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Texas registration issues and steps to navigate them

dsm363

Roadster + Sig Model S
Moderator
May 17, 2009
18,279
160
Nevada
Since Texas has some unique laws and people getting their cars early have had some issues, a new thread dealing with just this was thought to be a good idea by one of the other mods.

Post any issues you had getting your registration done in Texas and what steps you took to correct it.

This discussion started in Nigel's delivery thread:
______________________
We got the same paper tag from California but it was also deemed to be not valid in Texas
___________

I had a ran into a few extra steps with my local credit union so wanted to update these steps to reflect my experience:

Updated Texas Delivery & Registration Process without a DS

Here's the updated process following the "finalize" step for Texas delivery without a Delivery Specialist:

  1. Tesla contacts you with VIN. (As often as not this is you contacting Tesla. These guys are incredibly busy and the squeaky wheel really does get the grease.) Whoever you get in touch of here should be your contact through the rest of the process. This will be about 2 weeks before your car is ready and if you're getting a loan you may need every day of those two weeks so get to work.
  2. At Tesla's request you send (fax or e-mail) copies of your driver's license and proof of insurance.
  3. Tesla sends you the "final" Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement (MVPA). The MVPA will show the amount of the car minus your $5k deposit. If you are getting a loan and putting more down than the $5k then don't bother signing this yet, it only wastes time. Find the page with wire instructions and immediately wire the remainder of your down payment to Tesla.
  4. Call Tesla back the next day and make sure the wire went through if it did ask them to send you an updated MVPA that shows the remaining amount due (i.e. the amount you want to borrow.)
  5. Call your bank, explain to them about 5 times that you're buying the car from a manufacturer and not a dealer and that you will need them to wire the final loan amount to Tesla. Ask them specifically if they can do that and what paperwork they need from Tesla in advance. At a minimum they will need a fully executed copy of the MVPA that shows the amount of the loan as the amount due.
  6. When you get the MVPA back from Tesla sign it quickly and then wait a day or two for them to sign it. During this time reach out to your Tesla contact and get them any additional paperwork that you bank requires. In my case it was a custom "Letter of Guarantee" and a front and back copy of the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin.
  7. I hate to say it, but call Tesla repeatedly through this part. By now your car is almost finished and you need to be squeaky wheel. Once you get all required documents back from Tesla send them on to your bank and ask them to wire the money.'
  8. Once your bank says the money is wired call Tesla back to try and get shipping information.
  9. Prior to shipment (hopefully), Tesla sends you the Mfr. Certificate of Origin (MCO), Texas Application for Title, Bill of Sale (hard copy of signed MVPA) and other paperwork. (If not, see Note 2, below.)
  10. You file the Application for Title with your County Tax Office, pay the sales tax, show proof of insurance and get your registration sticker and license plates (temp or otherwise). (See Note 3, below.)
  11. Your vehicle is delivered. You attach license plate(s) and go get a state inspection.
  12. You receive your Texas Title in the mail sometime later.


Notes

  1. I suggest that before you send the final payment you talk to someone and verify these steps. (Save their phone number.)
  2. If you get the car before you get the Texas paperwork to register it, you can get temporary tags at the DMV for $25 to allow you to drive the car for up to 30 days.
  3. If you have financing, fill in the lienholder information on the Title Application, if you have been instructed to do so by your lender, or bring the lender's paperwork with you.
 
Last edited:
@Babylonfive Potentially, but not over and above the standard plates. I took my paperwork to the TX DMW and had plates before I technically received the car (which was coming later that day). I then put a real plate on rather than a temporary. My personalized plate arrived later and I just swapped it when it arrived. Your process may be slightly different with the recent TX change (e.g. you'll have to pay the taxes when you pick up the plate until Tesla sorts through that) but once you do that, I don't see why you couldn't pick up a plate immediately.
 

Jrhodesmd

S Sig #371, X Prod #1143
Mar 17, 2012
67
0
Austin, TX
For Texas folks - how do you get your plates? Have my S, have the paperwork from Tesla with application for Texas title, receipt from Tesla, and ordered custom plates which should be at tax assessors. Did you get it inspected first? Do you then go to the tax assessors office and pay your sales tax and they give you plates? I didn't get the custom delivery b/c Tesla can't right now in the state of Texas, and the employees in California don't know the answers to this.
 

dsm363

Roadster + Sig Model S
Moderator
May 17, 2009
18,279
160
Nevada
For Texas folks - how do you get your plates? Have my S, have the paperwork from Tesla with application for Texas title, receipt from Tesla, and ordered custom plates which should be at tax assessors. Did you get it inspected first? Do you then go to the tax assessors office and pay your sales tax and they give you plates? I didn't get the custom delivery b/c Tesla can't right now in the state of Texas, and the employees in California don't know the answers to this.
The place where you pick up your plates also probably has a DMV component so can get it all done in same place most likely.
 

dsm363

Roadster + Sig Model S
Moderator
May 17, 2009
18,279
160
Nevada
Texas registration issues

Since Texas has some unique laws and people getting their cars early have had some issues, a new thread dealing with just this was thought to be a good idea by one of the other mods.

