailer must deliver to the county assessor-collector an affidavit showing the weight of the vehicle, the maximum load to be carried on the vehicle, and the gross weight for which the vehicle is to be registered. The assessor-collector shall keep the affidavit on file.

(d)  In lieu of filing an application during a year as provided by Subsection (a), the owner of a vehicle registered in any state for that year or the preceding year may present the registration receipt and transfer receipt, if any. The county assessor-collector shall accept the receipt as an application for renewal of the registration if the receipt indicates the applicant owns the vehicle.

(e)  If an owner or claimed owner has lost or misplaced the registration receipt or transfer receipt for the vehicle, the county assessor-collector shall register the vehicle on the person's furnishing to the assessor-collector satisfactory evidence, by affidavit or otherwise, that the person owns the vehicle.

(f)  A county assessor-collector shall date each registration receipt issued for a vehicle with the date on which the application for registration is made.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section 502.1515.  Outsourcing Production Of Renewal Notices; Paid Advertising.

The board may authorize the department to enter into a contract with a private vendor to produce and distribute motor vehicle registration renewal notices.  The contract may provide for the inclusion of paid advertising in the registration renewal notice packet.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281, Sec. 2.85, eff. June 14, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933, Sec. 2E.05, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  502.152.  Certificate Of Title Required For Registration.

(a) The department may not register or renew the registration of a motor vehicle for which a certificate of title is required under Chapter 501 unless the owner:

(1)  obtains a certificate of title for the vehicle; or

(2)  presents satisfactory evidence that a certificate of title was previously issued to the owner by the department or another jurisdiction.

(b)  This section does not apply to an automobile that was purchased new before January 1, 1936.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 67, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  502.153.  Evidence Of Financial Responsibility. (a)

Except as provided by Subsection (j), the owner of a motor vehicle, other than a trailer or semitrailer, for which evidence of financial responsibility is required by Section 601.051 or a person who represents the owner for purposes of registering a motor vehicle shall submit evidence of financial responsibility with the application for registration under Section 502.151. A county assessor-collector may not register the motor vehicle unless the owner or the owner's representative submits the evidence of financial responsibility.

(b)  The county assessor-collector shall examine the evidence of financial responsibility to determine whether it complies with Subsection (c). After examining the evidence, the assessor-collector shall return the evidence unless it is in the form of a photocopy or an electronic submission.

(c)  In this section, evidence of financial responsibility may be:

(1)  a document listed under Section 601.053(a);

(2)  a liability self-insurance or pool coverage document issued by a political subdivision or governmental pool under the authority of Chapter 791, Government Code, Chapter 119, Local Government Code, or other applicable law in at least the minimum amounts required by Chapter 601;

(3)  a photocopy of a document described by Subdivision (1) or (2); or

(4)  an electronic submission of a document or the information contained in a document described by Subdivision (1) or (2).

(d)  A personal automobile policy used as evidence of financial responsibility under this section must comply with Article 5.06 or 5.145, Insurance Code.

(e)  At the time of registration, the county assessor-collector shall provide to a person registering a motor vehicle a separate statement that the motor vehicle being registered may not be operated in this state unless:

(1)  liability insurance coverage for the motor vehicle in at least the minimum amounts required by law remains in effect to insure against potential losses; or

(2)  the motor vehicle is exempt from the insurance requirement because the person has established financial responsibility in a manner described by Section 601.051(2)-(5) or is exempt under Section 601.052.

(f)  A county assessor-collector is not liable to any person for refusing to register a motor vehicle to which this section applies because of the person's failure to submit evidence of financial responsibility that complies with Subsection (c).

(g)  A county, a county assessor-collector, a deputy county assessor-collector, a person acting for or on behalf of a county or a county assessor-collector, or a person acting on behalf of an owner for purposes of registering a motor vehicle is not liable to any person for registering a motor vehicle under this section.

(h)  This section does not prevent a person from registering a motor vehicle by mail or through an electronic submission.

(i)  To be valid under this section, an electronic submission must be in a format that is:

(1)  submitted by electronic means, including a telephone, facsimile machine, or computer;

(2)  approved by the department; and

(3)  authorized by the commissioners court for use in the county.

(j)  This section does not apply to a vehicle registered pursuant to Section 501.0234.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 148, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 28, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 206, Sec. 21.45, eff. June 11, 2003.



Section  502.1535.  Evidence Of Vehicle Emissions Inspection.

A county assessor-collector may not register a motor vehicle subject to Section 548.3011 unless proof that the vehicle has passed a vehicle emissions test as required by that section, in a form authorized by that section, is presented to the county assessor-collector with the application for registration.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1075, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  502.154.  Report By County Assessor-collector.

A county assessor-collector shall submit an annual report to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission and the department that shows:

(1)  the number of registrations denied because of the applicant's failure to provide an original emissions inspection certificate or a valid waiver;

(2)  the number of registrations denied because of the failure to provide proof of residency; and

(3)  an itemized accounting of the costs to the county of administering Sections 502.002 and 502.006(a), (b), and (c).

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.44(c), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  502.156.  Statement Required For Rebuilt Vehicles.

A county assessor-collector shall require an applicant for registration of a rebuilt vehicle to provide a statement that the vehicle is rebuilt and that states the name of each person from whom the parts used in assembling the vehicle were obtained.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.157.  Initial Registration.

(a) Notwithstanding Section 502.002, when a motor vehicle must be registered before an application for a certificate of title will be accepted, the owner of the vehicle may concurrently apply for a certificate of title and for registration through the county assessor-collector of the county in which:

(1)  the owner resides; or

(2)  the vehicle is purchased or encumbered.

(b)  The first time an owner applies for registration of a vehicle, the owner may demonstrate compliance with Section 502.153(a) as to the vehicle by showing proof of financial responsibility in any manner specified in Section 502.153(c) as to:

(1)  any vehicle of the owner; or

(2)  any vehicle used as part of the consideration for the purchase of the vehicle the owner applies to register.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.158.  Registration Year.

(a) The department shall designate a vehicle registration year of 12 consecutive months to begin on the first day of a calendar month and end on the last day of the 12th calendar month.

(b)  The department shall designate vehicle registration years so as to distribute the work of the department and the county assessor-collectors as uniformly as possible throughout the year. The department may establish separate registration years for any vehicle or classification of vehicle and may adopt rules to administer the year-round registration system.

(c)  The department may designate a registration period of less than 12 months. The registration fee for a registration period of less than 12 months is computed at a rate of one-twelfth the annual registration fee multiplied by the number of months in the registration period. The department may not designate a registration period of more than 12 months, but:

(1)  with the consent of the department, an owner may pay registration fees for a designated period of more than 12 months; and

(2)  an owner of a vehicle may pay registration fees for a designated period of 12, 24, or 36 months.

(d)  An application for registration shall be made during the two months preceding the date on which the registration expires.

(e)  The fee to be paid for renewing a registration is the fee that will be in effect on the first day of the vehicle registration year.

(f)  Repealed by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 641, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 1999.

(g)  The department shall issue the applicant for registration who pays registration fees for a designated period of 24 or 36 months a registration receipt and registration insignia that are valid until the expiration of the designated period.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 433, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 641, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  502.1585.  Designation Of Registration Period By Owner.

(a) This section applies only to a person who owns more than one motor vehicle or trailer that is subject to registration under this chapter.

(b)  Notwithstanding Section 502.158, the owner of a motor vehicle or a trailer may designate an initial or a renewal registration period for that vehicle so that the registration period for the vehicle or trailer expires on the same date as the registration period for another vehicle or trailer previously registered by that owner.

(c)  A registration period designated under this section must begin on the first day of a calendar month and end on the last day of a calendar month and may not be for less than 12 months.

(d)  The registration fee for a registration period designated under this section is computed at a rate of one-twelfth the annual registration fee multiplied by the number of months in the designated registration period.

(e)  The department shall issue an applicant for registration who pays registration fees for a designated period under this section a registration receipt and registration insignia that are valid until the expiration of the designated period.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1197, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  502.1586.  Registration Period For Truck-tractor Or Commercial Motor Vehicle Transporting Seasonal Agricultural Products.

(a) The department shall provide for a monthly registration period for a truck-tractor or a commercial motor vehicle that:

(1)  is used exclusively to transport a seasonal agricultural product; and

(2)  would otherwise be registered for a vehicle registration year.

(b)  The department shall adopt forms for registration under this section. An applicant must indicate the number of months registration is applied for.

(c)  The department shall design, prescribe, and furnish a registration receipt that is valid until the expiration of the designated registration period.

(d)  The registration fee for a registration under this section is computed at a rate of one-twelfth the annual registration fee under Section 502.162, 502.163, or 502.167, as applicable, multiplied by the number of months in the registration period specified in the application for the registration.

(e)  A person issued a registration under this section commits an offense if the person, during the registration period for the truck-tractor or commercial motor vehicle, uses the truck-tractor or commercial motor vehicle for a purpose other than to transport a seasonal agricultural product.

(f)  A truck-tractor or commercial motor vehicle may not be registered under this section for a registration period that is less than one month or longer than six months.

(g)  For purposes of this section, "to transport a seasonal agricultural product" includes any transportation activity necessary for the production, harvest, or delivery of an agricultural product that is produced seasonally.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 732, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 832, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Renumbered from Sec. 502.1585 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 21.001(105), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  502.159.  Schedule Of Fees.

The department shall compile and furnish to each county assessor-collector a complete schedule of registration fees to be collected on the various makes, models, and types of vehicles.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section 502.160.  Fee: Motorcycle Or Moped.

The fee for a registration year for registration of a motorcycle or moped is $30.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2011.



