Paperwork When Selling a Car in Washington
Compare Insurance Rates in 3 Easy Steps
1. Start Your Quote:
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.
- 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 four to six weeks, so you'll want to initiate this process well before you plan to sell the car.
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.
Other Topics in This Section
Your Opinion Matters To Us!Send Feedback
- 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
- 5 Reasons to Welcome Big Brother Into Your Car
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.