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Title Transfers in Virginia

How to Complete a Vehicle Title Transfer in Virginia
  1. Fill in the buyer and seller information on the title, including the sale price.
  2. Take the title, proof of address, and other relevant documents to the DMV.
  3. Pay the title transfer fee and sales tax.

Continue reading for more details about Virginia car title transfers.

New to Virginia?

When you move to Virginia, you must title and register your out-of-state motor vehicle with the VA Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

BEFORE you complete the auto title transfer, you'll need to pass a VA safety inspection.

To complete the car title transfer, go in person to a Virginia DMV office with:

  • The Application for Certificate of Title and Registration (Form VSA 17A).
  • Proof of your current Virginia address, such as:
    • A pay stub dated with last 2 months.
    • A utility bill dated within last 2 months.
    • Bank statement dated within last 2 months.
    • Other accepted forms of proof.
  • Your out-of-state car title OR registration card.
  • Proof of the purchase price IF you bought the vehicle within the last 12 months.
  • Proof that you paid sales tax in another state IF you bought the vehicle in the last 12 months.
  • Payment for the $10 title transfer fee.

You can choose an electronic title OR a paper title. If you choose the electronic title, you can order a paper title from the DMV if you ever need one.

Once the car title transfer is complete, you can register your vehicle. See our Car Registration page for requirements and fees.

Private Sale Title Transfers in Virginia

In a private vehicle sale, the buyer and seller are responsible for completing a car title transfer with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Seller Responsibilities

When you sell a motor vehicle privately, you must give the following to the buyer:

Buyer Responsibilities

NOTE: Remember to purchase car insurance before titling and registering your car.

To apply for an auto title transfer in Virginia, you'll need:

  • A valid inspection sticker.
  • The vehicle title:
    • The seller must complete the Assignment of Title By Owner, INCLUDING the odometer reading.
    • You must complete the Application for New Owner Certificate of Title and Registration.
  • Proof of the sale price from the seller.
  • A completed Transfer of Certificate of Title with Lien (Form SUT 4) IF you're taking over the seller's lien.
  • Proof of your VA address, such as:
    • A pay stub dated within last 2 months.
    • A utility bill dated within last 2 months.
    • Bank statement dated within last 2 months
    • Other accepted forms of proof.
  • An Affidavit of Vehicle Purchase Price (Form SUT 1A) IF:
    • You paid more than $1,500 less than the vehicle's trade-in value.
      AND
    • The vehicle is no more than 5 years old.
  • Payment for fees:
    • $10 title transfer fee.
    • Motor vehicle sales and use tax (SUT): 4.05% of the vehicle's sale price OR $75, whichever is more.

Take the above documents and payment to your local Virginia DMV office.

NOTE: You will have a choice between a paper title or electronic title from the VA DMV. If you choose an electronic title, you can order a paper title later if you need one.

Once the DMV title transfer is complete, you'll need to register your vehicle. See our Car Registration page for requirements and fees.

Out-of-State Title Transfers

When you buy a vehicle from another state, you'll need the same documents as any other private sale title transfer ( see above), PLUS:

You'll also need to get a Virginia safety inspection and notify your car insurance company BEFORE you apply for a VA DMV title transfer and registration.

Dealership Auto Title Transfers

When you buy a car at a Virginia dealership, your vehicle dealer will usually handle your title and registration paperwork for you.

If they do not, get all of the paperwork you need from the dealer to complete the DMV title transfer yourself.

NOTE: Make sure the vehicle you buy has a valid safety inspection sticker BEFORE you title and register it. In most cases, a dealer will provide this.

Used Vehicles

You'll title and register a used vehicle in person at a VA DMV office.

To complete the DMV title transfer, you'll need the same documents required for private sales.

Visit our Car Registration page for registration requirements.

New Vehicles

You can title and register a new motor vehicle in person at a VA DMV office.

You'll need the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO) or Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO) from your vehicle dealer.

You'll ALSO have to submit:

For VA DMV vehicle registration requirements and fees, see our Car Registration page.

Gifted and Donated Vehicles

You must transfer the Virginia title of a vehicle that is given as a gift or donated.