Section 502.161.  Fee: Vehicles That Weigh 6,000 Pounds Or Less.

(a) The fee for a registration year for registration of a vehicle with a gross weight of 6,000 pounds or less is $50.75, unless otherwise provided in this chapter.

(b)  Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 39(2), eff. September 1, 2011.

(c)  For registration purposes, the weight of a passenger car, a municipal bus, or a private bus is the weight generally accepted as its correct shipping weight plus 100 pounds.

(d)  In this section, "private bus" has the meaning assigned by Section 502.294.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 625, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 39(2), eff. September 1, 2011.



Section 502.162.  Fee: Vehicles That Weigh More Than 6,000 Pounds.

(a) The fee for a registration year for registration of a vehicle with a gross weight of more than 6,000 pounds is as follows unless otherwise provided in this chapter:

Weight Classification Fee Schedule
in pounds
6,001-10,000 $54.00
10,001-18,000 $110.00
18,001-25,999 $205.00
26,000-40,000 $340.00
40,001-54,999 $535.00
55,000-70,000 $740.00
70,001-80,000 $840.00

(b)  The gross weight of a vehicle is the actual weight of the vehicle, fully equipped with a body and other equipment, as certified by a public weigher or a license and weight inspector of the Department of Public Safety, plus its net carrying capacity.

(c)  The net carrying capacity of a vehicle other than a bus is the heaviest net load to be carried on the vehicle, but not less than the manufacturer's rated carrying capacity.

(d)  The net carrying capacity of a bus is computed by multiplying its seating capacity by 150 pounds. The seating capacity of a bus is:

(1)  the manufacturer's rated seating capacity, excluding the operator's seat; or

(2)  if the manufacturer has not rated the vehicle for seating capacity, a number computed by allowing one passenger for each 16 inches of seating on the bus, excluding the operator's seat.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 20, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2011.



Section  502.163.  Fee: Commercial Motor Vehicle Used Primarily For Farm Purposes; Offense.

(a) The registration fee for a commercial motor vehicle as a farm vehicle is 50 percent of the applicable fee under Section 502.162 if the vehicle's owner will use the vehicle for commercial purposes only to transport:

(1)  the person's own poultry, dairy, livestock, livestock products, timber in its natural state, or farm products to market or another place for sale or processing;

(2)  laborers from their place of residence to the owner's farm or ranch; or

(3)  without charge, materials, tools, equipment, or supplies from the place of purchase or storage to the owner's farm or ranch exclusively for the owner's use or for use on the farm or ranch.

(b)  A commercial motor vehicle may be registered under this section despite its use for transporting without charge the owner or a member of the owner's family:

(1)  to attend church or school;

(2)  to visit a doctor for medical treatment or supplies; or

(3)  for other necessities of the home or family.

(c)  Subsection (b) does not permit the use of a vehicle registered under this section in connection with gainful employment other than farming or ranching.

(d)  The department shall provide distinguishing license plates for a vehicle registered under this section.

(e)  The owner of a commercial motor vehicle registered under this section commits an offense if the person uses or permits to be used the vehicle for a purpose other than one permitted by this section. Each use or permission for use in violation of this section is a separate offense.

(f)  An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $200.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.164.  Fee: Motor Vehicle Used Exclusively To Transport And Spread Fertilizer.

The fee for a registration year for registration of a motor vehicle designed or modified and used exclusively to transport to the field and spread fertilizer, including agricultural limestone, is $75.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section 502.165.  Fee: Road Tractor.

The fee for a registration year for registration of a road tractor is the fee prescribed by weight as certified by a public weigher or a license and weight inspector of the Department of Public Safety under Section 502.161 or 502.162, as applicable.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2011.



Section 502.166.  Fee: Trailer, Travel Trailer, Or Semitrailer. (a

) The fee for a registration year for registration of a trailer, travel trailer, or semitrailer with a gross weight of 6,000 pounds or less is $45.00.

(a-1)  The fee for a registration year for registration of a trailer, travel trailer, or semitrailer with a gross weight of more than 6,000 pounds is calculated by gross weight according to Section 502.162.

(b)  The gross weight of a trailer or semitrailer is the actual weight of the vehicle, as certified by a public weigher or a license and weight inspector of the Department of Public Safety, plus its net carrying capacity.

(c)  The net carrying capacity of a vehicle is the heaviest net load to be carried on the vehicle, but not less than the manufacturer's rated carrying capacity.

(d)  The department may issue specially designed license plates for rental trailers and travel trailers that include, as appropriate, the words "rental trailer" or "travel trailer."

(e)  In this section:

(1)  "Rental fleet" means five or more vehicles that are:

(A)  owned by the same owner;

(B)  offered for rent or rented without drivers; and

(C)  designated by the owner in the manner prescribed by the department as a rental fleet.

(2)  "Rental trailer" means a utility trailer that:

(A)  has a gross weight of 4,000 pounds or less; and

(B)  is part of a rental fleet.

(3)  "Travel trailer" means a house trailer-type vehicle or a camper trailer that is:

(A)  less than eight feet in width or 40 feet in length, exclusive of any hitch installed on the vehicle; and

(B)  designed primarily for use as temporary living quarters in connection with recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use and not as a permanent dwelling; provided that "travel trailer" shall not include a utility trailer, enclosed trailer, or other trailer not having human habitation as its primary purpose.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 625, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 23, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 24, eff. September 1, 2011.



Section  502.167.  Truck-tractor Or Commercial Motor Vehicle Combination Fee; Semitrailer Token Fee.

(a) This section applies only to a truck-tractor or commercial motor vehicle with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds that is used or is to be used in combination with a semitrailer that has a gross weight of more than 6,000 pounds.

(b)  The fee for a registration year for registration of a truck-tractor or commercial motor vehicle is calculated by gross weight according to Section 502.162.

(c)  The fee for a registration year for registration of a semitrailer used in the manner described by Subsection (a), regardless of the date the semitrailer is registered, is:

(1)  $30, for a semitrailer being propelled by a power unit for which a permit under Section 623.011 has been issued; or

(2)  $15, for a semitrailer being propelled by a power unit for which a permit under Section 623.011 has not been issued.

(d)  A registration made under Subsection (c) is valid only when the semitrailer is used in the manner described by Subsection (a).

(e)  For registration purposes, a semitrailer converted to a trailer by means of an auxiliary axle assembly retains its status as a semitrailer.

(f)  A combination of vehicles may not be registered under this section for a combined gross weight of less than 18,000 pounds.

(g)  This section does not apply to:

(1)  a combination of vehicles that includes a vehicle that has a distinguishing license plate under Section 504.504;

(2)  a truck-tractor or commercial motor vehicle registered or to be registered with $5 distinguishing license plates for which the vehicle is eligible under this chapter;

(3)  a truck-tractor or commercial motor vehicle used exclusively in combination with a semitrailer of the housetrailer type;  or

(4)  a vehicle registered or to be registered:

(A)  with a temporary registration permit;

(B)  under Section 502.163;  or

(C)  under Section 502.188.

(h)  The department may adopt rules to administer this section.

(i)  The department may issue specially designed license plates for token trailers.

(j)  A person may register a semitrailer under this section for a registration period of five consecutive years if the person:

(1)   applies to the department for the five-year registration;

(2)  provides proof of the person's eligibility to register the vehicle under this subsection as required by the department; and

(3)  pays a fee of $15, plus any applicable fee under Section 502.172, for each year included in the registration period.

(4) Expired.

(k)  If during the five-year registration period for a vehicle registered under Subsection (j) the amount of a fee imposed under that subsection is increased, the owner of the vehicle is liable to the department for the amount of the increase. If the amount of a fee is decreased, the owner of the vehicle is not entitled to a refund.

(l)  In this section:

(1)  "Combined gross weight" means the empty weight of the truck-tractor or commercial motor vehicle combined with the empty weight of the heaviest semitrailer used or to be used in combination with the truck-tractor or commercial motor vehicle plus the heaviest net load to be carried on the combination during the registration year.

(2)  "Empty weight" means the unladen weight of the truck-tractor or commercial motor vehicle and semitrailer combination fully equipped, as certified by a public weigher or license and weight inspector of the Department of Public Safety.

(3)  "Token trailer" means a semitrailer that:

(A)  has a gross weight of more than 6,000 pounds; and

(B)  is operated in combination with a truck or a truck-tractor that has been issued:

(i)  an apportioned license plate;

(ii)  a combination license plate; or

(iii)  a forestry vehicle license plate.

(4)  "Apportioned license plate" means a license plate issued in lieu of truck license plates or combination license plates to a motor carrier in this state who proportionally registers a vehicle owned by the carrier in one or more other states.

(5)  "Combination license plate" means a license plate issued for a truck or truck-tractor that:

(A)  has a manufacturer's rated carrying capacity of more than one ton; and

(B)  is used or intended to be used in combination with a semitrailer that has a gross weight of more than 6,000 pounds.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 625, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 280, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 744, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2011.



For expiration of this section, see Subsection (c).

Section  502.1675.  Texas Emissions Reduction Plan Surcharge.

(a) In addition to the registration fees charged under Section 502.167, a surcharge is imposed on the registration of a truck-tractor or commercial motor vehicle under that section in an amount equal to 10 percent of the total fees due for the registration of the truck-tractor or commercial motor vehicle under that section.

(b)  The county tax assessor-collector shall remit the surcharge collected under this section to the comptroller at the time and in the manner prescribed by the comptroller for deposit in the Texas emissions reduction plan fund.

(c)  This section expires August 31, 2019.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 967, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1125, Sec. 20, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 262, Sec. 2.17, eff. June 8, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1125, Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 502.168.  Fee: Motor Bus.

