How To Transfer a Car Title in West Virginia

How to Transfer Car Title in West Virginia

If you've recently sold your car or are considering giving it to a family member in West Virginia, it's crucial to transfer the car title to the new owner as part of the legal requirements.

Fortunately, the process of transferring a car title in West Virginia is straightforward. It's a vital step to legally confirm the change of ownership and to prevent any future legal issues.

Ensuring the car title transfer is correctly completed is key to protecting your interests and complying with state laws.

This guide is designed to assist both seasoned and first-time car sellers in West Virginia.

We'll walk you through every necessary step to transfer a car title in West Virginia, making the process clear and manageable.

Documents Needed To Transfer a Car Title in West Virginia

To ensure a smooth transfer of the car title, you must have the following documents in order:

  1. The completed signed original title.
  2. If the car is less than a decade, both parties must sign, and the odometer reading must be noted.
  3. Your driver's license.
  4. Completed Application for Certificate of Title.
  5. Payment of $10 for title transfer fees and taxes.
  6. Complete lien information, if applicable.

Ensure all necessary documents are ready to avoid delays in transferring the car title.

How To Transfer a Car Title in West Virginia If You’re Buying From a Dealership

When purchasing a new vehicle that has never been titled in any state, a manufacturer's certificate or statement of origin is required from the dealer.

It is of utmost importance that the dealer completes this document at the point of sale to acquire a title for the novel vehicle, irrespective of whether the purchase occurred in West Virginia.

In West Virginia, dealers are legally obliged to handle all necessary titling paperwork, title fees, and sales tax payments on your behalf.

If you procure a vehicle from a dealership, the following documentation must be submitted to your local West Virginia DMV:

  • Complete the entire Application for Certificate of Title.
  • Provide an invoice indicating the vehicle's purchase price (The dealer may use the bottom section of the application form.)
  • Submit the manufacturer's certificate of origin, properly assigned to you by the dealer.
  • Furnish proof of sales tax payment from a different state, if applicable.
  • Remit payment for vehicle title fees and sales tax.

How To Transfer a Car Title in West Virginia as a New Resident

As a newly arrived resident in West Virginia, it falls upon you to expeditiously commence the procedure of transferring the title of your vehicle through the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles within a prescribed period of 30 days following your relocation.

To obtain a valid and legally acknowledged vehicle title in West Virginia, you are obliged to satisfy the following prerequisites:

  • Provide your out-of-state vehicle title. In situations where a vehicle loan is in effect, and your lender holds the title, you may present a duplicate or printout of the title along with a corroborating letter from your lender affirming their custodianship of the title.
  • Fill out completely the Application for Certificate of Title (Form DMV-1-TR).
  • Fulfill the Odometer Certification (Form DMV-TM-1) in its entirety.
  • Provide proof of a valid West Virginia auto insurance policy (This can be indicated on the application form.)
  • Remit payment for all applicable vehicle titling fees.

Should you decide to register your vehicle alongside the titling process simultaneously, presenting evidence of a valid West Virginia auto insurance policy is mandatory.

How To Transfer a Car Title in West Virginia If You're Buying From Private Sellers

When procuring a vehicle from a private seller, you must apply for a title transfer by submitting the following documentation to your local West Virginia DMV office:

  • Fill out completely an Application for a Certificate of Title.
  • Present the existing vehicle title, signed by both yourself and the previous owner (Ensure your name and address, and if the vehicle is under 20 years old, the odometer reading is included.)
  • Furnish a notarized bill of sale or the DMV Bill of Sale if the vehicle's sale price is less than 50% of its current value (If providing a notarized bill of sale, including copies of your and the seller's driver's licenses. The sale price on the bill of sale must match the price listed on the vehicle title certificate.)
  • Provide proof of a valid West Virginia auto insurance policy.
  • Submit payment for all applicable West Virginia sales tax and title fees.

If a bill of sale is not obtainable for a vehicle procured at a price below 50% of its present value, you will bear the responsibility of remitting the total sales tax amount.

This is calculated according to the vehicle's current appraised value. If the vehicle was purchased within West Virginia, it must be inspected within three days.

How To Transfer a Car Title in West Virginia if You're the Seller

As the seller, when transferring the vehicle title of a sold vehicle, you must complete the Application for Certificate of Title and, if applicable, the Odometer Certification.

The buyer is responsible for submitting payment for the requisite vehicle title fees and sales tax. All necessary documents and payments must be submitted at a West Virginia DMV office.

How To Get Duplicate Titles in West Virginia

If the vehicle title is lost and there is no lien, the vehicle owner must complete a DMV-4-TR Affidavit of Duplicate Title for a Vehicle or Watercraft form and attach a copy of their driver's license, registration card (if available), and pay the $15 title fee to obtain a replacement.

If a Power of Attorney (POA) is used, the POA and the registered owner's identification must be submitted.

For ATV/UTVs, recreational vehicles, trailers, or watercraft, if there was previously a lien that has not been released through the DMV, the DMV-4-TR Section D [Discharge of Lien Holder(s)] form must be filled and notarized by the lienholder before a clear title can be issued.

Suppose someone other than the registered owner requests and receives the duplicate title.

In that case, they must also include a copy of their identification when completing Section E (Release Affidavit) of the DMV-4-TR form.

Cost of a Title Transfer in West Virginia

West Virginia imposes several fees for the transfer of vehicle titles. Below are the primary fees applicable to vehicle title transfers within the state:

  1. Title fee: $15
  2. Duplicate title fee: $10
  3. Lien fee (if applicable): $10
  4. Sales tax:
    • 6% for vehicles purchased at $500 and above
    • $30 for vehicles purchased below $500

If you acquire a vehicle at a price lower than 50% of its NADA Clean Loan Book value, it is mandatory to include a notarized bill of sale or utilize the DMV Bill of Sale (Form DMV-7-TR) along with your title application.

Failure to provide a bill of sale will result in the sales tax calculation based on the NADA Clean Loan Book value.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I transfer a car title in West Virginia?

To effectuate the transfer of a vehicle title in West Virginia, it is necessary to complete the endorsement section on the reverse side of the title and procure the endorsement from a notary public.

As an essential part of the process, you must present a bill of sale that serves as a testament to the conveyance of ownership and disclosure of the odometer reading and substantiation of insurance coverage.

Then, you can take the paperwork and fees to the DMV to complete the transfer.

What documents are usually needed to transfer a car title to West Virginia?

To transfer a car title in West Virginia, you will need the vehicle's title, a bill of sale, and a notarized odometer disclosure statement. You may also need extra documents, such as a lien release or power of attorney.

Do I need a smog check to transfer a car title to West Virginia?

West Virginia does not require a smog check to transfer a car title.

Can I transfer a car title if there is a lien on the vehicle?

Certainly, it is feasible to transfer a car title despite a lien on the vehicle. However, before initiating the transfer procedure, it is necessary to acquire a lien release from the lien holder.

Once this requirement is met, the transfer process can be completed customarily.