In our blog about vehicle problems that are illegal to drive with in Texas, we mentioned that an unreadable license plate is something that can get you pulled over, but do you know the rest of the Texas license plate laws? Make sure you are driving legally, and with up-to-date registration by following these rules.
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Texas License Plate Laws
Front and Rear Plates Are Required
Only 31 of the 50 states require license plates on the front and rear of a vehicle, but Texas is one of them. Not displaying two license plates is a misdemeanor that could get you a fine up to $200! Both plates should be on the bumpers of the vehicle (front and rear), no more than 12 inches from the road. The rear license plate must also be illuminated clearly enough to be seen from 50 feet away. You will also need current registration stickers on the rear plate.
How long do I have to get plates after I buy a car?
If you have just moved to Texas, or have purchased a vehicle, you have 30 days to title and register it. When you get a car from a dealership usually they will handle the registration process on your behalf and you are legal to drive with the temporary plate from the dealership until your official plates arrive. If you are buying a car privately, you will have to get a temporary permit and register your vehicle within five days.
How can I replace my plates?
If you have lost your license plates, knocked them off in an accident, or they are just too worn-out to read and are due for replacement, you can get new ones for a small fee. You will need to visit your local tax assessor’s office with the plates you still have, a form, and payment. This form is also the way to get a new registration sticker if yours is lost from your vehicle. Cost is currently $6 and a $0.50 automation fee. We aren’t sure if this is per plate, or for a full replacement. If you are transferring your plates from one vehicle to another you will need to fill out paperwork but there is no fee.