The fee for a registration year for registration of a motor bus is the fee prescribed by Section 502.161 or 502.162, as applicable.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 26, eff. September 1, 2011.



Section  502.1705.  Additional Fee For Automated Registration And Title System.

(a) In addition to other registration fees for a license plate or set of license plates or other device used as the registration insignia, a fee of $1 shall be collected.

(3) Expired.

(b)  The department may use money collected under this section to provide for or enhance:

(1)  automated on-premises and off-premises registration; and

(2)  services related to the titling of vehicles.

(c)  Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 39(4), eff. September 1, 2011.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1455, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 9, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 27, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 39(4), eff. September 1, 2011.



Section  502.171.  Additional Fee For Certain Vehicles Using Diesel Motor.

(a) The registration fee under this chapter for a motor vehicle other than a passenger car, a truck with a manufacturer's rated carrying capacity of two tons or less, or a vehicle registered in combination under Section 502.167 is increased by 11 percent if the vehicle has a diesel motor.

(b)  A county assessor-collector shall show on the registration receipt for a motor vehicle, other than a passenger car or a truck with a manufacturer's rated carrying capacity of two tons or less, that the vehicle has a diesel motor.

(c)  The department may adopt rules to administer this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section 502.1715.  Additional Fee For Certain Department Programs.

(a) In addition to other fees imposed for registration of a motor vehicle, at the time of application for registration or renewal of registration of a motor vehicle for which the owner is required to submit evidence of financial responsibility under Section 502.153, the applicant shall pay a fee of $1. In addition to other fees imposed for registration of a motor vehicle, at the time of application for registration of a motor vehicle that is subject to Section 501.0234, the applicant shall pay a fee of $1.

 

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1108, Sec. 2

Without reference to the amendment of this subsection, this subsection was repealed by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 892, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

 

(b)  Fees collected under this section shall be deposited to the credit of the state highway fund.  Subject to appropriations, the money shall be used by the Department of Public Safety to:

(1)  support the Department of Public Safety's reengineering of the driver's license system to provide for the issuance by the Department of Public Safety of a driver's license or personal identification certificate, to include use of image comparison technology;

(2)  establish and maintain a system to support the driver responsibility program under Chapter 708; and

(3)  make lease payments to the master lease purchase program for the financing of the driver's license reengineering project.

(4) Expired.

 

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., R.S., Ch. 892, Sec. 2

 

(c)  Fees collected under this section shall be deposited to the credit of the state highway fund.  Subject to appropriation, the money may be used by the Department of Public Safety, the Texas Department of Insurance, the Department of Information Resources, and the department to carry out Subchapter N, Chapter 601.

 

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1108, Sec. 2

 

(c)  Fees collected under this section shall be deposited to the credit of the state highway fund.  Subject to appropriation, the money may be used by the Department of Public Safety, the Texas Department of Insurance, and the department to carry out Subchapter N, Chapter 601.

(d)  The Department of Public Safety, the Texas Department of Insurance, the Department of Information Resources, and the department shall jointly adopt rules and develop forms necessary to administer this section.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 19B.03, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., 3rd C.S., ch. 8, Sec. 5.08, eff. Jan. 11, 2004.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 892, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 892, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1108, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1108, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  502.172.  Optional County Fee For Road And Bridge Fund.

(a) The commissioners court of a county by order may impose an additional fee, not to exceed $10, for registering a vehicle in the county.

(b)  A vehicle that may be registered under this chapter without payment of a registration fee may be registered in a county imposing a fee under this section without payment of the additional fee.

(c)  A fee imposed under this section may take effect only on January 1 of a year. The county must adopt the order and notify the department not later than September 1 of the year preceding the year in which the fee takes effect.

(d)  A fee imposed under this section may be removed. The removal may take effect only on January 1 of a year. A county may remove the fee only by:

(1)  rescinding the order imposing the fee; and

(2)  notifying the department not later than September 1 of the year preceding the year in which the removal takes effect.

(e)  The county assessor-collector of a county imposing a fee under this section shall collect the additional fee for a vehicle when other fees imposed under this chapter are collected.

(f)  The department shall collect the additional fee on a vehicle that is owned by a resident of a county imposing a fee under this section and that, under this chapter, must be registered directly with the department. The department shall send all fees collected for a county under this subsection to the county treasurer to be credited to the county road and bridge fund.

(g)  The department shall adopt rules and develop forms necessary to administer registration by mail for a vehicle being registered in a county imposing a fee under this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section 502.1725.  Optional County Fee For Transportation Projects.

(a) This section applies only to a county:

(1)  that borders the United Mexican States;

(2)  that has a population of more than 300,000; and

(3)  in which the largest municipality has a population of less than 300,000.

(b)  The commissioners court of a county by order may impose an additional fee, not to exceed $10, for registering a vehicle in the county.

(c)  A vehicle that may be registered under this chapter without payment of a registration fee may be registered in a county imposing a fee under this section without payment of the additional fee.

(d)  A fee imposed under this section may take effect only on January 1 of a year.  The county must adopt the order and notify the department not later than September 1 of the year preceding the year in which the fee takes effect.

(e)  A fee imposed under this section may be removed.  The removal may take effect only on January 1 of a year.  A county may remove the fee only by:

(1)  rescinding the order imposing the fee;  and

(2)  notifying the department not later than September 1 of the year preceding the year in which the removal takes effect.

(f)  The county assessor-collector of a county imposing a fee under this section shall collect the additional fee for a vehicle when other fees imposed under this chapter are collected.  The county shall send the fee revenue to the regional mobility authority of the county to fund long-term transportation projects in the county.

(g)  The department shall collect the additional fee on a vehicle that is owned by a resident of a county imposing a fee under this section and that, under this chapter, must be registered directly with the department.  The department shall send all fees collected for a county under this subsection to the regional mobility authority of the county to fund long-term transportation projects in the county.

(h)  The department shall adopt rules and develop forms necessary to administer registration by mail for a vehicle being registered in a county imposing a fee under this section.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 249, Sec. 1, eff. May 25, 2007.



Section  502.173.  Optional County Fee For Child Safety.

(a) The commissioners court of a county that has a population greater than 1.3 million and in which a municipality with a population of more than one million is primarily located may impose by order an additional fee of not less than 50 cents or more than $1.50 for registering a vehicle in the county. The commissioners court of any other county may impose by order an additional fee of not more than $1.50 for registering a vehicle in the county.

(b)  A vehicle that may be registered under this chapter without payment of a registration fee may be registered in a county imposing a fee under this section without payment of the additional fee.

(c)  A fee imposed under this section may take effect only on January 1 of a year. The county must adopt the order and notify the department not later than September 10 of the year preceding the year in which the fee takes effect.

(d)  A fee imposed under this section may be removed. The removal may take effect only on January 1 of a year. A county may remove the fee only by:

(1)  rescinding the order imposing the fee; and

(2)  notifying the department not later than September 1 of the year preceding the year in which the removal takes effect.

(e)  The county assessor-collector of a county imposing a fee under this section shall collect the additional fee for a vehicle when other fees imposed under this chapter are collected.

(f)  A county imposing a fee under this section may deduct for administrative costs an amount of not more than 10 percent of the revenue it receives from the fee. The county may also deduct from the fee revenue an amount proportional to the percentage of county residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county. After making the deductions provided for by this subsection, the county shall send the remainder of the fee revenue to the municipalities in the county according to their population.

(g)  A municipality with a population greater than 850,000 shall deposit revenue from a fee imposed under this subsection to the credit of the child safety trust fund created under Section 106.001, Local Government Code.  A municipality with a population less than 850,000 shall use revenue from a fee imposed under this section in accordance with Article 102.014(g), Code of Criminal Procedure.

(h)  After deducting administrative costs, a county may use revenue from a fee imposed under this section only for a purpose permitted by Subsection (g), Article 102.014, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.48, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 141, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 162, Sec. 2, eff. May 26, 2009.



Section  502.174.  Voluntary Assessment For Young Farmer Loan Guarantees.

(a) When a person registers a commercial motor vehicle under Section 502.163, the person shall pay a voluntary assessment of $5.

(b)  The county assessor-collector shall send an assessment collected under this section to the comptroller, at the time and in the manner prescribed by the Texas Agricultural Finance Authority, for deposit in the Texas agricultural fund.

(c)  The Texas Agricultural Finance Authority shall prescribe procedures under which an assessment collected under this section may be refunded. The county assessor-collector of the county in which an assessment is collected shall:

(1)  implement the refund procedures; and

(2)  provide notice of those procedures to a person paying an assessment at the time of payment.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1423, Sec. 18.04, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1459, Sec. 15, eff. June 19, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 506, Sec. 1.20, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 502.1745.  Voluntary Fee.

(a) The department shall provide to each county assessor-collector the educational materials for prospective donors provided as required by the Donor Education, Awareness, and Registry Program of Texas under Chapter 49, Health and Safety Code.  A county assessor-collector shall make the educational materials available in each office authorized to accept applications for registration of motor vehicles.

(b)  A county assessor-collector shall collect an additional fee of $1 for the registration or renewal of registration of a motor vehicle to pay the costs of the Donor Education, Awareness, and Registry Program of Texas, established under Chapter 49, Health and Safety Code, and of the Texas Organ, Tissue, and Eye Donor Council, established under Chapter 113, Health and Safety Code, if the person registering or renewing the registration of a motor vehicle opts to pay the additional fee.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the county assessor-collector shall remit all fees collected under this subsection to the comptroller, who shall maintain the identity of the source of the fees.

