That's four visits to two different municipal offices in an attempt to transfer the title of my shiny new Rav4 into my name. A couple of points you may want to take note of, just in case your find yourself buying a car outside of a dealership.
- You have 20 business days to transfer a title in the state of Texas. (Transfer the title and pay the sales tax.) If you take longer than 20 business days, the state of Texas gets a teeny, tiny bit cranky.
- You do not go to the same place to transfer a title that you do to get a copy of a title. Two very different places.
- If the car you are purchasing is older than a couple of years, you need proof that it has passed an emissions test within 60 days of the title transfer, at least in Harris county.
- You pay sales tax on the value of the car, not the sales price. Not normally an issue and, to be honest, I wasn't terribly shocked by this, but I've never been so grateful to not have had time to go shopping.
My third trip, first to the correct location, was where I discovered the little emissions test gem. My fourth visit went without a hitch and I did manage to get everything taken care of and the penalties for being five months late weren't too steep.