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New to Houston

Houston - known as the energy capital of the world is the fourth largest city in the United States. Its bursting economy, job growth and low cost of living positions Houston as a popular international destination.

If you are new to the Houston area, there are a few things you might want to know before and after your move. The Greater Houston metropolitan area consists of eight counties: Harris, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller. Texas does not have a state income tax, but it does have property taxes. We hope some of the resources listed below will help you in your journey to get settled. Welcome to Houston!

Government Websites


Auto Registration and Insurance

If you are new to Texas, you have 30 days to get a vehicle inspection and register the vehicle. (1) You must pass inspection first. Be sure to take your insurance card with you. (2) After inspection take the following to your county tax office:
  • Inspection certification
  • Proof of liability insurance
  • Vehicle odometer reading (if less than 10 years old)
  • Original out-of-state title
  • Proof of registration
  • Proof of sales tax payment or current foreign or military ownership document
  • Completed Form VTR 130-U
For more information on fees and documents, visit
  • http://txdmv.gov/motorists/register-your-vehicle
  • Every 12 months, the vehicle must pass a safety inspection.

    Information for vehicles purchased out of state or country is
  • here
  • Texas Law - Proof of Liability Insurance

    Texas law states that anyone operating a motor vehicle in the state must establish financial responsibility for that vehicle, which most people do by buying automobile liability insurance.

    Visit this for minimum requirements - http://www.helpinsure.com/auto/frvp.html

    Texas Driver's License

    Anytime you change addresses, you need to update your drivers license. In Texas, you have 90 days to do so. If you are moving from out-of-state and have a valid drivers license and own a vehicle you will need to provide the following:
    • Proof of Texas Registration
    • Proof of liability Insurance (state law)
    • A social security number
    • And the out-of-state license
    • Pass a vision only test
    If your license has expired you will have to retake the test. More information and locations can be found at:
  • http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/movingtotexas.htm
  • - or call Texas DPS Driver's License Office in Houston at (713) 681-6187.

    Texas Voter Registration

    To be eligible to register to vote in Texas, you must meet these requirements:
    • Be a US citizen residing in Texas
    • Be at least 18 years old on election day
    • Not be a convicted felon (unless sentence, probation and/or parole are completed.)
    • Not be declared mentally incapacitated by a court of law.
    In most Texas counties, the Tax Assessor-Collector is also the Voter Registrar. You can also visit http://votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/
    You can also register to vote when you apply for a license.

    Texas Homestead Exemption

    You may apply to get a tax break from your property taxes by filing a Homestead Exemption on your principal residence. Homestead exemptions remove part of your home's value from taxation, thus lowering your taxes.

    The deadline for filing is up to one year after the delinquency date which is normally February 1st.

    For more information on Texas Homestead Exemptions visit: http://www.hctax.net/Property/TaxBreaks.

    For more information on Harris County property taxes - visit visit www.hcad.org.




    2018 Emancipation Ave
    Houston, TX 77003


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