(c)  Three percent of all money collected under this section may be appropriated only to the department to administer this section.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1186, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 502.1746.  Voluntary Contribution To Veterans' Assistance Fund. (

a) When a person registers a motor vehicle under this chapter, the person is entitled to make a voluntary contribution in any amount to the fund for veterans' assistance established by Section 434.017, Government Code, as redesignated and amended by Chapter 1418 (H.B. 3107), Acts of the 80th Legislature, Regular Session, 2007.

(b)  The county assessor-collector shall send any contribution made under this section to the comptroller for deposit in the state treasury to the credit of the fund for veterans' assistance before the 31st day after the date the contribution is made.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 840, Sec. 3, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  502.175.  Transfer Fee.

(a) A person other than a dealer who sells a vehicle subject to registration under this chapter shall indorse on the certificate of registration a written transfer of the vehicle.

(b)  The purchaser of a motor vehicle to which Subsection (a) applies shall:

(1)  pay a transfer fee of $1 to the county assessor-collector of the county in which the person resides; and

(2)  provide the person's full name and address to the assessor-collector.

(c)  On compliance with Subsection (b), a person is considered to be the owner of the vehicle and is subject to this chapter.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.176.  Delinquent Registration.

(a) A registration fee prescribed by this chapter for a vehicle becomes delinquent immediately if the vehicle is used on a public highway without the fee having been paid in accordance with this chapter.

(b)  A county assessor-collector that determines that an applicant for registration for which payment of the registration fee is delinquent has provided evidence acceptable to the assessor-collector sufficient to establish good reason for delinquent registration and that the application complies with the other requirements for registration under this chapter shall register the vehicle for a 12-month period that ends on the last day of the 11th month after the month in which the registration occurs under this subsection. The registration period for vehicles registered in accordance with Sections 502.164, 502.167, 502.203, 502.255, 502.267, 502.277, 502.278, 502.293, as added by Chapter 1222, Acts of the 75th Legislature, Regular Session, 1997, and 502.295, as added by Chapter 625, Acts of the 75th Legislature, Regular Session, 1997, will end on the annual registration date, and the registration fees will be prorated.

(c)  A county assessor-collector that determines that an applicant for registration that is delinquent has not provided evidence acceptable to the assessor-collector sufficient to establish good reason for delinquent registration but that the application complies with the other requirements for registration under this chapter shall register the vehicle for a 12-month period without changing the initial month of registration.

(d)  A person who has been arrested or received a citation for a violation of Section 502.402 may register the vehicle being operated at the time of the offense with the county assessor-collector for a 12-month period without change to the initial month of registration only if the person:

(1)  meets the other requirements for registration under this chapter; and

(2)  pays an additional charge equal to 20 percent of the prescribed fee.

(e)  The county assessor-collector shall adopt a list of evidentiary items sufficient to establish good reason for delinquent registration under Subsection (b) and provide for the forms of evidence that may be used to establish good reason under that subsection. The list of evidentiary items adopted under this section must allow for delinquent registration under Subsection (b) because of:

(1)  extensive repairs on the vehicle;

(2)  the absence of the owner of the vehicle from this country;

(3)  seasonal use of the vehicle; or

(4)  any other reason determined by the assessor-collector to be a valid explanation for the delinquent registration.

(f)  The department by rule shall adopt procedures to implement this section in connection with the delinquent registration of a vehicle registered directly with the department.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 641, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  502.177.  Minimum Registration Fee.

Notwithstanding Any Other Provision of This Chapter and Without Regard to the Month in Which the Application for Registration is Filed, the Minimum Registration Fee for Any Vehicle May Not be Less Than $5.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.178.  Registration Receipt.

(a) The department shall issue or require to be issued to the owner of a vehicle registered under this chapter a registration receipt showing:

(1)  the date of issuance;

(2)  the license number assigned to the vehicle;

(3)  the name and address of the owner; and

(4)  other information as determined by the department.

(b)  The registration receipt issued for a commercial motor vehicle, truck-tractor, trailer, or semitrailer must show the gross weight for which the vehicle is registered.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.179.  Duplicate Registration Receipt.

(a) The owner of a vehicle for which the registration receipt has been lost or destroyed may obtain a duplicate receipt from the department or the county assessor-collector who issued the original receipt by paying a fee of $2.

(b)  The office issuing a duplicate receipt shall retain the fee received as a fee of office.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.180.  Issuance Of License Plate Or Registration Insignia.

(a) On payment of the prescribed fee, the department shall issue to an applicant for motor vehicle registration a license plate or set of plates or a device that, when attached to the vehicle as prescribed by the department, is the registration insignia for the period for which it was issued.

(b)  Subject to Subchapter I, the department shall issue only one license plate or set of plates for a vehicle during a five-year period.

(c)  On application and payment of the prescribed fee for a renewal of the registration of a vehicle for the first, second, third, or fourth registration year after the issuance of a license plate or set of plates for the vehicle, the department shall issue a registration insignia for the validation of the license plate or plates to be attached as provided by Subsection (d).

(d)  Except as provided by Subsection (h), the registration insignia for validation of a license plate shall be attached to the inside of the vehicle's windshield, if the vehicle has a windshield, within six inches of the place where the motor vehicle inspection sticker is required to be placed. If the vehicle does not have a windshield, the owner, when applying for registration or renewal of registration, shall notify the department, and the department shall issue a distinctive device for attachment to the rear license plate of the vehicle.

(e)  The department shall adopt rules for the issuance and use of license plates and registration insignia issued under this chapter. The rules may provide for the use of an automated registration process, including:

(1)  the automated on-site production of registration insignia; and

(2)  automated on-premises and off-premises self-service registration.

(f)  Subsections (b)-(d) do not apply to:

(1)  the issuance of specialized license plates as designated by the department, including state official license plates, exempt plates for governmental entities, and temporary registration plates; or

(2)  the issuance or validation of replacement license plates, except as provided by Section 502.184.

(g)  The department shall provide a separate and distinctive tab to be affixed to the license plate of an automobile, pickup, or recreational vehicle that is offered for rent, as a business, to any part of the public.

(h)  The registration insignia for validation of a license plate shall be attached to the rear license plate of the vehicle, if the vehicle is:

(1)  a motorcycle;

(2)  machinery used exclusively to drill water wells or construction machinery for which a distinguishing license plate has been issued under Section 504.504;  or

(3)  oil well servicing, oil clean out, or oil well drilling machinery or equipment for which a distinguishing license plate has been issued under Subchapter G, Chapter 623.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.49(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1455, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 101, Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2008.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 280, Sec. 3, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  502.181.  Payment Of Registration Fee By Check Drawn Against Insufficient Funds.

(a) A county assessor-collector who receives from any person a check or draft drawn on a bank or trust company in payment of a registration fee for a registration year that has not ended on a motor vehicle, trailer, or motorcycle sidecar that is returned unpaid because of insufficient funds or no funds in the bank or trust company to the credit of the drawer of the check or draft shall certify the fact to the sheriff or a constable or highway patrol officer in the county after attempts to contact the person fail to result in the collection of payment.  The certification must be made before the 30th day after the date the check or draft is returned unpaid and:

(1)  be under the assessor-collector's official seal;

(2)  include the name and address of the person who gave the assessor-collector the check or draft;

(3)  include the license plate number and make of the vehicle;

(4)  be accompanied by the check or draft; and

(5)  be accompanied by documentation of any attempt to contact the person and collect payment.

(b)  On receiving a complaint under Subsection (a) from the county assessor-collector, the sheriff, constable, or highway patrol officer shall find the person who gave the assessor-collector the check or draft, if the person is in the county, and demand immediate redemption of the check or draft from the person. If the person fails or refuses to redeem the check or draft, the sheriff, constable, or highway patrol officer shall:

(1)  seize and remove the license plates from the vehicle; and

(2)  return the license plates to the county assessor-collector.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 434, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  502.182.  Credit For Registration Fee Paid On Motor Vehicle Subsequently Destroyed.

(a) The owner of a motor vehicle that is destroyed to the extent that it cannot afterwards be operated on a public highway is entitled to a registration fee credit if the prorated portion of the registration fee for the remainder of the registration year is more than $15. The owner must claim the credit by:

(1)  sending the registration fee receipt and the license plates for the vehicle to the department; and

(2)  executing a statement on a form provided by the department showing that the license plates have been surrendered to the department.

(b)  The department, on satisfactory proof that the vehicle is destroyed, shall issue a registration fee credit slip to the owner in an amount equal to the prorated portion of the registration fee for the remainder of the registration year. The owner, during the same or the next registration year, may use the registration fee credit slip as payment or part payment for the registration of another vehicle to the extent of the credit.

(c)  A statement executed under Subsection (a)(2) shall be delivered to a purchaser of the destroyed vehicle. The purchaser may surrender the statement to the department in lieu of the vehicle license plates.

(d)  The department shall adopt rules to administer this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.183.  Refund Of Overcharged Registration Fee.

(a) The owner of a motor vehicle that is required to be registered who pays an annual registration fee in excess of the statutory amount is entitled to a refund of the overcharge.

(b)  The county assessor-collector who collects the excessive fee shall refund an overcharge on presentation to the assessor-collector of satisfactory evidence of the overcharge. The owner must make a claim for a refund of an overcharge not later than the fifth anniversary of the date the excessive registration fee was paid.

(c)  A refund shall be paid from the fund in which the county's share of registration fees is deposited.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section 502.184.  Replacement Of Registration Insignia.

