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Coronavirus In Texas: State Waives Certain Rules For Vehicle Registration, Titles

AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott is waiving certain rules and regulations for vehicle registration, titling and parking placards for people with disabilities durning the COVID-19 outbreak.

That's good timing for Tom Vincent of Arlington.

With the registration about to expire on two of his vehicles, he said he worries about getting pulled over by police.

"You got to stay at home," said Vincent. "We normally get our vehicles inspected a month early. We couldn't do that in March."

Drivers like Vincent can expect some relief.

The suspension expires 60 days after Gov. Abbott ends the disaster declaration, allowing drivers to avoid penalties for failing to "timely title or register a vehicle, or renew a parking placard."

Disaster declarations last for 30 days.

Gov. Abbott recently extended the declaration on Sunday, April 12.

The Governor's Office explained in a news release, "The Governor will work with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure law enforcement officers throughout the state are aware of these waivers."

"Texans do not need to worry about having to go into an office and take care of any of these services," said Adam Shaivitz, a spokesman for TxDMV. "Obviously, the focus is to avoid that in-person interaction and slow the spread of COVID-19."

TxDMV will also provide registration renewal services here.

For more information, drivers can contact the agency at 888-368-4689.

Many county tax assessor offices are closed to the public. For more information about your county tax office, click here.

But many offices can still process renewals and transactions online, by mail or by phone.

Some tax offices are accepting limited appointments for select transactions.

For example, the Collin County Tax Assessor-Collector Office is scheduling appointments for services that cannot be completed online. An employee said only ten people are allowed in the building at any given time.

The waiver also affects towing practices.

For now, cars cannot be towed from private property over expired registration or license plates.

"It's not fair to tow people for something they're not able to do anything about at this point," said Tela Mange, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. "You need to have heart. Folks can't get out and take care of that issue."

Drivers who believe their vehicles were improperly towed should file a complaint with the TDLR.

Vincent said he's glad for an extension so he and his wife can safely stay at home.

"I think it was just absolutely awesome," Vincent said. "That takes a lot of pressure off not only myself but all the rest of the people in Texas that have the same dilemma."

The temporary extension also applies to drivers who need to obtain an initial registration for their vehicle.

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