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Vehicle Registration Frequently Asked Questions
If you do not find your question listed below click on one of thse four links to see if your question may be on the TxDot website:
Vehicle Registration FAQs
Motor Carriers FAQs
Driver's Licenses FAQs
License and Registration Questions
Can I pay my vehicle registration on the internet?
Yes, you may by going to
then click on the register your vehicle link. You may only pay by Visa or Mastercard.
How do I register and title a motorcycle?
You may e-mail us at
You may telephone us at
If you wish to correspond with our office, please address your letters to Gary Barber, Tax Assessor-Collector, P.O. Box 2011, Tyler,Texas 75710. Our main office is located at 1517 West Front in Tyler, Texas 75702.
There are also three (3) substations located throughtout Smith County that can also help you get your vehicle license renewed.
Click here for their locations and phone numbers
Can I download forms that pertain to motor vehicle?
Texas Department of Transportation Vehicle Title and Registration Forms Page
has many of the commonly used forms that can be downloaded. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer in order to view the documents. Link to
on this page, and from there you can download Acrobat Reader.
I am disabled and would like to obtain license plates with the international symbol of access. What should I do?
Texas law allows disabled residents to obtain either a) one set of plates with the international symbol of access plus one placard, or b) two placards. A placard may be displayed in any vehicle being used to transport the disabled person. If the vehicle does not have disabled-person license plates, the law requires that the placard be displayed on the rear-view mirror whenever the vehicle is parked in a disabled-person parking space. A disability statement form is available from the Smith County Tax office. The applicant's physician must complete the form VTR-214. The physician's signature must be notarized unless a separate written original prescription is submitted. The fee for a placard is five dollars ($5.00). Placards must be renewed every four years. There is an exchange fee of $1.30 ($1.00 processing fee if done through the mail) for a set of disabled-person license plates, if the registration is current. Additional sets of disabled person plates may be obtained for vehicles specially equipped for operation by a person who has lost the use of one or both legs. For more information on disabled person placards and license plates, please see the
Frequently Asked Questions About License Plates
provided by the Texas Department of Transportation.
What should I do if my license plates are damaged or stolen?
You can obtain replacement plates at the Smith County Tax Office. If your plates are damaged or you are only missing one plate, please turn in the remaining license plate(s) to the Tax Office for proper disposal and recycling. Please also bring with you your current registration receipt. There will be a $6.30 fee.
How do I replace a windshield validation sticker?
You can obtain a replacement windshield validation sticker at the Smith County Tax Office. Please bring with you your current registration receipt. There will be a $6.30 fee.
Is insurance required to purchase a one-trip or 30-day permit?
Yes, insurance must be on the vehicle the permit is for. Also, payment must be in cash, cashier's check or money order.
How do I obtain personalized license plates or other special plates?
You may obtain an Application for Personalized License Plates from the Texas Department of Transportation. There is a charge in addition to the regular registration fee. The amount charged for personalized and special plates varies according to the type ordered. In some cases, the applicant must meet eligibility requirements before applying for special plates. Follow the instructions on the forms. See the
Special License Plates Listing
for pictures of the specialty plates that are available in Texas.
I lost my title. How do I get a duplicate?
Applicants for a Certified Copy of title may be the owner of record, lienholder, or verifiable agent of either. Whether the application is submitted by mail or walk-in, all applicants must provide:
A properly completed Application for Certified Copy of Title (Form VTR-34), which is available at all VTR Regional Offices, county tax assessor-collectors offices, and on VTR’s Fax on Demand at 1-888-232-7033.
The appropriate fee: $2.00 for mail-in applications and $5.45 for walk-in applications. (If mailed, the fee should be in the form of a check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the Texas Department of Transportation.) Please do not mail cash.
Photo ID (State or US-issued photo ID, such as Texas or other state driver’s license, government identification card, U.S. Passport, or military identification) of the person signing the Form VTR-34.
If mailing by overnight or express mail through a mail service which requires a physical address, mail to the VTR Regional Office nearest you, using the appropriate street address on the back of the Form VTR-34.
Verifiable Agent of Owner or Lienholder (Mail-in or Walk-in):
In addition to the requirements above, a verified agent of the owner or lienholder must also provide a letter of signature authority on original letterhead, or a business card, or copy of the agent’s employee ID.
If the Form VTR-34 is signed with a Power of Attorney (POA), the transaction must have, in addition to the requirements above:
Photo ID of recorded owner/lienholder signing the POA.
Photo ID of individual signing the Form VTR-34
NOTE: Businesses given POA will also be required to provide a letter of signature authority on original letterhead, business card, or a copy of employee ID
I just bought/sold a car. How do I transfer the title?
The seller must write the purchaser's name and address, the odometer reading and date of sale in the title assignment.
Purchaser and seller must each sign both the title and the title application form (Form 130-U).
Both signed documents must be given to the purchaser, along with the registration receipt.
The purchaser must then go to any Smith County Tax Office location and file the title application. Proof of current insurance will be required. The fee is $33, plus motor-vehicle sales tax (6.25 percent). There is also a $2.50 transfer of a current registration fee. If the license is not current, there may be a registration fee.
