Transfer Car Title in West Virginia

What Is a Title Transfer?Transfer-Title

A vehicle’s title shows ownership. When ownership of a vehicle changes, the title must be transferred within 60 days. A title transfer must occur when:

* You buy or sell a vehicle
* You pay off your car loan
* A vehicle is transferred between family members
* You donate or gift a vehicle, or you receive a vehicle as a gift of donation
* You inherit a vehicle
* You need to make name changes on the current title

Selling a VehicleTransfer-Title

To help prospective buyers feel confident in your vehicle, consider ordering a Vehicle History Report, which will give the buyer information about the vehicle’s past.

Then take these steps to transfer the title:

* Locate the title. If the vehicle is under 10 years old, record the odometer reading.
* Sign and date the title as the "seller"
* Have the buyer complete, sign, and date the title
* Complete a Bill of Sale and get it notarized (you may want to complete a second copy for your own records)
* Give the buyer the paperwork to take to the DMV to finish transferring ownership

Buying a VehicleTransfer-Title

New Cars: The dealer will take car of the title transfer within 60 days of your purchase.

Used Cars: First check the Vehicle History Report so you are aware of the car’s past. Shop around for a good auto finance option and car insurance policy.

When your finances are set and you are ready to complete the purchase, do the following:

* Be sure the seller gives you the title, properly completed and signed (check to be sure the VIN on the title matches the VIN on the car; make sure the title reflects the odometer reading if the car is under 10 years old)
* Complete, sign, and date the title
* Complete and have notarized a Bill of Sale with the seller
* Within 60 days, make an appointment at the DMV to complete the title transfer in person. Or you may complete an Application for a Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle and mail it and applicable fees to:
Department of Transportation
Division of Motor Vehicles
1800 Kanawha Blvd. East, Building 3
Charleston, WV 25317

Fees include:

* $10 for the title
* 5% privilege tax, which is based on the purchase price (if you paid at least half the vehicle’s book value) or 5% of the low book value
* $5 to record any lien information
* Also bring fees related to the vehicle’s registration, as you will likely complete the titling and registration processes at the same time

Removing a LienTransfer-Title

After you pay off your loan, the lienholder will release the lien and send you the title. When you receive the title, you have 60 days to apply for a clear title. The DMV recommends doing this immediately however, because the lien information remains on your title until you do so. You will need to make an appointment at the DMV to apply for a clear title. The fee is $10.

Transferring to FamilyTransfer-Title

Family members include spouses, parents, children, and siblings. Ownership transfers between family members does not require the new owner to pay sales tax. You must:

* Have the registered owner complete, sign, and date the title, including the odometer reading if the vehicle is less than 10 years old
* Have the new owner complete, sign, and date the title
* Have the new owner make an appointment at the DMV within 60 days to complete the title transfer. The new owner may also download and complete an Application for a Certification of Title for a Motor Vehicle and mail it with $10 to
Department of Transportation
Division of Motor Vehicles
1800 Kanawha Blvd. East, Building 3
Charleston, WV 25317

The new owner will likely need to register the vehicle under his name, in which case, visiting the DMV in person is more efficient.

Gifting a VehicleTransfer-Title

New owners of a gifted vehicle must pay 5% of the low-book value of the vehicle. A DMV employee can help you determine this price. Then do the following:

* The gifter must sign and date the title, including the odometer reading if the vehicle is less than 10 years old
* Have the new owner complete, sign, and date the title
* Have the new owner make an appointment at the DMV to complete the title transfer. The new owner may also download and complete an Application for a Certification of Title for a Motor Vehicle and mail it with $10 to
Department of Transportation
Division of Motor Vehicles
1800 Kanawha Blvd. East, Building 3
Charleston, WV 25317

The new owner will likely need to register the vehicle under his name, in which case, visiting the DMV in person is more efficient.

Donating a VehicleTransfer-Title

There are many worthy charities that benefit from donated vehicles. You will be eligible for tax benefits once you donate your car. Consider consulting a tax attorney.

Inheriting a VehicleTransfer-Title

The heir of a deceased person can claim ownership of a vehicle, but processes can vary so consider consulting a probate attorney. These are the general steps:

* Have the executor of the deceased’s estate sign and date the title, including the odometer reading if the vehicle is less than 10 years old, as the "seller"
* Sign and date the title yourself as the "buyer"
* Make an appointment at the DMV to complete the title transfer in person with the executor of the deceased’s estate, or complete an Application for a Certification of Title for a Motor Vehicle and mail it with $10 for the title and $5 to record lien information to
Department of Transportation
Division of Motor Vehicles
1800 Kanawha Blvd. East, Building 3
Charleston, WV 25317

You may wish to visit the DMV in person so you can also complete the vehicle’s registration. Keep in mind you must insure the vehicle before you can drive it.

Making Name CorrectionsTransfer-Title

Changing a name

* Have proof of your legal name, or the legal documents that prove your name change (i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree, other court documents)
* Pay a $10 fee
* Make an appointment at the DMV to complete the paperwork; bring your current title.

You may want to also obtain a vital record if you’ve legally changed your name. A vital record will help you prove your identity when you do things such as apply for a new driver’s license.

Deleting a name
If the two names are joined by "OR," the person remaining on the title needs to resign the title as the sole owner. If the names are joined by "AND," both parties must resign the title, with the person to remain on the title signing as "buyer" and the person leaving as "seller."

In the "AND" situation, the "buyer" must pay 5% of the low-book value of the vehicle and the $10 title fee.

Both parties should visit the DMV to finalize the paperwork.