(a) The owner of a registered motor vehicle may obtain a replacement registration insignia by:

(1)  certifying that the replacement registration insignia will not be used on any other vehicle owned or operated by the person making the statement;

(2)  paying a fee of $6 plus the fees required by Section 502.1705(a) for each replacement registration insignia, except as provided by other law; and

(3)  returning each replaced registration insignia in the owner's possession.

(b)  No fee is required under this section if the replacement fee for a license plate has been paid under Section 502.1841.

(c)  The fee for replacement of license plates issued under Section 504.507 is the amount prescribed by the department as necessary to recover the cost of providing the replacement plates.

(d)  If license plates approved under Section 504.501(b) or 504.502(c) are lost, stolen, or mutilated, the owner of the vehicle may obtain approval of another set of license plates as provided by Section 504.501 or 504.502, respectively.  The fee for approval of replacement license plates is $5.

(e)  A county assessor-collector may not issue a replacement registration insignia without complying with this section.

(f)  A county assessor-collector shall retain $2.50 of each fee collected under this section and shall report and send the remainder to the department.

(g)  Replacement license plates may be used in the registration year in which the plates are issued and during each succeeding year of the five-year period as prescribed by Section 502.180(b) if the registration insignia is properly attached.

(h)  Subsection (g) does not apply to the issuance of specialized license plates as designated by the department, including state official license plates, exempt plates for governmental entities, and temporary registration plates.

(i)  The owner of a vehicle listed in Section 502.180(h) may obtain replacement plates and a replacement registration insignia by paying a fee of $5 plus the fees required by Sections 502.170(a) and 502.1705(a).

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.49(b), (c), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1455, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1166, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 28, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 29, eff. September 1, 2011.



Section 502.1841.  Replacement License Plates.

(a) The owner of a registered motor vehicle may obtain replacement license plates for the vehicle by:

(1)  certifying that the replacement plates will not be used on any other vehicle owned or operated by the person making the statement;

(2)  paying a fee of $6 plus the fee required by Section 502.1705(a) for each set of replacement license plates, unless otherwise specified by law; and

(3)  returning to the department each license plate in the owner's possession for which a replacement license plate is obtained.

(b)  Replacement license plates may not be issued except as provided by this section.

(c)  A county assessor-collector shall retain $2.50 of each fee collected under this section and forward the remainder of the fee to the department.

(d)  The fee required by this section applies to the issuance of license plates for a transferred used vehicle for which the registration and license plates were not transferred under Subchapter I.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 30, eff. September 1, 2011.



Section  502.185.  Refusal To Register Vehicle In Certain Counties.

(a) A county assessor-collector or the department may refuse to register a motor vehicle if the assessor-collector or the department receives information that the owner of the vehicle owes the county money for a fine, fee, or tax that is past due.

(b)  A county may contract with the department to provide information to the department necessary to make a determination under Subsection (a).

(c)  A county that has a contract under Subsection (b) shall notify the department regarding a person for whom the county assessor-collector or the department has refused to register a motor vehicle on:

(1)  the person's payment or other means of discharge of the past due fine, fee, or tax; or

(2)  perfection of an appeal of the case contesting payment of the fine, fee, or tax.

(d)  After notice is received under Subsection (c), the county assessor-collector or the department may not refuse to register the motor vehicle under Subsection (a).

(e)  A contract under Subsection (b) must be entered into in accordance with Chapter 791, Government Code, and is subject to the ability of the parties to provide or pay for the services required under the contract.

(f)  A county that has a contract under Subsection (b) may impose an additional fee to a person paying a fine, fee, or tax to the county after it is past due. The additional fee may be used only to reimburse the department for its expenses for providing services under the contract.

(g)  In this section:

(1)  a fine, fee, or tax is considered past due if it is unpaid 90 or more days after the date it is due; and

(2)  registration of a motor vehicle includes renewal of the registration of the vehicle.

(h)  This section does not apply to the registration of a motor vehicle under Section 501.0234.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 192, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 97, Sec. 1, eff. May 17, 1999.



Section  502.188.  Certain Soil Conservation Equipment.

(a) The owner of a truck-tractor, semitrailer, or low-boy trailer used on a highway exclusively to transport the owner's soil conservation machinery or equipment used in clearing real property, terracing, or building farm ponds, levees, or ditches may register the vehicle for a fee equal to 50 percent of the fee otherwise prescribed by this chapter for the vehicle.

(b)  An owner may register only one truck-tractor and only one semitrailer or low-boy trailer under this section.

(c)  An owner applying for registration under this section must submit a statement that the vehicle is to be used only as provided by Subsection (a).

(d)  The registration receipt issued for a vehicle registered under this section shall state the nature of the operation for which the vehicle may be used. The receipt must be carried at all times in or on the vehicle to permit ready inspection.

(e)  A vehicle to which this section applies that is operated on a public highway in violation of this section is considered to be operated while unregistered and is immediately subject to the applicable registration fees and penalties prescribed by this chapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section 502.189.  Donor Registry Information.

(a) The department, with expert input and support from the Texas Organ, Tissue, and Eye Donor Council, shall:

(1)  add a link from the department's Internet website to the Donor Education, Awareness, and Registry Program of Texas established under Chapter 49, Health and Safety Code; and

(2)  provide a method to distribute donor registry information to interested individuals in each office authorized to issue motor vehicle registrations.

(b)  The department shall make available for distribution to each office authorized to issue motor vehicle registrations Donate Life brochures that provide basic donor information in English and Spanish and a contact phone number and e-mail address.  The department shall ensure that the question provided in Section 521.401(c)(1)(B) and information on the donor registry Internet website is included with registration renewal notices.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 831, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter E. Specially Designated License Plates; Exemptions For Governmental And Quasi-governmental Vehicles

Section  502.201.  License Plates For Exempt Vehicles.

(a) Before license plates are issued or delivered to the owner of a vehicle that is exempt by law from payment of registration fees, the department must approve the application for registration. The department may not approve an application if there is the appearance that:

(1)  the vehicle was transferred to the owner or purported owner:

(A)  for the sole purpose of evading the payment of registration fees; or

(B)  in bad faith; or

(2)  the vehicle is not being used in accordance with the exemption requirements.

(b)  The department shall revoke the registration of a vehicle issued license plates under this section and may recall the plates if the vehicle is no longer:

(1)  owned and operated by the person whose ownership of the vehicle qualified the vehicle for the exemption; or

(2)  used in accordance with the exemption requirements.

(c)  Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 39(6), eff. September 1, 2011.

(d)  The department shall provide by rule for the issuance of specially designated license plates for vehicles that are exempt by law. Except as provided by Subsection (g), the license plates must bear the word "exempt."

(e)  A license plate under Subsection (d) is not issued annually, but remains on the vehicle until:

(1)  the registration is revoked as provided by Subsection (b); or

(2)  the plate is lost, stolen, or mutilated.

(f)  A person who operates on a public highway a vehicle after the registration has been revoked is liable for the penalties for failing to register a vehicle.

(g)  The department shall provide by rule for the issuance of regularly designed license plates not bearing the word "exempt" for a vehicle that is exempt by law and that is:

(1)  a law enforcement vehicle, if the agency certifies to the department that the vehicle will be dedicated to law enforcement activities;

(2)  a vehicle exempt from inscription requirements under a rule adopted as provided by Section 721.003; or

(3)  a vehicle exempt from inscription requirements under an order or ordinance adopted by a governing body of a municipality or commissioners court of a county as provided by Section 721.005, if the applicant presents a copy of the order or ordinance.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 485, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1136, Sec. 39(6), eff. September 1, 2011.



Section  502.2015.  Limitation On Issuance Of Exempt License Plates; Seizure Of Certain Vehicles.

(a) The department may not issue exempt license plates for a vehicle owned by the United States, this state, or a political subdivision of this state unless when application is made for registration of the vehicle, the person who under Section 502.202 has authority to certify to the department that the vehicle qualifies for registration under that section also certifies in writing to the department that there is printed on each side of the vehicle, in letters that are at least two inches high or in an emblem that is at least 100 square inches in size, the name of the agency, department, bureau, board, commission, or officer of the United States, this state, or the political subdivision of this state that has custody of the vehicle. The letters or emblem must be of a color sufficiently different from the body of the vehicle to be clearly legible from a distance of 100 feet.

(b)  The department may not issue exempt license plates for a vehicle owned by a person other than the United States, this state, or a political subdivision of this state unless, when application is made for registration of the vehicle, the person who under Section 502.202 has authority to certify to the department that the vehicle qualifies for registration under that section also certifies in writing to the department that the name of the owner of the vehicle is printed on the vehicle in the manner prescribed by Subsection (a).

(c)  A peace officer listed in Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure, may seize a motor vehicle displaying exempt license plates if the vehicle is:

(1)  operated on a public highway; and

(2)  not identified in the manner prescribed by Subsection (a) or (b), unless the vehicle is covered by Subsection (f).

(d)  A peace officer who seizes a motor vehicle under Subsection (c) may require that the vehicle be:

(1)  moved to the nearest place of safety off the main-traveled part of the highway; or

(2)  removed and placed in the nearest vehicle storage facility designated or maintained by the law enforcement agency that employs the peace officer.

(e)  To obtain the release of the vehicle, in addition to any other requirement of law, the owner of a vehicle seized under Subsection (c) must:

(1)  remedy the defect by identifying the vehicle as required by Subsection (a) or (b); or

(2)  agree in writing with the law enforcement agency to provide evidence to that agency, before the 10th day after the date the vehicle is released, that the defect has been remedied by identifying the vehicle as required by Subsection (a) or (b).

(f)  Subsections (a) and (b) do not apply to a vehicle to which Section 502.201(g) or 502.206 applies.

