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Transfer ownership when buying from a private party

You’re responsible for transferring ownership of a vehicle into your name within 15 days of:

  • Buying it from a private party.
  • Receiving it as a gift.

What you’ll need

  • Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (title)
    • The seller must release ownership by signing in the appropriate place on the title.
    • Everyone listed on the title must sign it.
  • Your unexpired Washington driver license
    Unless they’re exempt from getting a Washington driver license under RCW 46.20.025, the new owners must:
    • Present their unexpired Washington driver licenses at the licensing office.
    • or
    • Provide the license numbers from their unexpired Washington driver licenses on the mail-in application form.
  • Bill of sale
    • Both you and the seller must provide information about the sale on a Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale.
    • Be sure to include the sale price, which is used to calculate the use tax you must pay.
  • Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest
    • If the title is lost, the seller must complete an Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest and sign it in front of a notary public, county auditor, or licensing agent.
    • Everyone listed on the vehicle record must sign the affidavit.
  • Emissions testing report
    Emissions testing is required in urban areas of:
    • Clark County
    • King County
    • Pierce County
    • Snohomish County
    • Spokane County
  • Vehicle Title Application
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement
    If the vehicle is less than 10 years old, both you and seller must state the mileage and sign, either on the title itself or on an Odometer Disclosure Statement.
     
    Note: 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. To get a copy of the form:
    • Pick one up at any vehicle licensing office.
    • Send a request with your name and mailing address to titles@dol.wa.gov. We’ll mail it to you within 2 business days.
    • Call 360.902.3770. We’ll mail it to you within 2 business days.
    If you’re a vehicle dealer and need multiple copies of the form, please call the Washington State Dealers Association at 800.998.9723.

How to transfer ownership into your name

At an office

Bring all the documents listed above that apply to you, and cash or a check for the fee. The licensing agent will help you through the process.

  • Visit any vehicle licensing office to get your new title in 8–10 weeks.
  • Visit a Quick Title office and request a Quick Title if you need your new title immediately. There’s an additional $50 fee to get a Quick Title.

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.

By mail

Mail us your completed, notarized Vehicle Certificate of Ownership Application with the required supporting documents and a check or money order for the fee (payable to the Department of Licensing).

  • To get your new title mailed to you in 8–10 weeks, mail your application, supporting documents, and fees to:
  • To get a your new title mailed to you immediately, request a Quick Title for an additional $50 fee and mail your application, supporting documents, and fees to:
    • A Quick Title office
    • or
    • Refunds and Title Services
      Department of Licensing
      PO Box 9909
      Olympia, WA 98507-8500

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.

Fees

Please contact a vehicle licensing office to find out exactly how much it will cost to transfer ownership of the vehicle into your name.

Deadlines and penalties

You must transfer ownership into your name within 15 calendar days from the date of purchase, or pay the following penalties:

  • $50 on the 16th day.
  • $2 per day for each day after the 16th day, up to a maximum of $125.
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