Becoming a Texan: a Checklist for New Residents

Dave Perry Miller New Resident Packet
January 12, 2017

Before adding “y’all” to your vocabularly, purchasing exotic cowboy boots, deciding which truck to buy and adjusting your calendar for Friday night football games, make these legal adjustments during your first few weeks in the Lone Star state: 

1. Wills & Estates: Being a community property state, Texas law affects current estate plans very differently. Divorce, children and death will also affect your assets and what happens to them when your life changes. Creating or updating estate documents with your expectations is best accomplished with an experienced Texas estate planning attorney. 

2. Safe Deposit Box: Your updated will and other important documents need a readily- accessible home. Have you inventoried or updated your safe deposit documents lately?

3. Voter Registration: Your vote counts. Visit VoteTexas.gov for steps on how to register to vote in Texas. 

4. Texas Driver’s License: To transfer your out-of-state driver’s license within 90 days of  establishing residency, visit your local TX Department of Public Safety (DPS) office in person with the required documents. For more details, visit DPS.Texas.gov. 

5. Automobile Insurance: Notify your insurance agent to update your policy’s address. It’s required for Texas vehicle registration.

6. License Plates & Vehicle Registration: Texas requires annual vehicle inspections. To timely register your car within the 30 day deadline, simply take your vehicle to a certified DPS inspection station. Many mechanic shops and oil change locations are certified by DPS as inspection locations. Bring your insurance card. 

Next, visit your local county tax-assessor collector office to get your vehicle registration sticker and license plates. For more details on what documents to bring with you, visit TXDMV.gov. 

7. Moving your business? Check out GrayReed.com/Moving for helpful tips. 

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