(g)  For purposes of this section, an exempt license plate is a license plate issued by the department that is plainly marked with the word "exempt."

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.50(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 485, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  502.202.  Government-owned Vehicles; Public School Buses; Fire-fighting Vehicles; County Marine Law Enforcement Vehicles.

(a) The owner of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer may annually apply for registration under Section 502.201 and is exempt from the payment of a registration fee under this chapter if the vehicle is:

(1)  owned by and used exclusively in the service of:

(A)  the United States;

(B)  this state; or

(C)  a county, municipality, or school district in this state;

(2)  owned by a commercial transportation company and used exclusively to provide public school transportation services to a school district under Section 34.008, Education Code;

(3)  designed and used exclusively for fire fighting;

(4)  owned by a volunteer fire department and used exclusively in the conduct of department business; or

(5)  privately owned and used by a volunteer exclusively in county marine law enforcement activities, including rescue operations, under the direction of the sheriff's department.

(b)  An application for registration under this section must be made by a person having the authority to certify that the vehicle meets the exemption requirements prescribed by Subsection (a). An application for registration under this section of a fire-fighting vehicle described by Subsection (a)(3) must include a reasonable description of the vehicle and of any fire-fighting equipment mounted on the vehicle. An application for registration under this section of a vehicle described by Subsection (a)(5) must include a statement signed by a person having the authority to act for a sheriff's department that the vehicle is used exclusively in marine law enforcement activities under the direction of the sheriff's department.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 17.06, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  502.203.  Vehicles Used By Nonprofit Disaster Relief Organizations.

(a) The owner of a commercial motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer may apply for registration under Section 502.201 and is exempt from the payment of the registration fee that would otherwise be required by this chapter if the vehicle is owned and used exclusively for emergencies by a nonprofit disaster relief organization.

(b)  An application for registration under this section must include:

(1)  a statement by the owner of the vehicle that the vehicle is used exclusively for emergencies and has not been used for any other purpose;

(2)  a statement signed by an officer of the nonprofit disaster relief organization that the vehicle has not been used for any purpose other than emergencies and qualifies for registration under this section; and

(3)  a reasonable description of the vehicle and the emergency equipment included in the vehicle.

(c)  An applicant for registration under this section must pay a fee of $5.

(d)  A commercial motor vehicle registered under this section must display the name of the organization that owns it on each front door.

(e)  A vehicle registered under this section must display at all times an appropriate license plate showing the vehicle's status.

(f)  A vehicle registered under this section that is used for any purpose other than an emergency may not again be registered under this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  502.2035.  Trailers And Semitrailers Owned By Religious Organizations.

(a) A trailer or semitrailer may be registered without payment if the trailer or semitrailer is:

(1)  owned by an organization that qualifies as a religious organization under Section 11.20, Tax Code; and

(2)  used primarily for the purpose of transporting property in connection with the charitable activities and functions of the organization.

(b)  An application for registration under this section must include a statement signed by an officer of the religious organization stating that the trailer or semitrailer qualifies for registration under this section.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1194, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  502.204.  Emergency Services Vehicles.

(a) A vehicle may be registered without payment if:

(1)  the vehicle is owned or leased by an emergency medical services provider that:

(A)  is a nonprofit entity; or

(B)  is created and operated by:

(i)  a county;

(ii)  a municipality; or

(iii)  any combination of counties and municipalities through a contract, joint agreement, or other method provided by Chapter 791, Government Code, or other law authorizing counties and municipalities to provide joint programs; and

(2)  the vehicle:

(A)  is authorized under an emergency medical services provider license issued by the Texas Board of Health under Chapter 773, Health and Safety Code, and is used exclusively as an emergency medical services vehicle; or

(B)  is an emergency medical services chief or supervisor vehicle and is used exclusively as an emergency services vehicle.

(b)  A vehicle may be registered without payment of a registration fee if the vehicle:

(1)  is owned by the Civil Air Patrol, Texas Wing; and

(2)  is used exclusively as an emergency services vehicle by members of the Civil Air Patrol, Texas Wing.

(c)  An application for registration under Subsection (a) must be accompanied by a copy of the license issued by the Texas Board of Health. An application for registration of an emergency medical services vehicle must include a statement signed by an officer of the emergency medical services provider that the vehicle is used exclusively as an emergency response vehicle and qualifies for registration under this section. An application for registration of an emergency medical services chief or supervisor vehicle must include a statement signed by an officer of the emergency medical services provider stating that the vehicle qualifies for registration under this section.

(d)  An application for registration under Subsection (b) must include a statement signed by an officer of the Civil Air Patrol, Texas Wing, that the vehicle is used exclusively as an emergency services vehicle by members of the Civil Air Patrol, Texas Wing.

(e)  The department must approve an application for registration under this section as provided by Section 502.201.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.206.  Registration Of Certain Law Enforcement Vehicles Under Alias.

On receipt of a written request approved by the executive administrator of a law enforcement agency, the department may issue exempt license plates for a vehicle and register the vehicle under an alias for the law enforcement agency's use in covert criminal investigations.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter F. Specialized License Plates; Exemptions For Privately Owned Vehicles

Section  502.271.  Texas Aerospace And Aviation License Plates.

(a) The department shall issue specially designed Texas Aerospace and Aviation license plates for passenger cars and light trucks.

(b)  The license plates must include the name "Texas Aerospace and Aviation " and be of a color, quality, and design approved by the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office.

(c)  Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 25, eff. May 27, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, Sec. 10(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

(d)  Of each fee collected under this section, the department shall deposit $25 under this section in the general revenue fund to the credit of the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office account, which may be used only to support the activities of the aerospace and aviation office established by the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office, and $5 to the credit of the state highway fund.

(e)  Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 25, eff. May 27, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, Sec. 10(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 814, Sec. 1.63, 1.64, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Without reference to the repeal of Subchapter F by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, Sec. 10(a), Sec. 502.2862 was added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section  502.2862.  Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices.

The owner of an electric personal assistive mobility device, as defined by Section 551.201, is not required to register the electric personal assistive mobility device.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Without reference to the repeal of Subchapter F by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1320, Sec. 10(a), Sec. 502.2971 was added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 223, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Section  502.2971.  Federal Administrative Law Judges.

(a) The department shall issue specially designed license plates for a passenger car or light truck owned by a federal administrative law judge.

(b)  License plates issued under this section must include the words "Fed. A.L. Judge."

(c)  The department shall issue license plates under this section to a person who:

(1)  applies to the department on a form prescribed by the department;

(2)  furnishes evidence acceptable to the department that the person is eligible to register the vehicle under this section; and

(3)  pays the fee prescribed by Section 502.161.

(d)  A person may be issued three sets of license plates under this section.

(e)  A registration under this section is for a registration period of 12 consecutive months or until March 31, whichever period is shorter.

(f)  If the owner of a vehicle registered under this section disposes of the vehicle during the registration period, the owner shall surrender the special license plates to the department.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 223, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Subchapter G. Temporary Registration

Section  502.351.  Farm Vehicles: Excess Weight.

(a) The owner of a registered commercial motor vehicle, truck-tractor, trailer, or semitrailer may obtain a short-term permit to haul loads of a weight more than that for which the vehicle is registered by paying an additional fee before the additional weight is hauled to transport:

(1)  the person's own seasonal agricultural products to market or another point for sale or processing;

(2)  seasonal laborers from their place of residence to a farm or ranch; or

(3)  materials, tools, equipment, or supplies, without charge, from the place of purchase or storage to a farm or ranch exclusively for use on the farm or ranch.

(b)  A permit may not be issued under this section for a period that is less than one month or that:

(1)  is greater than one year; or

(2)  extends beyond the expiration of the registration year for the vehicle.

(c)  A permit issued under this section for a quarter must be for a calendar quarter.

(d)  The fee for a permit under this section is a percentage of the difference between the registration fee otherwise prescribed by this chapter for the vehicle and the annual fee for the desired weight, as follows:

One month (30 consecutive days) 10 percent    
One quarter 30 percent    
Two quarters 60 percent    
Three quarters 90 percent    

(e)  The department shall design, prescribe, and furnish a sticker, plate, or other means of indicating the additional weight and the registration period for each vehicle registered under this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.352.  Foreign Commercial Vehicles.

(a) The department may issue a temporary permit for a commercial motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or motor bus that:

(1)  is owned by a resident of the United States, Canada, or the United Mexican States;

(2)  is subject to registration in this state; and

(3)  is not authorized to travel on a public highway because of the lack of registration in this state or the lack of reciprocity with the state or province in which the vehicle is registered.

(b)  A permit issued under this section:

(1)  is in lieu of registration; and

(2)  is valid for the period stated on the permit, effective from the date and time shown on the receipt issued as evidence of registration under this section.

(c)  A person may obtain a permit under this section by:

(1)  applying to the county assessor-collector, the department, or the department's wire service agent, if the department has a wire service agent;

(2)  paying a fee of $25 for a 72-hour permit or $50 for a 144-hour permit:

(A)  in cash;

(B)  by postal money order;

(C)  by certified check;

(D)  by wire transfer through the department's wire service agent, if any;

(E)  by an escrow account; or

(F)  where the service is provided, by a credit card issued by:

(i)  a financial institution chartered by a state or the United States; or

(ii)  a nationally recognized credit organization approved by the board;

(3)  paying a discount or service charge for a credit card payment or escrow account, in addition to the fee;

(4)  furnishing to the county assessor-collector, the department, or the department's wire service agent, evidence of financial responsibility for the vehicle that complies with Sections 502.153(c) and 601.168(a) and is written by an insurance company or surety company authorized to write motor vehicle liability insurance in this state; and

(5)  submitting a copy of the applicable federal declaration form required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or its successor in connection with the importation of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment subject to the federal motor vehicle safety, bumper, and theft prevention standards.

