Paperwork When Buying a Car in Virginia
Get detailed VIN History Report in 3 Easy Steps
1. Start a Search:
If you're buying a car from a dealer, it's likely the dealer will handle the paperwork for you.
You must obtain the vehicle title from the seller.
To process the title transfer, you must visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service center to title and register your vehicle. Some vehicles will require an emissions inspection before the Virginia DMV will register them.
Note that the DMV will maintain your title in electronic form if you wish; otherwise, you can opt for the traditional paper title.
Can't be done. A title is mandatory.
In these situations, the seller must apply for a duplicate title before any transaction can be completed. The seller can do this online or by visiting any DMV office and completing an Application for Supplemental and Transfer Liens or Replacement and Substitute Titles.
If you have more questions, call (888) 337-4782.
Not an issue. A registration card is not required to buy a vehicle.
Although a bill of sale is not required, it's always smart to keep a copy on file. You can, if needed, easily download this document from our Bill of Sale page.
Other Topics in This Section
Your Opinion Matters To Us!Send Feedback
- The REAL ID Act: Are You Ready for a National ID?
- New Study: Voice Texting and Traditional Texting Equally Distracting
- Bicycling While Boozing
- Federal Agency Stirring Around the Idea of Lowering BAC Limit to .05 Percent
- Pot Runs to Legalized Marijuana States Putting Cops on High Alert
- Behind the scenes: Iron Man & rental car insurance
We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.