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Licenses, Motor Vehicle Regulations & State Regulations

Licenses

Information on obtaining and renewing driver's licenses, including driver's license office locations, is available at the Texas Department of Public Safety (Texas DPS) Web site. Trainee & Alumni Affairs will need to see a legal photo ID on the day you check in. Therefore, do not surrender your photo driver's license until after that has been done.  

Automobile Registration

All applications for a Texas Certificate of Title and Registration must be filed with the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector at the Harris County Administration Building, 1001 Preston, or at any of the area substations. Registration renewal may now be done online. For more information call (713) 368-2000, and ask for the automobile department, or visit the Harris County Tax Office Web site.  Before registering a vehicle, a new resident must have it inspected at an authorized state inspection station. For more information on auto inspections visit the Texas DPS Web site.

Passenger Car Trailers

A license is required. Trailer must comply with state light, brake, hitch and size regulations. Fees vary, depending on weight of the trailer; the minimum is $24.

Motorcycles

More information on motorcycle riding in Texas is available at the Texas DPS Web site.

Mopeds

More information on moped riding in Texasis available at the Texas DPS Web site.

Watercraft

For information contact the Department of Parks and Wildlife at (512) 389-4828, or by visiting the Web site.

Insurance


All motor vehicles must carry evidence of financial responsibility for liability - either an insurance card, a self-insurance certificate issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety or a certificate of deposit from the State Treasury. This is required before an inspection sticker, driver's license or vehicle registration sticker can be issued. More information is available at the Texas Department of Public Safety (Texas DPS) Web site

Seat Belt Law


Bicycle Helmets


A Houston City Ordinance requires bicyclists under age 18 to wear helmets. First violation is a $50 fine with $100 fines for subsequent violations. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), helmets can reduce the risk of injury or death by 85 percent. Bike helmets must meet one of four existing safety standards. Before buying a helmet, look for a label inside that says it conforms to ANSI, ASTM, SNELL or CSA standards. When buying a helmet for a child, take the child along to try it on.

The following are highlights of Texas traffic laws that are particularly applicable to city driving.

Lane Changing

 

Right turn on Red

Alcoholic Beverages

Liquor is sold by the package in liquor stores and by the drink in any type of licensed establishment. Legal age is 21. The sale of liquor, beer and wine in a city, county or precinct, however, is determined by local option. In a dry precinct, city or county, no alcoholic beverages may be sold. One tax-paid quart of liquor, case of beer or gallon of wine may be imported by persons over 21 years of age. It is against the law in Texas to drink an alcoholic beverage while driving or to have an open alcoholic beverage container in a moving vehicle.

Pets

For information, visit the Texas Department of Health Zoonosis Division.

Horses must be accompanied by a health certificate and have a negative EIA test within six months prior to entering Texas. There are, however, certain exemptions to the regulations. For information, contact the Texas Animal Health Commission, P.O. Box 12966, Austin, Texas 78711, (512) 719-0700 or 1-800-550-8242.

Plants

For information, contact the State Department of Agriculture, Stephen F. Austin Building, 1700 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701, (512) 463-7476.

An inspection is required for house plants entering the state of Texas from Connecticut. Connecticut residents must contact the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station several weeks in advance to schedule an inspection.


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