Title Transfers in West Virginia

How to Transfer a Vehicle Title in West Virginia:

Have the seller sign the current title over to you.

  1. Provide your information and signature on the title.
  2. Complete a title application.
  3. Complete an odometer certification (if applicable).
  4. Gather payment for your required title fees and sales tax.
  5. Bring all documents and payment to your local DMV office.

Keep reading for more details on transfers of car ownership in West Virginia.

New-to-State Title Transfers

You must title your car with the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles within 30 days of moving to the state.

To get a West Virginia title, you will need to submit the following:

  • Your out-of-state title.
    • If you are paying a car loan and your lender has the title, you can submit:
      • A copy or printout of the title.
      • A letter from your lender stating that the company is holding the title.
  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title (Form DMV-1-TR).
  • A completed Odometer Certification (Form DMV-TM-1).
  • Proof of West Virginia car insurance (can be listed on the application).
  • Payment for applicable titling fees.

Buying or Selling a Car in West Virginia

Buying New Cars

When you buy a car from a dealership in West Virginia, the dealer is required to submit all titling paperwork, title fees, and sales tax payments for you.

If you buy your car from an out-of-state dealership, you will need to submit the following:

  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title (Form DMV-1-TR).
  • An invoice with the purchasing price.
    • The dealer can use the bottom of the application form, or provide their own dealer invoice.
  • The manufacturer's certificate of origin, assigned to you by the dealer.
  • Proof of sales tax paid in another state (if applicable).
  • Payment for title fees and sales taxes.

Used Cars

After you have purchased a used car, you must apply for a vehicle title transfer in West Virginia by submitting the following to the DMV:

  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title (Form DMV-1-TR).
  • The current title, signed by both you AND the previous owner. It must also include:
    • Your name and address.
    • Odometer reading (if the car is less than 10 years old).
  • Notarized bill of sale or the DMV Bill of Sale (Form DMV-7-TR) if the car is being sold at less than 50% of the current value*.
    • If you are submitting a notarized bill of sale, you must also submit a copy of the seller's and your driver's license.
    • The price on the bill of sale must match the sale price listed on the title certificate.
  • Proof of West Virginia auto insurance.
  • Payment for the title fee and sales tax.

*If you do not have a bill of sale for a vehicle with a purchase price under 50% of the current value then you will pay the full sales tax on the vehicle according to current value.

Gifted Vehicles in West Virginia

If ownership of your car is changed without any money exchanged, you must submit the following to the West Virginia DMV in order to apply for a title transfer:

If your application is rejected, the original owner must apply for a duplicate title to use for reapplying.

Inherited Vehicles

When inheriting a vehicle in West Virginia upon the owner's death, the process is very similar to that listed in Buying and Selling above.

  • If you are the surviving owner of a jointly owned vehicle, with the conjunction “OR" between your name and that of the deceased, you can remove the deceased's name form the title by completing the title assignment as both the seller and the buyer.
  • If the two names on the title are connected by “AND", the legal heir, administrator, or executor of the estate must sign the title along with the surviving named owner.

When the deceased is the only named owner on a vehicle title, the administrator or executor of the estate can transfer ownership of the vehicle by signing as the seller.

If there is no will or appointed executor or administrator of the estate, the legal heir can transfer the title as the seller.

In addition to the necessary documents listed in the Buying and Selling section above, you will need to submit the following in order to transfer ownership an inherited vehicle in West Virginia:

  • Certified copy of appointment of executor or administrator of the estate (if applicable).
  • Legal Heir Affidavit (Form DMV-185-TR) when there is no will or administrator.

Vehicle Titling Fees in WV

The following are the West Virginia DMV's basic titling fees:

  • Title fee: $10.
  • Duplicate title fee: $10.
  • Lien fee (if applicable): $5.
  • Sales tax:
    • 5% on vehicles purchased for $500 and up.
    • $25 on vehicles purchased for under $500.

If you purchased a car for under 50% of the NADA Clean Loan Book value, you must submit a notarized bill of sale or a DMV Bill of Sale (Form DMV-7-TR) with your title application. Failure to do so will result in sales tax based on the NADA Clean Loan Book value.

Lien Releases and Title Transfers

When you finish paying off your car loan, your lender should send you the title certificate reflecting the lien release on your WV vehicle.

After you receive the title, you can apply for a clean title free from the lien hold. Contact the DMV for specific instruction on applying for your clean title.

Duplicate WV Vehicle Titles

If you need to replace a lost or damaged title in West Virginia, complete and submit an Affidavit of Duplicate Title for a Vehicle or Watercraft (Form DMV-4-TR). You will also need to submit a copy of your driver's license along with the replacement title fee.

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