Congratulations! You’ve purchased or sold a vehicle, and hopefully got a great deal. 😊
Generally, when you work with an auto dealer, they will take care of the paperwork to report the sale and transfer title, but if it is a private sale or transfer here’s a few things to know specific to WA state:
- If you purchase a vehicle or receive one as a gift you must transfer ownership into your name within 15 days. Unfortunately, penalties begin to accrue on day 16 – an additional $50, then $2 per day after day 16, up to $125. Transfer fees vary, you will need to contact a Licensing Office to find out how much it will be.
- If the vehicle is model year 2011 or newer, you are required to fill out the odometer reading on the Title. If you don’t have the Title, you will need to get an Odometer Disclosure form from a local licensing office – this form cannot be downloaded as it is printed on tamper-proof paper.
- Next, complete the Vehicle Bill of Sale and the Vehicle Title Application (the Title Application will either need to be notarized or signed in front of a WA Vehicle Licensing Agent).
- These completed forms along with the Title, Odometer Disclosure (if required), and payment should be submitted to a WA Vehicle Licensing Office either in person or by mail. Typically it will be 8-10 weeks before you receive your Title, however if you need it quicker, you can submit it to a Quick Title Office for an additional fee.
- Most likely the vehicle will need new license plates due to the change of ownership. There are a few exceptions, including: removing a deceased spouse or domestic partner from the title. Also, if you got your vehicle from: your spouse or domestic partner, a family member as a gift or inheritance, or a trust in which the registered owner or their immediate family members are the beneficiaries of the trust.
- Remove the license plates – doing so reduces your potential liability for fees or charges as it will prompt the buyer to transfer ownership to their name
- File a Report of Sale with DOL if: you sell or trade to a private party, gift or donate the vehicle, take it to a wrecking facility, give it to an insurance company, or dispose of it otherwise.
- Filing should be done within 5 days and the fee is $13.25. There is no penalty for filing after the 5-day mark but delaying may increase your potential liability for criminal, financial, or civil matters.
- Gather the following information: license plate number, VIN, date of sale, sale price, name & address of party taking ownership of the vehicle.
- You can file online or fill out the application and either bring it in to a vehicle licensing office or mail it in.
Don’t forget to update your auto insurance provider, and if you have a Good To Go account associated with the vehicle be sure to update that too.
For more detailed information and instructions visit the Department of Licensing website.
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