BUYING AND SELLING IN WASHINGTON
REPORTING THE SALE
WHY DO I NEED TO FILE?
Whenever you sell or give up ownership of a vehicle (including cars, trucks, motorcycles, registered off-road vehicles, and trailers), file a report of sale so you’re not held liable for any tolling bills, towing charges, or civil and criminal liabilities incurred by the new owner.
**The new owner is responsible for transferring the title.**
File a report of sale any time you sell, trade, gift, donate, or dispose of your vehicle. Please contact our office if you have any questions about when to report the sale of a vehicle.
If you’ve sold a boat, see Report the sale of a boat on the DOL website.
WHAT INFORMATION WILL I NEED?
License plate number
Date of the sale or transfer
Sale price – enter zero if a gift or inheritance
Name and address of the person or organization who took ownership of the vehicle and VIN – Vehicle ID number
Make sure everything is correct before you file. If you find an error after you’ve filed, you’ll have to revisit our office to explain the error. The report will be deleted and you’ll need to file another one.
FILE YOUR REPORT
You should file within 5 BUSINESS DAYS. There’s no late fee for filing after 5 business days, but you may be held liable for any financial, criminal or civil liabilities that the new owner may incur. It’s in your best interest to file as soon as possible.
You may file multiple ways:
At our office (fee associated -Currently $8.95 - and you will get a "Receipt of Record"
Mail a Vehicle report of sale form to our office -Currently $8.95 - Please include an email and we will scan and send you a "Receipt of Record"
Report of sale online (Currently $8.95 ) As the State system is a little confusing and we have customers who thought they completed their "On-Line" report but actually did not - we recommend coming in to our office.
For more information or forms - please contact our office and we’d be happy to help you.
TRANSFER OWNERSHIP INTO YOUR NAME
WHEN YOU BUY FROM AN AUTO DEALER
Dealers will transfer the title into your name when you buy it. You will need an unexpired Washington State Driver’s License in order to complete the registration process.
WHEN YOU BUY FROM A PRIVATE PARTY
Find out how to transfer ownership into your name when you buy a vehicle from an individual or receive a vehicle as a gift.
1. When you need to transfer ownership
After you buy or get a vehicle as a gift, you have 15 days to transfer the ownership into your name. If you don’t transfer within 15 days you’ll have to pay penalties.
2. Complete the necessary paperwork
Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale – Completed by you and the seller.
• Enter sale price – This is used to calculate the use tax.
• Enter zero if it’s a gift or inheritance.
Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (Title) Application – Sign it in front of:
• A notary public, or
• A Title Clerk at our office.
We recommend a Department of Revenue "Declaration of Value By the Buyer and Seller" form be filled out on every sale. Otherwise the State of Washington may charge you Sales Tax on the value they determine the vehicle to be worth. We can provide you all the forms you need and provide information regarding private sales in the State of Washington. See us for details. We are here to help!