When you purchase a vehicle from a licensed Texas dealer located in Smith County, the dealer is required to complete all the paperwork necessary to title and register the vehicle in your name. The dealer is also required to file the documents with the Smith County Tax Office within 20 business days of the date you purchased the vehicle.
I've bought a vehicle and I have liability insurance on another car. What document can I use to show proof of financial responsibility when I transfer title and registration?
The personal automobile policy for any other vehicle an individual owns provides 30-day coverage after an additional vehicle has been acquired. Therefore, a copy of the personal automobile insurance policy or the card issued for the policy is acceptable as proof of financial responsibility.
What is required to correct an error in the odometer reading after the title has been issued?
A statement of fact will be required. This statement must address the discrepancy and must be acknowledged by both the seller and the buyer involved in the transaction in which the error was made.
I sold my vehicle several months ago, but the registration and title have not been changed to reflect the new owner's name and address. I'm getting notices about parking tickets involving that vehicle and the registration renewal notice has also come to me. What can I do?
It is likely the new owner has not transferred title into his or her name. Contact the Smith County Tax Office or
VTR Regional Office
and fill out the Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification (Form VTR-346). Upon receipt of the fee and the form, the State will place a notation on the motor vehicle record stating that the vehicle has been transferred. The fee for this service is five dollars ($5.00). Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Texas Department of Transportation.
How do I turn a Salvage Document into a blue negotiable Texas title?
If a salvaged vehicle for which a salvage document has been issued is repaired and placed in operable condition by a purchaser of such salvaged vehicle, the person or firm who purchased and repaired the vehicle (Texas licensed salvage dealers excepted) must apply for title and registration in their name. The following must support the application for title:
Form 61- Rebuilt Affidavit
A $65 Rebuilt fee
In any case when a negotiable title is issued and a Salvage Document is in evidence, the negotiable title will contain a notation to indicate that the vehicle was previously damaged. "Flood Damaged" will be shown, when applicable, or “Rebuilt Salvage” will be shown. These notations are carried permanently in the master title records and will appear on all subsequent titles.
Valid proof of financial responsibility, covering the described vehicle, in the applicant’s name.
What information is required and who is authorized to execute a Statement of Fact should one be required to correct an error on a title assignment?
The statement must certify to the correct information and must include a description of the vehicle identification number and the date the statement was executed. Only the seller is authorized to execute the Statement of Fact. However, if the Statement of Fact is required for the odometer disclosure portion of the assignment, in addition to the seller's signature, the buyer must also acknowledge the statement.
License and Registration Questions
Which types of vehicles may be used on the highway without having to be registered?
The following vehicles may be operated upon the highway without registration:
A farm trailer or farm semi-trailer used in farming operations that does not exceed 4,000 pounds gross weight.
A farm tractor used in a farming operation and not "for hire", and
Implements of husbandry (those devices used to till the soil and harvest crops)
I'm going out of town for vacation, and my registration will expire while I am gone. May I renew it in advance?
Yes. You can renew you registration up to two months prior to your expiration month.
I just moved to Texas. How do I register my vehicle?
Before it can be registered, your vehicle must pass a State of Texas vehicle safety inspection and a visual verification of the vehicle identification number. These services are available at state-approved Safety Inspection Stations. If you are leasing the vehicle you must have the vehicle inspected in Texas.
The inspection facility will provide you with a Vehicle Identification Certificate (Form VI-30-A). You must submit this form to the Smith County Tax Office along with an Application for Texas Certificate of Title. You must also submit your out-of-state title, or out-of-state registration, with the signed Application. In most cases, a New Resident Fee of $90.00 will be due. Title and registration fees are due at the time the application for title is made. You may do this in person at any Smith County Tax Office or by mail.
Proof of liability insurance is required in Texas in order for these services to be provided. If you have out-of-state insurance you will need to bring the policy when registering the vehicle.
For how long may a new Texas resident operate his or her vehicle in this state while displaying current out-of-state license plates?
He or she can operate the vehicle for a period of thirty days after establishing residence or entering gainful employment, after which time the vehicle must be registered in Texas.
I have not received my registration renewal notice. What do I do?
Your vehicle registration can be renewed at any of the Smith County Tax Office locations by using your license receipt from the previous year, the title, or the license plate number along with proof of insurance and identification. The Smith County Tax Office is able to verify your registration, electronically, either by using your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or your license plate number. Just call the Smith County Motor Vehicle Registration Office at 903-590-2900 and we'll help you correct the problem
I did not receive my renewal notice and my registration has expired. Why am I being forced to pay a 20% penalty?
The 20% penalty is required by law if a vehicle is driven on public highways with expired registration after the five-day grace period and you were issued a ticket by law enforcement.
Can a vehicle be operated after its registration expires?
Yes. A vehicle may be operated for five County working days after its registration expires without penalty.
What if I haven't driven the vehicle since my registration expired. Do I still pay the 20% penalty?
You do not have to pay a penalty as long as you have not been ticketed for driving your vehicle with expired registration. You will pay for 12 months registration.
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