Washington DMV Title Transfer Guide
How To Transfer A Vehicle Title In Washington
The title of your car is an official document that states both the details of the vehicle as well as information about both current previous owners of the vehicle. If the car has a loan out on it, the title is typically made to the lending institution.
If it’s owned outright, then it will have an individual’s name on it. If two parties own it (e.g., a husband and wife), then both names will be listed on the title.
If you’re looking for how to transfer a car title in Washington, see how it all works before getting started.
What Do You Need To Transfer A Car Title?
This depends on who you purchased the car from. If you buy from a dealership, you don’t need very much because the dealer will take care of the details on their end. You’ll essentially need a valid drivers license in order to make the official transfer.
If you buy from a private party, you’ll need the original title from the seller, as well as a bill of sale. If the car is less than 10 years old, the buyer will need an Odometer Disclosure Statement.
You can obtain this by emailing or calling the Department of Licensing, or by walking into any vehicle licensing office. You may also need to get an emissions test upon transfer if you live in certain counties in Washington. All cars in Washington need to pass California standards for emissions.
How Much Does It Cost To Transfer A Car Title?
The standard service fee in Washington is $12, so long as the title is in hand. It doesn’t cost anything more to transfer a car title unless you fail to comply with state law. In Washington, you’re required to register your title officially within 15 days of purchase.
If you fail to do so, you’ll be subjected to $50 on the 16th day with fines increasing every day by $2 (up to a total fine of $125).
If you’re wondering how much is a title transfer, it helps to act as quickly as possible after a purchase to avoid the extra fees.
How To Transfer Ownership Of A Car Without A Title
If the title was lost or stolen, the state of Washington allows an owner to fill out Form TD-420-040, otherwise known as Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest/Gross Weight License.
This form must be signed in front of a licensed notary, and then given to the buyer. Requesting a duplicate title will cost $43 total in fees ($31 for the title and $12 for the service charges).
How To Fill Out Transfer Of Title Form
Filling out a DMV title transfer form is relatively straightforward. The title transfer requirements include basic information about the car and the owner in order to track the status of the car throughout its lifetime.
Owners will need the VIN, current license plate number, the name of the buyer, and the date and price of the sale.
If you’re wondering how to transfer a car title to a family member as a gift, you’ll follow the same rules, but you’ll put a ‘0’ as the amount of the sale price. You may also have to pay a special tax of .3% (called the use tax) if you cannot prove that all taxes have been paid on the vehicle (unless the car is more than seven years old).
In addition, you may have to pay title transfer fees based on the type of vehicle in question.
How To Transfer A Car Title When Owner Is Deceased
If the vehicle was under joint ownership, then the surviving owner can transfer the title to their name with the help of the official death certificate.
If not, then the vehicle can be put into the name of the estate of the decedent or it can be released by a personal representative (normally the person with power of attorney) to the new owner. In this case, owners will need a copy of the court order that documented the release to be attached to the certificate of ownership.
My Car Title Signed But Never Transferred. What Do I Do?
Sometimes buyers don’t do what they’re supposed to do after the sale has officially taken place. If a title has been signed over but never officially registered with the Washington state DMV, then sellers could potentially be liable for the buyer’s mistakes.
For example, they may receive a ticket in their name after releasing the car. To avoid this, sellers should make copies of and keep all documentation from the sale so they have proof of the transaction.
This is where an official bill of sale can really come in handy. In addition, you can call the DMV to inform them of the events that have already occurred.
Most of the time this situation occurs because the buyer has simply forgotten or otherwise become preoccupied after purchasing the car. Sellers are usually protected in this case, so long as they have the accompanying documentation.
Washington DMV Hours And Contact Information
For more information on questions specific to your title transfer scenario, clarification on the title transfer process in the state of Washington, or for WA DMV hours and to find the DMV location nearest to you, visit the official Washington State Department of Licensing website by clicking here.
Common Questions About Washington Title Transfer
Are there any questions about transferring a car title that we didn’t cover?
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