Paperwork When Selling a Car in WashingtonPage Overview
When selling a car, you'll need to follow a few simple steps to legally process the sale.
You will need the following to transfer the title of the vehicle:
- Completed Odometer Disclosure Statement signed by the buyer and seller. You may pick this up at a Department of Licensing (DOL) Vehicle Licensing Office.
- Title with your release signature.
- Bill of sale.
- Emissions certificate, in some Washington counties.
A title is imperative. You can't complete an official sales transaction without one. If you can't find the title to the vehicle you wish to sell, you must visit a vehicle licensing office and complete an Affidavit in Lieu of Title form (this cannot be downloaded). Be sure to bring ample proof supporting your ownership claim.
Be prepared to wait. Processing takes up to 10 weeks, so you'll want to initiate this process well before you plan to sell the car.
The only other option for the you to apply for a "quick title". A quick title can only be applied for in person at a Quick Title office. The base fee for the quick title is $50 plus any other title fees and up to a $12 service fee in some offices. The good news is the title will be given to you on the spot.
Unlike the title, a vehicle's registration certificate (or lack thereof) has no bearing on a sale. Neither the seller nor the buyer needs the registration in hand to consummate a sales transaction.
If you opt to file in person, be sure to have:
- The date of sale
- The buyer's name and address
- The vehicle identification number
- The license plate number
After filing you'll receive a receipt. Keep this for your records.
The buyer will need a bill of sale. The DOL needs it for calculating the vehicle's use tax. And while this does not apply to you, it's always smart to keep a bill of sale for your own records. You can, if needed, easily download this form from our Bills of Sale page.Organ Donation Survey
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