Transfer of Vehicle Ownership

When a vehicle is currently titled in Washington State

You must transfer the title within 15 days of purchase. A penalty fee of up to $125.00 will be charged for vehicles titled 16 or more days after purchase.

Purchased Through Dealer

The dealer will submit the paperwork required to title the vehicle. Any plates and tabs issued will be delivered to the dealer, who will then forward to the purchaser.

Purchased from a Private Party    

The following documentation is required:

  1. An Unexpired Washington Driver’s License must be presented for each registered owner. Owners must be 18 years or older
  2. Washington State title, or if missing, an Affidavit in Lieu of Title with proper signatures
  3. Federal Odometer Statement if the vehicle is 9 years old or newer. The vehicle title has a section at the bottom that serves as this form.
  4. Documentation of purchase price such as a Bill of Sale
  5. Name and address of lien holder (if applicable)
  6. Each registered owner must be appear in person or present a completed title application with notarized signatures.

You may also be asked to provide proof of the value of your vehicle if the purchase price appears to be well below what the fair market value of that vehicle.


When title or paperwork comes from another state

If the vehicle was purchased at a dealership in another state the paperwork will probably be mailed directly to our office. We will alert you when it arrives.

The following documentation is required at the time of registration:

  1. An unexpired Washington Driver’s License
  2. Title or Manufacturers' Statement of Origin (MSO)
  3. Notarized signatures of every registered name to be shown on the title - this can be on a title application or in person at a licensing agency
  4. Documentation of the purchase price - Bill of Sale or invoice from the out-of-state dealer
  5. Federal Odometer statement (vehicles 9 years old or newer)
  6. Name and address of lien holder
  7. Proof of Sales Tax (if previously paid)    

Inheriting or gifting the vehicle? Please visit our Special Transfers section.

New to Washington State? You will need to obtain your Washington Driver's License before your vehicles can be titled in Washington State.


Quick Title (availible only at Hoquiam Licensing in Grays Harbor)

The Quick Title process provides an opportunity to obtain a vehicle or boat title immediately rather than having to wait the 6-8 weeks required of normal processing. The quick title fee is $50 in addition to all other fees and taxes otherwise due at the time of the transaction.

Vehicles and boats not eligible for quick title processing include:

  1. Snowmobiles
  2. Vehicles or boats reported as stolen
  3. Insurance or wrecker destroyed vehicles and boats
  4. Vehicles with a “WA rebuilt” brand on the title


Report A Sale

The DOL site has a great explanation of how and why you want to do this to protect your own interests. You are the one who benefits from doing this.

Tips: Remember to collect the buyer information at the time of sale. Also, retain your receipt when reporting the sale online or in person. You may need to produce this proof if the vehicle is ticketed, etc. before the title is transferred to the new owner.