Learn how to transfer a vehicle purchased from a private party into your name.
Before you get started
When to transfer a vehicle title into your name
After you buy or receive 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, or
- $2 per day after the 16th day (up to $125)
If you buy from an out-of-state dealer, you may need to take care of the transfer. If you buy from a Washington State (WA) dealer, they will take care of the transfer. Learn more about buying from a WA dealer.
Contact a vehicle licensing office to learn how much it will cost to transfer ownership of your new vehicle into your name.
Gather the information and forms you need
Odometer Disclosure Form
- If the vehicle model year is 2011 or newer, you should fill out the Odometer Disclosure section on the title.
- If the vehicle model year is 2010 or older, you don't have to report the Odometer miles.
If you don't have the title, you can get an Odometer Disclosure form at your local vehicle licensing office. You cannot download this form. We will print it in the office on tamper-proof paper.
Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale
You and the seller need to complete the Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale form.
- Enter the sale price (this is used to calculate the use tax on the vehicle), or
- Enter zero if the vehicle was a gift or inheritance
Notarized Vehicle Title Application
Signatures on the Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (Title) Application form must be notarized. Don't sign this form until you are in front of either:
- a notary public, or
- a licensing agent at a vehicle licensing office
Submit your forms and payment
Submit the following to a vehicle licensing office:
- Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale
- Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (Title) Application form
- The current vehicle title
- Payment (contact a vehicle licensing office for the exact amount)
You may also need to submit:
- Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest
- Odometer Disclosure Statement
Get your title
There are two ways to get your title. You can submit your forms to:
- A vehicle licensing office and get your title in 6-8 weeks
- A Quick Title office* and get your title immediately in person or within a few business days by mail. Quick Titles have an additional $50 fee.
*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.
Get new license plates
Since the vehicle has changed ownership, you'll need to get new license plates.
Plates don't need to be replaced (unless the vehicle has out-of-state plates) 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
- a trust in which the registered owner or their immediate family members are the beneficiaries of the trust
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 for email renewal notices and more