Transfer ownership when buying from a private party
Important information Vehicle and vessel licensing offices can’t perform transactions on Saturday, December 10. Vehicle and vessel online services won’t be available December 7-12 while we update our system. On December 12, 2016, we’ll begin using a new vehicle and vessel computer system. In the days following the launch of our new system, you may experience longer than usual wait times.
DOL vehicle licensing system will be down on December 10 for system replacement (licensingexpress.wordpress.com). Overview
Know when you need to transfer ownership.
Gather the information you’ll need.
Complete all necessary forms.
Submit your forms and payment.
Get new license plates.
Add the vehicle to your License eXpress account.
1. Know 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:
$50 on the 16th day,
$2 per day after the 16th day, up to $125.
If you buy from a WA state dealer, they will take care of the transfer. If you buy from an out-of-state dealer, you may need to take care of the transfer. Find out more about
buying from a WA dealer.
sold, gifted, or donated your vehicle to someone else, you’ll need to file a report of sale. 2. Gather the information you’ll need
Find out how much it will cost by contacting a
vehicle licensing office location.
If the vehicle is
less than 10 years old fill out the Odometer Disclosure Statement: Because the Odometer Disclosure Statement form is printed on tamperproof paper, it’s not available online and we can’t fax or email one to you.
If you need a copy of the form, there are 3 ways to get it:
If you live in these counties, get an
Emissions testing report:
If the seller lost the title, they must complete an
Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest and sign it in front of a notary public or licensing agent at an office.
If your address is outside of WA state or mail delivery isn’t available at your WA address, complete a
Primary Residence Address Exception form. If the
owner is deceased, you may need other documentation, contact an office. 3. Complete all necessary forms
4. Submit your forms and payment
Submit the following to an
Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale,
Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (Title) Application,
The current vehicle title, and
Payment – contact an
office for the exact amount.
If needed, also submit:
Emissions testing report,
Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest, or
Odometer Disclosure Statement.
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. 5. Get new license plates
Since the vehicle has changed ownership, you’ll need to get new plates.
There are exceptions – Plates don’t need to be replaced if:
You’re removing a deceased spouse or domestic partner from the title.
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.
Required plate replacement for more information. 6. Add the vehicle to your License eXpress account
Once the ownership has been transferred into your name you can add it to your License eXpress account. With License eXpress, you can manage all your vehicles:
See when your vehicle’s tabs are due.
Make sure your address is up-to-date.
Sign-up or update email renewal notices and more.
To learn more, see
What is License eXpress? Related information
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