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Transfer ownership when buying from a private party

If you buy a vehicle from a private party or get one as a gift, you must transfer the ownership into your name within 15 days.

What you’ll need

  • Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (Title) Application
  • Provide your unexpired WA driver license number:
    • At a licensing office or on the application form.
    • Some people are exempt from getting a WA driver license, see RCW 46.20.025.
  • Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale
    • You and the seller(s) complete the form.
    • Include the sale price. This is used to calculate the use tax you must pay.
  • Document the vehicle's mileage
    • If the vehicle is less than 10 years old, you and the seller can sign and write the mileage on the title or on the Odometer Disclosure Statement form. This form is only available:
  • Emissions testing report is required in areas of:
    • Clark County
    • King County
    • Pierce County
    • Snohomish County
    • Spokane County

If the title is lost the seller(s) completes the Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest and signs it in front of a notary public, county auditor, or licensing agent.

How to transfer the ownership into your name

In an office

Bring the documents above that apply, and cash or check for the fee to:

By mail

Send this notarized Vehicle Certificate of Ownership Application with required documents and check or money order for the fee payable to Department of Licensing.

  • To get your new title in 8–10 weeks, mail to:
  • To get a your title immediately, request a Quick Title (extra fee applies) and mail your application, 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

Contact a vehicle licensing office to get the exact amount.

Deadlines and penalties

You must transfer ownership 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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