Post any issues you had getting your registration done in Texas and what steps you took to correct it.
 
I was told that Tesla can no longer apply for Texas registration for buyers, (I know this isn't news), but I received a power of attorney document from Tesla as part of the final paperwork to sign. I guess that it is just included with all paperwork sent out although they will not really use it. I plan on going straight to the DMV just as soon as I get the returned paperwork and then getting my car inspected the same morning of delivery...(unless it falls on a Sunday).
 

sublimaze1

8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins
Sep 6, 2012
1,132
76
Basin City, TX
I was told that Tesla can no longer apply for Texas registration for buyers, (I know this isn't news), but I received a power of attorney document from Tesla as part of the final paperwork to sign. I guess that it is just included with all paperwork sent out although they will not really use it. I plan on going straight to the DMV just as soon as I get the returned paperwork and then getting my car inspected the same morning of delivery...(unless it falls on a Sunday).

You may need a green sheet from the inspection station first - so do that before you head over to the DMV
 

Jrhodesmd

S Sig #371, X Prod #1143
Mar 17, 2012
67
0
Austin, TX
Two things. First, STxTesla, I noticed you're in CC. I'm in Austin, but I'm going to be driving to CC tomorrow night (Wed) for thanksgiving weekend. Would it be an imposition, if you have a 220v set up, if I came over and charged? The trip is 211 miles and my father in law only has a 110v in his garage, which I figured will take at minimum 3 days to charge from empty, and that's if I don't drive it while in town. Would greatly appreciate it, I'll bring wine (or beer)!
Second, registered today. So I ordered my plates 6 weeks ago, so they were already in. Tesla mails you a packet with your receipt, your application for a Texas title, and a certificate of origin from California. You take this, your checkbook (taxes were $6900 :scared:), drivers license, and proof of insurance to the Tax Assessors office. They register you and give you your plates. Next, you go get it inspected. This was hilarious. The guys had never seen a tesla before. They asked for help because "they needed to pop the hood to inspect the engine." That was a fun explanation. They then asked to see the battery to inspect it. Another explanation. They also wanted to see "the gas port." Basically I spent 20 min showing off the car to all of the mechanics. Then another 20 minutes to another couple guys in the parking lot who wanted to see it. It's been fun!
 

dsm363

Roadster + Sig Model S
Moderator
May 17, 2009
18,279
160
Nevada
I have no idea. Found it after reading about the problems in Texas. Nothing to do until Februaryish when the car comes so might as well plan the steps out from when I get the faithful call.

I sent ownership an e-mail. I tried to write out a 1..2..3 type checklist of steps after your car arrives (for Texas only) since it is so odd here and sent it to Tesla. I asked for follow up since a few things have changed (tax no longer collected by Tesla for one).
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,439
27,179
Texas
I sent ownership an e-mail. I tried to write out a 1..2..3 type checklist of steps after your car arrives (for Texas only) since it is so odd here and sent it to Tesla. I asked for follow up since a few things have changed (tax no longer collected by Tesla for one).

Once you get all the steps, perhaps they can go in it's own thread and make that thread a sticky. It also needs to be in the bulletin board in the TM forum.
 

TXjak

Owner/Investor/Advocate
Jun 1, 2011
354
74
Austin, TX

Note: "If we cannot match the VIN a Transit Permit cannot be printed."

I don't think it will work for a vehicle that hasn't been registered before.

- - - Updated - - -

So the question here is: How do you get the green sheet when you can't drive the car to the inspection station because of no license?

According to this post, you can get your plates before you get it inspected.
 
Just to confirm, Texas allows you to get plates without having the car inspected. Two separate processes. I don't know what would happen if you got stopped on the way to getting it inspected, but as long as you were respectful to the cop, I'm thinking you would just get a warning, especially if you showed them you just got the car that day and told them that you were getting it inspected later that day. Even if you got a ticket, you could just get the car inspected, get your paperwork together, and tell your story to the judge. Texas also has a 5 day grace period which may help you:

Is there a grace period to replace an expired inspection sticker? - DMV Answers

Or pay the fine--how much could it be be?
 

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