The COVID-19 crisis has extended deadlines for expiring motor vehicle registrations and title transfers, both under a 60-day grace period that begins after disaster declarations are lifted.
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles said waivers of normal requirements for expired disabled parking placards and 30-day temporary permits were ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott last week. Vehicle inspections still need to be completed prior to renewing vehicle registrations.
“There is no need to be concerned any time soon regarding your registration sticker expiring for the month of March,” Comal County Tax Assessor-Collector Cathy Talcott said. “The (waiver) applies only for trailers and motorized vehicles.”
Renewals can be completed online at www.txdmv.gov or submitted through the mail. All three county tax offices are closed to public traffic, but employees remain at work processing payments and all other business, Talcott said.
“We are making appointments now with motor vehicle dealers because as an exempt business, they’re still selling cars,” she told county commissioners on Thursday. “We’re meeting with them one at a time and they’re complying with that really well.”
However, the state waivers do not apply to Tuesday’s deadline for those on quarter-pay property tax installments, eligible to individuals who are disabled/disabled veteran/surviving spouse of a disabled veteran, or at least 65 years of age and qualify for a homestead exemption.
“Unfortunately, there has been no extension from Austin at this time for our customers who have been approved for quarter pay,” she said. “Their payments will still be due by March 31.”
Talcott said she is asking the governor’s and comptroller’s offices to extend that deadline as well as waive late-payment penalty and interest fees outlined in the Texas Property Tax Code.
Two months after the 2019 property tax payment deadline, Talcott said it’s too soon to tell the extent the crisis will have on monthly collections, down by 0.14% compared to last year.
“Our February collections were up compared with last year’s February collections,” she said. “The overall 2019 levy is down just a tad, but not enough to make a deal of it at this point. Next month, when the March collection rates come out would be a more realistic comparison of what effects we will be seeing.”
Payments are accepted at www.ComalCountyTaxOffice.net, and at tax office drive-thru drop boxes or drop slots in the various office locations.
“Our staff is also available from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday- Friday to answer questions by phone at 830-221-1353,” Talcott said.
For more on statewide vehicle registrations, visit the COVID-19 page at the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website, www.txdmv.gov/covid-19.