Texans titling a vehicle in the state and first-time registrants will soon have to show identification, enhancing public safety and paving the way for more customer-friendly automation.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) Board passed new identification rules at its Thursday meeting. The rules were required as part of two new state laws (HB 2017 and HB 2357) that mandate identification for titling a vehicle and first-time registrants. This change does not apply to registration renewals.

The identification requirements are a two-phase process designed to give Texans, tax assessor-collectors and businesses an opportunity to become educated on the new procedure. Through Aug. 31, 2013, an acceptable form of ID is a government-issued ID with a photo, a unique identification number, a birth date, an expiration date and must be acceptable to the county Tax Assessor-Collector.

On Sept. 1, 2013 and thereafter, the only acceptable government photo identification will be a:

• Driver license or state identification certification issued by a state or territory of the U.S.

• U. S. or foreign passport

• U. S. military identification

• North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) identification or identification issued under a U.S. Status of Forces Agreement

• U. S. Department of Homeland Security identification

• U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services documentation

• U.S. Department of State ID

The new identification requirements are another step towards creating more electronic services for customers, and ensuring the integrity of the motor vehicle database.

Next year Texans can expect to see the replacement of paper titles with electronic ones or “eTitles,” that will take the burden off vehicle owners to keep track of their title and help to reduce title fraud. The eTitle system is expected to launch in fall 2013.

The TxDMV plans to further automate the motor vehicle database so vehicle owners can be found by name.

Currently the system can only find an owner in the database by the vehicle identification or license plate number.