Buying or Selling a Vehicle?

Reporting the sale

WHY DO I NEED TO FILE?

Whenever you sell or give up ownership of a vehicle (including cars, trucks, motorcycles, registered off-road vehicles, and trailers), file a report of sale so you’re not held liable for any tolling bills, towing charges, or civil and criminal liabilities incurred by the new owner.

**The new owner is responsible for transferring the title.**

File a report of sale any time you sell, trade, gift, donate, or dispose of your vehicle. Please contact our office if you have any questions about when to report the sale of a vehicle.

If you’ve sold a boat, see Report the sale of a boat on the DOL website.

WHAT INFORMATION WILL I NEED?

  • License plate number
  • Date of the sale or transfer
  • Sale price – enter zero if a gift or inheritance
  • Name and address of the person or organization who took ownership of the vehicle and
  • VIN – Vehicle ID number

Make sure everything is correct before you file. If you find an error after you’ve filed, you’ll have to revisit our office to explain the error. The report will be deleted and you’ll need to file another one.

FILE YOUR REPORT

You should file within 21 days. There’s no late fee for filing after 21 days, but you may be held liable for any financial, criminal or civil liabilities that the new owner may incur. It’s in your best interest to file as soon as possible.

You may file multiple ways:

  • At our office (fee associated)
  • Mail a Vehicle report of sale form to our office (fee associated)
  • Report of sale online (no fee associated)

For more information please contact our office and we’d be happy to help you. You may also visit the Washington State Department of Licensing’s site for additional information and forms.

Transfer Ownership Into Your Name

When you buy from an auto dealer

Dealers will transfer the title into your name when you buy it. You will need an unexpired Washington State Driver’s License in order to complete the registration process.

When you buy from a private party

Find out how to transfer ownership into your name when you buy a vehicle from an individual or receive a vehicle as a gift.

1. When you need to transfer ownership

After you buy or get a vehicle as a gift, you have 15 days to transfer the ownership into your name. If you don’t transfer within 15 days you’ll have to pay penalties.

2. Find out how much it will cost

Find out how much it will cost to transfer ownership into your name by contacting our office, or coming in.

3. Complete the necessary paperwork

Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale – Completed by you and the seller.
• Enter sale price – This is used to calculate the use tax.
• Enter zero if it’s a gift or inheritance.

Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (Title) Application – Sign it in front of:
• A notary public, or
• A Title Clerk at our office

4. Submit your forms and payment

Submit the following at our office

  • Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale,
  • Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (Title) Application,
  • The current vehicle title, and
  • Payment – contact our office for the exact amount.
  • If needed, also submit:
    – Emissions testing report,
    – Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest, or Odometer Disclosure Statement.
5. Getting your title

How quickly do you want your title?

  • You can visit or mail your forms and payment to an office.
  • It will take 8–10 weeks to get your title.

If you need it faster than 8–10 weeks:

  • You can visit or mail your forms and fees to a Quick Title office*.
  • It’ll cost $50 plus the title fees.
  • NOTE: Quick titles aren’t available for snowmobiles, vehicles or boats reported as stolen, insurance or wrecker-destroyed vehicles and boats, or vehicles with ”WA Rebuilt“ on the title.

For more information please contact our office and we’d be happy to help you. You may also visit the Washington State Department of Licensing’s site for additional information and forms

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