You made it here. Now make it your own. In this Section AUTOMOBILE LAWS IMPORTANT CONTACTS FAITH & NONPROFIT COMMUNITIES The sooner you become involved in your community, the more Austin will feel like home. WELCOME! NOW THAT YOU ARE HERE in the greater Austin area, let’s help you get settled in. For starters, you’ll want to check out the following listings for taking care of the basics at home, such as utility hookups and garbage collection. We’ve also included information to help you locate the nearest post office and places to vote, too. Tuning in to some of the local radio and television stations, magazines, and newspapers will have you feeling at home right away. For your convenience, we also have included contact information for area business organizations and chambers of commerce, as well as employment-related resources. Happy unpacking! AUTOMOBILES Texas Driver’s License The Texas Department of Public Safety (Tx DPS), www.txdps.state.tx.us, handles the driver’s license division. Its website has current information on office locations, FAQs, obtaining driver records, online driver handbooks for download, and much more. You are a non-resident if you are at least 15 years of age and visiting Texas on vacation, going to school, or on a temporary job assignment. To be a legal non-resident driver, you must have in your immediate possession a valid driver’s license or instruction permit issued from your home state. As a non-resident, you may operate those types of vehicles permitted on the license or instruction permit issued by your home state and will not be required to register your vehicle in Texas or obtain a Texas driver’s license. If you have a valid out-of-country driver’s license and are 18 to 75 years old, you may drive a private, non-commercial motor vehicle in the state of Texas for up to one year from date of entry into the U.S., provided your home country has reciprocity with the U.S. Check the TxDPS website for reciprocity agreement status. If you choose to become a resident of Texas, you will need to surrender your valid out-ofstate license within 30 days of establishing residency. You will be required to take written and vision tests. If you have an expired out-ofstate license, you will be required to pass both the written and the driving exams, in addition to a vision test. The same is true if you have never had a license from any state. You will need to provide proof of identity, Social Security number, Texas vehicle registration, and liability insurance (if you own a vehicle) before you can begin any of these processes. You may contact TxDPS by email with your questions at customerservicedl@ txdps.state.tx.us. If you already have a valid Texas driver’s license or a Texas ID card and need to renew, visit www.txdps.state.tx.us and renew online! MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION/INSURANCE It may look like a little thing, but your vehicle registration sticker does great things for Texans. The fee you pay each year to register helps to build and maintain our highways, roads, and bridges. Plus, a portion of your fee goes to work in your own county. If you’re new to Texas, remember that you must register your vehicle within 30 days. Be a Registered Texan™ and stick up for the Lone Star State! Prior to first-time registration (and annually thereafter), vehicles must pass inspection at an authorized service station or garage. An inspection sticker, certificate of title, proof of sales tax (if purchased outside of Texas), and proof of insurance are required to obtain a license plate. For more information, call the tax assessor-collector in your county. Texas law requires automobile liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $30,000 per injured person, up to a total of $60,000 for everyone injured in an accident and $25,000 for property damage. This basic coverage is called 30/60/25 coverage. For more information about required automobile insurance coverage, visit www.texassure.com. FAITH & NONPROFIT COMMUNITIES Austin’s reputation as a well-rounded city holds true. Residents give back at nonprofits and volunteer at Austin’s many charities. We’re also members of many diverse and welcoming places to worship. Austin currently has more than 800 churches and synagogues, Hindu temples, Buddhist temples, and mosques, and prides itself on maintaining the atmosphere of a tolerant, diverse, and open city. There are three seminaries, the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest, the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the Austin Graduate School of Theology, as well as excellent religious education opportunities, starting with pre-school. The Austin Area Interreligious Ministries provides links to many area churches, faith communities, and community service organizations. There are more than 3,500 active nonprofits in a community that has a history of creative partnerships between government, nonprofit organizations, and local businesses to address important needs of the local population. Businesses that wish to establish corporate giving and employee volunteerism programs have a wealth of resources to draw upon from the Volunteer Center at the United Way Capital Area to the nonprofit management support networks at Greenlights for Nonprofit Success or I Live Here, I Give Here. For volunteer opportunities, visit impactnews.com/austin-metro/ central-texas-volunteer-guide
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