Giving or Receiving a Vehicle as a Gift

When you give or receive a motor vehicle as a gift, you'll follow the steps and gather the documents required for a private sale car title transfer.

Be sure to:

Submit the required documents in person at your local VA DMV office.

When you title the vehicle, you'll also register it. Visit our Car Registration page for more information.

Donating a Motor Vehicle

When you donate a vehicle to a charity or non-profit organization, you'll transfer the title to the organization.

Contact the Virginia DMV at (804) 497-7100 for complete details about motor vehicle title transfers to charities.

Inherited Car Title Transfers

The Virginia DMV title transfer process for inherited vehicles differs depending on how the vehicle is titled.

NOTE: You DO NOT have to pay Sales and Use Tax (SUT) if you are the heir or spouse of the deceased.

Inheriting Through Joint Ownership

If you are the joint owner of a motor vehicle with the deceased person, you can transfer the title ONLY IF:

  • Your names are linked with “or".
    OR
  • The names on the title are followed by “or survivor".

Submit the following in person at a VA DMV office to apply for a car title transfer AND vehicle registration:

Inheriting from a Will or as Legal Heir

If you are the legal heir and/or inherit a vehicle from a will, you'll submit the following car title transfer documents in person at a VA DMV office:

  • A certified or notarized copy of the death certificate.
  • The vehicle title.
  • Proof of your address.
  • Title transfer fee: $10.

You will ALSO need the appropriate inheritance documents:

  • If there is an executor or administrator, provide EITHER:
    • The court document that names the executor or administrator.
      OR
    • The will naming the executor or administrator.
  • If there is NO executor or administrator, provide EITHER:

If you're planning to register the vehicle in VA, visit our Car Registration page to learn more.

Title Transfer Fees in VA

The Virginia DMV charges the following fees for car title transfers and other title transactions:

  • Title transfer fee (buying and selling): $10.
  • New VA title fee: $10.
  • Substitute title fee (name change, address change, or lien removal): $10.
  • Replacement title fee: $10.

You may also have to pay:

  • Motor vehicle sales and use tax (SUT): 4.05% of the vehicle price OR $75 (whichever is higher).
    • PLUS an additional fee of $64 for electric vehicles.
  • Registration fees.

Change Your Virginia Auto Title

You'll apply for a substitute title when you need to make changes to the information on your VA vehicle title.

There is a fee for a substitute car title.

Name Change on VA Car Titles

If your name legally changes, you can change it on your vehicle title.

First, you must complete a driver's license name change.

Then, submit the following to the VA DMV:

You can submit the application and supporting documents:

  • By mail to the address on the form.
  • In person at a VA DMV office.

Address Change on Vehicle Titles

If you move, you can change the address on your car title.

If you haven't already done so, first change the address on your driver's license.

To change you car title address, submit:

Submit the form and fee:

  • By mail to the address on the application form.
  • In person at a VA DMV office.

Removing a Lien from a VA Title

When you pay off a lien on your vehicle, the lienholder will send you EITHER:

  • The vehicle title if there are no other liens.
  • Proof of lien release if there is another lien on the vehicle.

For a “clean title" with the lien removed, submit:

You can apply for the substitute title:

  • By mail to the address on the form.
  • In person at a VA DMV office.

Replace Your VA Title

If your title is lost, stolen, or unreadable, you'll need to get a replacement title.

You can order a replacement title:

You'll pay a $10 replacement title fee.

Learn more about duplicate titles on our page, Replacing a Lost Title.

Forms

VSA 66

Complete this form when making changes to a title or replacing a title.

VSA 24

Include this form if you are the heir of a deceased person and you're selling a vehicle that is titled in their name.

VSA 5

This form is required to report a vehicle's mileage IF the vehicle doesn't have a title.

SUT 3

Submit this form to claim a tax exemption for a vehicle you've purchased. Valid exemptions are listed on the form.

SUT 4

If you are the lienholder, use this form to transfer the title of a vehicle with a lien.

SUT 1

Complete this form to verify the sale price of a vehicle so the buyer can title it.

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