The actual move went very smooth. But I do have a few tips for those moving to Texas from out of state. When I went to try to get all of my accounts, licenses and cars registered, it would have been handy to know the exact order they want them done beforehand. It would have prevented a lot of headaches and running around.
First, go get your accounts set up at a local bank. Even if you used the same bank in the other state, Texas has different banking laws, and they will typically have to create a new Texas account for you here. Plus you will have to have an active government picture ID. The bank will not care if it is from another state, but it must be a permanent ID, not the temporary one you will be issued when you switch your ID over to Texas.
Second, go to your insurance agency and get your car insurance transferred to Texas. You can’t do any of the following until that has been done.
Third, get your cars inspected at a Texas Vehicle Inspection Station. Not many places will inspect cars anymore since the state went to the required computer system. And of those that still do, several didn’t have the special out of state form required. We found that Quicker Sticker in College Station by the Post Office had all the necessary forms, and was quick and easy to deal with.
Fourth, go to the county tax office and get the titles and registrations of all your vehicles taken care of. You can not apply for a Texas Drivers License until you have proof that your cars are registered. If you have misplaced your title in the move like we had, it is not a problem. Just let them know and you can get the car registered and keep the title in the state you moved from and you can transfer the title later for an additional fee. Oddly enough trailers with a gross weight of less than 4000 lbs don’t require titles, just a bill of sale to get them registered (keep your out of state title as evidence). My registration fees, even with the $90 new resident fee were still cheaper than what my normal renewal fees would have been in California.
Finally you can go to the DPS (Texas Department of Public Safely) office and apply for your drivers license. You will need to surrender your drivers license from the state you moved from (a passport will work also if you didn’t have a license in another state), your social security card, proof of Texas vehicle registration, Texas liability insurance, pass the vision test, get fingerprinted, and pay the necessary fees and then you will receive your temporary Texas Drivers License.
Try to do these steps out of order and you will be running around pulling your hair out. Trust me. Remember most places will not accept the temporary license as an ID, so make sure you have all the things you need to have done complete before getting your Texas ID. This is especially true for banks and financial institutions.
Enjoy your move, and WELCOME to Texas.