(d)  A county assessor-collector shall report and send a fee collected under this section in the manner provided by Sections 502.102 and 502.105. Each week, a wire service agent shall send to the department a report of all permits issued by the agent during the previous week. The department by rule shall prescribe the form and content of a report required by this subsection.

(e)  The department may:

(1)  adopt rules to administer this section; and

(2)  prescribe an application for a permit and other forms under this section.

(f)  A vehicle issued a permit under this section is subject to Subchapters B and F, Chapter 548, unless the vehicle:

(1)  is registered in another state of the United States, in a province of Canada, or in a state of the United Mexican States; or

(2)  is mobile drilling or servicing equipment used in the production of gas, crude petroleum, or oil, including a mobile crane or hoisting equipment, mobile lift equipment, forklift, or tug.

(g)  A commercial motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or motor bus apprehended for violating a registration law of this state:

(1)  may not be issued a permit under this section; and

(2)  is immediately subject to registration in this state.

(h)  A person who operates a commercial motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer with an expired permit issued under this section is considered to be operating an unregistered vehicle subject to each penalty prescribed by law.

(i)  The department may establish one or more escrow accounts in the state highway fund for the prepayment of a 72-hour permit or a 144-hour permit. Any fee established by the department for the administration of this subsection shall be administered as required by an agreement entered into by the department.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.61(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 625, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 919, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933, Sec. 2E.06, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  502.353.  Foreign Commercial Vehicles; Annual Permits; Offense.

(a) The department may issue an annual permit to a foreign commercial motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that:

(1)  is subject to registration in this state; and

(2)  is not authorized to travel on a public highway because of the lack of registration in this state or the lack of reciprocity with the state or country in which the vehicle is registered.

(b)  A permit issued under this section:

(1)  is in lieu of registration; and

(2)  is valid for a vehicle registration year to begin on the first day of a calendar month designated by the department and end on the last day of the last calendar month of the registration year.

(c)  A permit may not be issued under this section for the importation of citrus fruit into this state from a foreign country except for foreign export or processing for foreign export.

(d)  A person may obtain a permit under this section by:

(1)  applying to the department;

(2)  paying a fee in the amount required by Subsection (e) in cash or by postal money order or certified check; and

(3)  furnishing evidence of financial responsibility for the motor vehicle that complies with Sections 502.153(c) and 601.168(a), the policies to be written by an insurance company or surety company authorized to write motor vehicle liability insurance in this state.

(e)  The fee for a permit under this section is the fee that would be required for registering the vehicle under Section 502.162 or 502.167, except as provided by Subsection (f).

(f)  A vehicle registered under this section is exempt from the token fee and is not required to display the associated distinguishing license plate if the vehicle:

(1)  is a semitrailer that has a gross weight of more than 6,000 pounds; and

(2)  is used or intended to be used in combination with a truck tractor or commercial motor vehicle with a manufacturer's rated carrying capacity of more than one ton.

(g)  A vehicle registered under this section is not subject to the fee required by Section 502.172 or 502.173.

(h)  The department may:

(1)  adopt rules to administer this section; and

(2)  prescribe an application for a permit and other forms under this section.

(i)  A person who violates this section commits an offense. An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.63(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  502.354.  Single Or 30-day Trip Permits; Offense.

(a) The department may issue a temporary permit for a vehicle that:

(1)  is subject to registration in this state; and

(2)  is not authorized to travel on a public highway because of the lack of registration in this state or the lack of reciprocity with the state or country in which the vehicle is registered.

(b)  A permit issued under this section:

(1)  is in lieu of registration; and

(2)  is valid for:

(A)  one trip, as provided by Subsection (c); or

(B)  30 days, as provided by Subsection (d).

(c)  A one-trip permit is valid for one trip between the points of origin and destination and those intermediate points specified in the application and registration receipt. Unless the vehicle is a bus operating under charter that is not covered by a reciprocity agreement with the state or country in which the bus is registered, a one-trip permit is for the transit of the vehicle only, and the vehicle may not be used for the transportation of any passenger or property. A one-trip permit may not be valid for longer than 15 days from the effective date of registration.

(d)  A 30-day permit may be issued only to a passenger vehicle, a private bus, a trailer or semitrailer with a gross weight of not more than 10,000 pounds, a light truck, or a light commercial vehicle with a manufacturer's rated carrying capacity of more than one ton that will operate unladen. A person may obtain multiple 30-day permits. The department may issue a single registration receipt to apply to all of the periods for which the vehicle is registered.

(e)  A person may obtain a permit under this section by:

(1)  applying on a form provided by the department to:

(A)  the county assessor-collector of the county in which the vehicle will first be operated on a public highway; or

(B)  the department in Austin or at one of the department's vehicle title and registration regional offices;

(2)  paying a fee, in cash or by postal money order or certified check, of:

(A)  $5 for a one-trip permit; or

(B)  $25 for each 30-day period; and

(3)  furnishing evidence of financial responsibility for the vehicle in a form listed under Section 502.153(c).

(f)  A registration receipt and temporary tag shall be issued on forms provided by the department. The temporary tag must contain all pertinent information required by this section and must be displayed in the rear window of the vehicle so that the tag is clearly visible and legible when viewed from the rear of the vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a rear window, the temporary tag must be attached on or carried in the vehicle to allow ready inspection. The registration receipt must be carried in the vehicle at all times during the period in which it is valid.

(g)  The department may refuse and may instruct a county assessor-collector to refuse to issue a temporary registration for any vehicle if, in the department's opinion, the vehicle or the owner of the vehicle has been involved in operations that constitute an abuse of the privilege granted by this section. A registration issued after notice to a county assessor-collector under this subsection is void.

(h)  A person issued a temporary registration under this section who operates a vehicle in violation of Subsection (f) commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.

(i)  The department may:

(1)  adopt rules to administer this section; and

(2)  prescribe an application for a permit and other forms under this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1092, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1997.



Section  502.355.  Nonresident-owned Vehicles Used To Transport Farm Products; Offense.

(a) The department may issue to a nonresident owner a permit for a truck, truck-tractor, trailer, or semitrailer that:

(1)  is registered in the owner's home state or country; and

(2)  will be used to transport:

(A)  farm products produced in this state from the place of production to a place of market or storage or a railhead that is not more than 75 miles from the place of production;

(B)  machinery used to harvest farm products produced in this state; or

(C)  farm products produced outside this state from the point of entry into this state to a place of market, storage, or processing or a railhead or seaport that is not more than 80 miles from the point of entry.

(b)  The department shall issue a distinguishing insignia for a vehicle issued a permit under this section. The insignia must be attached to the vehicle in lieu of regular license plates and must show the permit expiration date. A permit issued under this section is valid until the earlier of:

(1)  the date the vehicle's registration in the owner's home state or country expires; or

(2)  the 30th day after the date the permit is issued.

(c)  A person may obtain a permit under this section by:

(1)  applying to the department on a form prescribed by the department;

(2)  paying a fee equal to 1/12 the registration fee prescribed by this chapter for the vehicle;

(3)  furnishing satisfactory evidence that the motor vehicle is insured under an insurance policy that complies with Section 601.072 and that is written by:

(A)  an insurance company or surety company authorized to write motor vehicle liability insurance in this state; or

(B)  with the department's approval, a surplus lines insurer that meets the requirements of Chapter 981, Insurance Code, and rules adopted by the commissioner of insurance under that chapter, if the applicant is unable to obtain insurance from an insurer described by Paragraph (A); and

(4)  furnishing evidence that the vehicle has been inspected as required under Chapter 548.

(d)  A nonresident owner may not obtain more than three permits under this section during a registration year.

(e)  A vehicle for which a permit is issued under this section may not be operated in this state after the permit expires unless the owner:

(1)  obtains another temporary permit; or

(2)  registers the vehicle under Section 502.162, 502.165, 502.166, or 502.167, as appropriate, for the remainder of the registration year.

(f)  A vehicle for which a permit is issued under this section may not be registered under Section 502.163.

(g)  A mileage referred to in this section is a state highway mileage.

(h)  A person operating a vehicle under a permit issued under this section commits an offense if the person:

(1)  transports farm products to a place of market, storage, or processing or a railhead or seaport that is farther from the place of production or point of entry, as appropriate, than the distance provided for in the permit; or

(2)  follows a route other than that prescribed by the board.

(i)  An offense under Subsection (h) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $200.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 10A.553, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933, Sec. 2E.07, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter H. Offenses And Penalties

Section  502.401.  General Penalty.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person violates a provision of this chapter and no other penalty is prescribed for the violation.

(b)  This section does not apply to a violation of Section 502.003, 502.101, 502.109, 502.112, 502.113, 502.114, 502.152, 502.164, or 502.282.

(c)  An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.402.  Operation Of Unregistered Motor Vehicle.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates a motor vehicle that has not been registered as required by law. An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

(b), (c) Repealed by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.64, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.64, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  502.403.  Operation Of Vehicle Under Improper Registration.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates on a public highway a motor vehicle registered for a class other than that to which the vehicle belongs.

(b)  An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.404.  Operation Of Vehicle Without License Plate Or Registration Insignia.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates on a public highway during a registration period a passenger car or commercial motor vehicle that does not display two license plates, at the front and rear of the vehicle, that have been:

(1)  assigned by the department for the period; or

(2)  validated by a registration insignia issued by the department that establishes that the vehicle is registered for the period.

