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  • Title Transfers in Washington DC

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    What is a Title Transfer?

    Your title attests to the lawful possession of your vehicle. If and when it comes time to transfer ownership, you'll need the title to complete the deal. There are no time limits for titling your vehicle.

    Some typical title transfer situations include:

    • Buying and selling a vehicle
    • Inheriting a vehicle
    • Paying off a loan
    • Transferring to family
    • Gifting a vehicle
    • Adding or deleting a name

    Selling a Vehicle

    Before taping a For Sale sign to your car's rear window, consider ordering a vehicle history report. Besides providing all the information potential buyers will inquire about, the report also assists with establishing a fair asking price.

    When you agree to sell, here's what to do:

    1. Sign-off on the title.
    2. Remove the plates and surrender them to any Department of Motor Vehicles(DMV) service center. Do NOT cancel the car's insurance until after you relinquish the plates.

    Although a Bill of sale is not required, you should create one for your own records.

    Buying a Vehicle

    New Cars

    Dealers handle all titling paperwork.

    If you're in the early stages of searching for a new car, save gas and time by shopping online.

    Used Cars

    When it comes to shopping for a used car, affordability should top your criteria list. Before agreeing to any deal, investigate all available financial options. You'll also need to figure in insurance costs. If you have yet to settle on a provider, you can scan different rates from different companies at our Insurance Center.

    But before signing your name to any documents, be sure to order a vehicle history report on the car of your choice.

    After closing the deal you'll need to bring the following to any DMV service center:

    1. The signed-over title with the purchase price and odometer reading listed on back.
    2. A completed Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag Application (Form DMV-CTA-001).
    3. Proof of DC residency.
    4. Payment for $26 title fee.
    5. Payment for excise tax, if applicable.

    You'll receive your new title in the mail within 10 business days. After it arrives, you'll then have to register your vehicle.

    NOTE: After paying the seller, DO NOT leave without the title.

    Removing a Lien

    After paying off your loan, you'll need to remove the lienholder from your title. To do so, visit any DMV service center and:

    1. Bring in the lien release statement.
    2. Pay $26 title fee.

    Transferring a Family

    You can transfer to any family member, but only the following relationships qualify for tax exempt status (if you qualify, see Gifting a Vehicle below):

    • Between parent and child
    • With spouse (current, divorced or separated)
    • With domestic partner (former or current)

    To complete the transfer, bring the following to any DMV service center:

    1. The signed-over title with the odometer reading and the purchase price included on back.
    2. Proof of DC residency.
    3. A completed Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag Application (Form DMV-CTA-001).
    4. Payment for $26 title fee.
    5. Payment for excise tax, if applicable.

    The DMV will mail your new title within 10 business days.

    Gifting a Vehicle

    Gift tax exemption only applies to the following situations:

    • Between parent and child
    • With spouse (current, divorced or separated)
    • Domestic partner (former or current)

    Supply any DMV service center with:

    1. A completed Excise Tax Gift Tax Exemption Form (Form DMV-EGTE-01), if applicable. If you're not exempt, you'll be required to pay an excise tax based on the fair market value of the vehicle. The DMV will provide this estimation.
    2. A completed Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag Application (Form DMV-CTA-001).
    3. The signed-over title with the odometer reading and the purchase price (If you qualify for tax exemption write the word "GIFT" as the price) included on back.
    4. Proof of DC residency.
    5. Payment for $26 title fee.
    6. Payment for excise tax, if applicable.

    The title will arrive in the mail within 10 days. You then must take care of registration.

    Donating a Vehicle

    Donating your vehicle is an easy process that spares you any selling hassles and allows you to contribute to a cause or charity of your choice. Our Car Donation page provides the full details.

    If receiving a substantial tax credit is your main motivation for donating, consider consulting a tax attorney for assistance.

    Inheriting a Vehicle

    Bring the following to any DMV service center:

    1. An assignment of ownership completed by a designated executor.
    2. An authenticated copy of the letters testamentary or administration issued to the representative by an appropriate court.
    3. A completed Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag Application (Form DMV-CTA-001).
    4. Payment for $26 title fee.

    If You're a Surviving Spouse

    You need to submit to any DMV location:

    1. An original copy of the death certificate.
    2. A completed Certificate of Title/Temporary Tag Application (Form DMV-CTA-001).
    3. Payment for $26 title fee.

    The new title, in both situations, will be mailed within 10 days. After receiving the title, you then must register the vehicle. And don't forget you'll need to show proof of insurance. If you're in the market for a new provider, shop online at our Insurance Center.

    Making Name Corrections

    Changing a Name

    1. You must first change your name with the Social Security Administration.
    2. Bring your newly issued Social Security card (or a print-out with your new name on it) and your driver's license to any DMV service center.
    3. Depending on your situation, also bring in one of the following: divorce decree, marriage certificate, a court document confirming a name change, a birth certificate (for verifying a name correction), or a green card or employment card (for verifying a non-U.S. citizen's name correction).

    If you can't find any of your personal documents, ordering the missing vital record is highly recommended. For more specific information, visit our Changing Your Name page.

    Deleting a Name

    1. Have the person being removed, sign-off on the title.
    2. Take the signed-off title to any DMV service center.
    3. Pay $26 title fee.

    Adding a Name

    1. Complete a title application.
    2. Complete a Excise Tax Gift Tax Exemption Form (Form DMV-EGTE-01) if you're adding a spouse (current or former), domestic partner (current or former), or son or daughter.
    3. You and the person whose name is being added must sign the title.
    4. You must bring the documents together to any DMV service center. to complete the transaction. Be sure to bring proper identification, such as a driver's license or identification card.
    5. Pay $26 title fee.

    True or False

    Doctors don’t work with the same urgency to save your life if they know you’re an organ donor.

    True False

    False

    Every doctors first priority is to save your life regardless of your organ donation status.

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