How To Transfer a Car Title in Washington

How to Transfer Car Title in Washington

For drivers in Washington, transferring a vehicle title is a common yet essential procedure.

The state mandates that all vehicles have a title under the owner's name, and any change in ownership requires an official title transfer.

Washington has its own set of specific requirements and procedures for this process, designed to ensure a smooth transition of ownership.

This guide will detail the steps and requirements for transferring a car title in Washington, aiming to simplify the process for you.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Washington If You're the Seller

When selling a vehicle in Washington, it is imperative to fulfill specific documentation requirements and settle all relevant fees.

To transfer the vehicle title you are selling in Washington, follow these straightforward steps:

  1. Provide comprehensive vehicle title transfer details on the rear of your existing Washington vehicle title, which includes:
    • License plate number.
    • Purchaser's name.
    • Date and sale price.
    • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  1. A filled Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale (Form 420 065).
  2. Remove the license plates and transfer them to the new owner.
  3. Notify the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) regarding the vehicle sale within five business days of the transaction. This entails paying a $13.25 fee, which can be done through online payment at a local Washington vehicle licensing location or via mail using a completed Vehicle Report of Sale (Form TD 420 062).

Ensure you possess the necessary paperwork and submit the required payment(s) promptly to avoid any unnecessary fees or penalties.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Washington If You're a New Resident

As a newly established resident of Washington, it is mandatory to register your vehicle within 30 days of residency. Before transferring your vehicle's title, you must apply for a Washington driver's license.

The Washington Department of Licensing (WA DOL) will issue a vehicle title along with your vehicle registration.

To obtain both the WA vehicle title and registration, you must submit the following documents and payments at a local WA DOL branch:

  1. An Odometer Disclosure Statement is necessary if your car is a model year 2011 or newer. This form can be obtained exclusively from any WA vehicle licensing office via email ( or by contacting the DOL at (360) 902-3900.
  2. If you have owned your car for less than 90 days, you must obtain a Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale.
  3. A filled-out Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (Title) Application (Form TD 420 001) is required. This form should be notarized, or you may sign it in the presence of a DOL employee.
  4. If your vehicle has an active lien, a copy of your current vehicle title will not be sufficient for obtaining a vehicle title from the WA DOL. You must wait for the lien to be released before applying for a WA vehicle title.
  5. Payment for the WA vehicle title transfer service fee, which amounts to $15, and any other applicable vehicle titling fees.

You may submit the forms mentioned above to the WA DOL by mail or in person. If you choose to mail these documents, kindly use the address specified on the application and anticipate the arrival of your license plates by mail.

Also, if you submit the documents in person, your vehicle license plates will be issued immediately. The vehicle title should arrive at the WA application address within ten weeks.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Washington If You're Buying from a Dealership

When acquiring a vehicle from a dealership in Washington, the burden of extensive paperwork is alleviated as the dealership assumes responsibility for processing the vehicle titling and registration documentation.

Nevertheless, you must furnish a valid and up-to-date Washington driver's license as a mandatory requirement.

The dealership handles all applicable fees associated with the Washington Department of Licensing (WA DOL) as an integral part of the vehicle's sale.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Washington If You're Buying From a Private Seller

When procuring a vehicle from a private party in Washington, it is imperative to promptly transfer the vehicle's title into your name within 15 days.

Please do so within the designated timeframe to avoid a $50 fine on the 16th day. And another $2 per day until the cumulative penalty reaches $125.

To effectively execute a vehicle title transfer in Washington for a privately acquired vehicle, adhere to the following concise steps:

  1. Present the original vehicle title obtained from the seller of the vehicle.
  2. As the buyer, ensure the removal of license plates or their surrender.
  3. If the vehicle is a model year earlier than 2011, complete an Odometer Disclosure Statement. Contact the WA Department of Licensing (WA DOL) at (360) 902-3900 to obtain the necessary form.
  4. Complete a Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale. Both the vehicle buyer and seller must fulfill this form.
  5. Complete a Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (Title) Application (Form TD 420 001). All vehicle owners seeking inclusion on the title must sign this application in the presence of a notary public.
  6. Submit all mandatory documentation and payment(s) encompassing the vehicle title fee (varying depending on the vehicle) and the $15 WA vehicle title transfer fee. This can be accomplished by visiting your local WA licensing office or mailing the required items to the address specified on the application (if the application is notarized).

You should anticipate the arrival of your vehicle title within ten weeks. If expedited processing is desired, you can apply for a quick vehicle title by submitting the required documents, payment(s), and an additional $85.50 for the WA quick vehicle title fee to a WA Quick Title office.

In cases where the seller has lost or misplaced the original vehicle title, they must apply for a duplicate Washington vehicle title.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Washington If You Have an Out-state-Title

When possessing an out-of-state vehicle title and aiming to complete an out-of-state vehicle title transfer in Washington, it is necessary to provide specific documents and pertinent vehicle title information.

To successfully execute the WA out-of-state vehicle title transfer process, submit the subsequent documents to your local WA Department of Licensing (DOL) office:

  1. A meticulously filled out out-of-state vehicle title transfer form.
  2. The original vehicle title was obtained from the originating state.
  3. An odometer disclosure statement, if applicable, ensures accurate mileage reporting.
  4. A bill of sale, if mandated by the circumstances surrounding the transaction.
  5. Payment encompassing all relevant taxes and fees to fulfill the financial obligations.

Please be aware that additional documentation may be required based on the unique aspects of your situation.

How To Get a Duplicate Title in Washington

If your vehicle title has been misplaced, impaired, or subjected to theft, it becomes imperative to obtain a duplicate WA vehicle title.

To proceed with requesting a duplicate vehicle title in the state of Washington, adhere to the following steps:

  1. Complete an Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest/Gross Weight License (Form TD 420 040). This form officially declares the loss or release of interest in the vehicle.
  2. Affix your signature to the duplicate WA vehicle title form in the presence of a notary, thus validating the authenticity of the request.
  3. Furnish the duplicate vehicle title form to the vehicle buyer (if you are the buyer, obtain this form from the vehicle seller). This facilitates the necessary transfer of ownership information.
  4. Pay the required fees, which amount to $35.50 for the duplicate title, in addition to the $15 service fee.

To avert unwarranted fees and potential penalties, ensure you possess the precise amount necessary to cover all applicable fees.

Washington Emission Testing

As per the Washington Department of Ecology, the program concluded its 38-year tenure on January 1, 2020.

In its place, Washington state has embraced California's stringent emission standards through The Clean Car Law.

Consequently, vehicles manufactured from 2009 must adhere to CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliance. Failure to meet these standards renders vehicle registration within the state unfeasible.

Prospective buyers of used vehicles manufactured from 2009 onwards must ensure that the vehicles meet the prescribed emission standards.

This vital information should be well understood before purchasing a vehicle from a private seller or a dealership.

Exceptions to this requirement include vehicles manufactured in 2008 or earlier, as well as vehicles purchased by individuals who were nonresidents at the time of purchase but later established residency in Washington.

Cost of a New Title in Washington

Obtaining a new title in Washington entails a fee of $35.50 and an estimated processing time of 8 to 10 weeks.

Should the immediate acquisition be necessary, expedited service is available at $85.50 to obtain the title without delay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What documents are required to transfer a car title in Washington?

To transfer a car title in Washington, you will need the following documents:

  • The original vehicle title adequately filled out by the seller.
  • A completed Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (Title) Application (Form TD 420 001).
  • A Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale completed by both the buyer and seller.
  • An Odometer Disclosure Statement if the vehicle is a model year 2011 or newer.
  • Payment for the applicable fees, including the title transfer fee.