(b)  A person commits an offense if the person operates on a public highway during a registration period a passenger car or commercial motor vehicle, other than a vehicle assigned license plates for the registration period, that does not properly display the registration insignia issued by the department that establishes that the license plates have been validated for the period.

(c)  A person commits an offense if the person operates on a public highway during a registration period a road tractor, motorcycle, trailer, or semitrailer that does not display a license plate, attached to the rear of the vehicle, that has been:

(1)  assigned by the department for the period; or

(2)  validated by a registration insignia issued by the department that establishes that the vehicle is registered for the period.

(d)  Subsections (a) and (b) do not apply to a dealer operating a vehicle as provided by law.

(e)  An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

(f)  A court may dismiss a charge brought under Subsection (a) if the defendant:

(1)  remedies the defect before the defendant's first court appearance; and

(2)  pays an administrative fee not to exceed $10.

(g)  A court may dismiss a charge brought under Subsection (b) if the defendant:

(1)  shows that:

(A)  the passenger car or commercial motor vehicle was issued a registration insignia by the department that establishes that the vehicle was registered for the period during which the offense was committed; and

(B)  the registration insignia described in Paragraph (A) was attached to the passenger car or commercial motor vehicle before the defendant's first court appearance; and

(2)  pays an administrative fee not to exceed $10.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1027, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  502.405.  Operation Of Motorcycle Without Seal.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates, or as the owner permits another to operate, on a public highway during a registration period a motorcycle that does not have attached a registration seal for the period.

(b)  An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.407.  Operation Of Vehicle With Expired License Plate.

(a) A person commits an offense if, after the fifth working day after the date the registration for the vehicle expires:

(1)  the person operates on a public highway during a registration period a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that has attached to it a license plate for the preceding period; and

(2)  the license plate has not been validated by the attachment of a registration insignia for the registration period in effect.

(b)  A justice of the peace or municipal court judge having jurisdiction of the offense may:

(1)  dismiss a charge of driving with an expired motor vehicle registration if the defendant:

(A)  remedies the defect not later than the 20th working day after the date of the offense or before the defendant's first court appearance date, whichever is later; and

(B)  establishes that the fee prescribed by Section 502.176 has been paid; and

(2)  assess an administrative fee not to exceed $20 when the charge is dismissed.

(c)  An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 207, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1027, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  502.408.  Operation Of Vehicle With Wrong License Plate.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates, or as the owner permits another to operate, on a public highway a motor vehicle that has attached to it a number plate or registration insignia issued for a different vehicle. An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

(b)  to (d) Repealed by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.65, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.65, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  502.409.  Wrong, Fictitious, Altered, Or Obscured License Plate.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person attaches to or displays on a motor vehicle a number plate or registration insignia that:

(1)  is assigned to a different motor vehicle;

(2)  is assigned to the vehicle under any other motor vehicle law other than by the department;

(3)  is assigned for a registration period other than the registration period in effect;

(4)  is fictitious;

(5)  has blurring or reflective matter that significantly impairs the readability of the name of the state in which the vehicle is registered or the letters or numbers of the license plate number at any time;

(6)  has an attached illuminated device or sticker, decal, emblem, or other insignia that is not authorized by law and that interferes with the readability of the letters or numbers of the license plate number or the name of the state in which the vehicle is registered; or

(7)  has a coating, covering, protective material, or other apparatus that:

(A)  distorts angular visibility or detectability;

(B)  alters or obscures one-half or more of the name of the state in which the vehicle is registered; or

(C)  alters or obscures the letters or numbers of the license plate number or the color of the plate.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (f), an offense under Subsection (a) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $200, unless it is shown at the trial of the offense that the owner knowingly altered or made illegible the letters, numbers, and other identification marks, in which case the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c)  Subsection (a)(7) may not be construed to apply to:

(1)  a trailer hitch installed on a vehicle in a normal or customary manner;

(2)  a transponder, as defined by Section 228.057, that is attached to a vehicle in the manner required by the issuing authority;

(3)  a wheelchair lift or wheelchair carrier that is attached to a vehicle in a normal or customary manner;

(4)  a trailer being towed by a vehicle; or

(5)  a bicycle rack that is attached to a vehicle in a normal or customary manner.

(d)  A court may dismiss a charge brought under Subsection (a)(3), (5), (6), or (7) if the defendant:

(1)  remedies the defect before the defendant's first court appearance; and

(2)  pays an administrative fee not to exceed $10.

(e)  Repealed by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.66, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

(f)  An offense under Subsection (a)(4) is a Class B misdemeanor.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.66, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 851, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1189, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 837, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 30, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1027, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87, Sec. 27.001(102), eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  502.410.  Falsification Or Forgery.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly provides false or incorrect information or without legal authority signs the name of another person on a statement or application filed or given as required by this chapter.

(b)  Subsection (a) does not apply to a statement or application filed or given under Section 502.184, 502.352, 502.353, 502.354, 502.355, 504.201, 504.411, or 504.508.

(c)  An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.67(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728, Sec. 20.003(b), eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  502.411.  Bribery Of County Officer Or Agent.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person directly or indirectly agrees with the commissioners court of a county or an officer or agent of the commissioners court or county that the person will register or cause to be registered a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer in that county in consideration of:

(1)  the use by the county of the funds derived from the registration in the purchase of property; or

(2)  an act to be performed by the commissioners court or an agent or officer of the commissioners court or the county.

(b)  The registration of each separate vehicle in violation of Subsection (a) is a separate offense. The agreement or conspiracy to register is a separate offense.

(c)  A person who makes or seeks to make an agreement prohibited by Subsection (a) shall be restrained by injunction on application by the district or county attorney of the county in which the vehicle is registered or the attorney general.

(d)  An offense under this section is punishable in the same manner as an offense under Section 36.02, Penal Code.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  502.412.  Operation Of Vehicle At Weight Greater Than Stated In Registration Application.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates, or permits to be operated, a motor vehicle registered under this chapter that has a weight greater than that stated in the person's application for registration. Each use of the vehicle is a separate offense.

(b)  Venue for a prosecution under this section is in any county in which the motor vehicle is operated with a gross weight greater than that stated in the person's application for registration.

(c)  An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $200.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter I. Registration Transfer And Removal Of License Plates For The Sale Or Transfer Of Used Vehicles

Section 502.451.  Transfer Of Vehicle Registration And Removal Of License Plates.

(a) On the sale or transfer of a motor vehicle to a dealer, as defined by Section 503.001, who holds a general distinguishing number issued under Chapter 503, the dealer shall remove each license plate and the registration insignia issued for the motor vehicle.

(a-1)  On a sale or transfer of a motor vehicle to a person that does not hold a general distinguishing number issued under Chapter 503, the seller or transferor may remove each license plate and the registration insignia issued for the motor vehicle.

(b)  A license plate removed from a motor vehicle under Subsection (a) or (a-1) must be:

(1)  disposed of in the manner specified by the department; or

(2)  transferred to another vehicle owned by the seller or transferor as provided by Section 502.452.

(c)  The part of the registration period remaining at the time of the sale or transfer shall continue with the vehicle being sold or transferred and does not transfer with the license plates or registration validation insignia.  To continue the remainder of the registration period, the purchaser or transferee must file the documents required under Section 520.031.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 101, Sec. 2, eff. January 1, 2008.



Section 502.452.  Transfer Of Removed Plates.

(a) A person may use license plates removed from a vehicle under Section 502.451 on another motor vehicle that is titled in the person's name after the person:

(1)  obtains:

(A)  the department's approval of an application to transfer the license plates; and

(B)  a new registration insignia for the motor vehicle; and

(2)  pays the appropriate fees required under Section 502.453.

(b)  A person may use the license plates removed from a motor vehicle under Section 502.451 on a new motor vehicle purchased from a dealer licensed under Chapter 503 after the person:

(1)  obtains the department's approval of a title and registration application; and

(2)  pays the applicable title and vehicle registration fees and the transfer fee required under Section 502.453.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 101, Sec. 2, eff. January 1, 2008.



Section 502.454.  Temporary Permit For A Vehicle Purchased In A Private Party Transaction.

(a) A purchaser or transferee may obtain from the department a temporary single-trip permit to operate a motor vehicle:

(1)  that is subject to registration in this state;

(2)  from which the license plates and the registration insignia have been removed as authorized by Section 502.451(a-1); and

(3)  that is not authorized to travel on a public roadway because the required license plates and the registration insignia are not attached to the vehicle.

(b)  The department may issue the permit in accordance with this section.

(c)  A permit issued under this section is valid for one trip between the point of origin and the destination and those intermediate points specified in the permit.

(d)  A permit issued under this section may not be valid for longer than a five-day period.

(e)  A person may obtain a permit under this section by applying, on a form provided by the department, to the department.  Application may be made using the department's Internet website.

(f)  A person is eligible to receive only one permit under this section for a motor vehicle.

(g)  A permit receipt issued under this section must be on a form provided by the department. The receipt must contain the information required by this section and shall be carried in the vehicle at all times during which it is valid.

(h)  The department may refuse to issue a permit under this section for any vehicle if in the department's opinion the applicant has been involved in operations that constitute an abuse of the privilege granted under this section.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 101, Sec. 2, eff. January 1, 2008.



Section 502.456.  Department Support.

(a) The department may enter into a system design contract to determine the feasibility and benefits of an electronic registration and title system to facilitate the registration and titling of motor vehicles under this subchapter.

(b)  Subsection (a) may not be construed to authorize the department to implement a system or enter into a contract for the implementation of a system that affects the issuance of temporary license tags under Chapter 503.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 101, Sec. 2, eff. January 1, 2008.


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