West Virginia Title Transfer: A Guide to Transferring WV Titles

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A title transfer is required in West Virginia to prove ownership if you bought a new or used car. The title transfer is required if you sold, donated, or gifted your car, too.

The title transfer process is easy in the state of West Virginia requiring a few steps filing info, paying fees, and submitting paperwork. In this article, you’ll learn how to complete the title transfer process whether it’s for a private or dealer sale.

How to Transfer a West Virginia Vehicle Title

Selling your vehicle or buying one through a private sale?

You usually have about 30-days until you need to register the vehicle.

This is the process (including both parties):

  1. Retrieve the vehicle’s title or request a duplicate title
    1. Note: You may need a lien release from the current owner
  2. Fill the title transfer section on the West Virginia certificate of title – including:
    1. Full legal name and address of the purchaser and current owner
    2. Date of sale (month, day, and year)
    3. Odometer reading (if applicable)
  3. Complete the DMV-1-TR application
    1. Owner/applicant information
    2. A vehicle, mobile home, or vessel description
    3. Odometer declaration (if you’re the seller, the vehicle is 10yrs and older)
    4. Application signatures
  4. Bring the necessary, personal documents:
    1. Proof of identification
    2. Proof of insurance
    3. Documents stating any liens have been paid
    4. Notarized Bill of sale (if less than 50% of the current value)
  5. Pay the taxes and fees
    1. Title: $15
    2. Lien fee: $10
    3. Sales tax: 6% ($500 and up) or $30 ($499 and under)

* The title transfer may happen when receiving a duplicate title.

Always keep copies of the bill of sale for record-keeping.

Dealerships, Out-of-state Vehicles, Inherited, and Gifted Vehicles

West Virginia wants to know when titles are transferred outside of private sales whether buying from a car lot or passing the vehicle & title around family and friends.

Buying from Dealerships

Dealerships will process your title & registration, sending documents to their appropriate locations. If they don’t, request the forms and deliver them to a WV DMV.

To do this on your own: you will complete the DMV-1-TR form, include an invoice for the purchase price, manufacturer’s certificate of origin, proof of sales tax, then pay the titling fees.

Out-of-state Vehicles

Those coming from out of state will have 30 days to complete the titling process. In this scenario, the vehicle owner will submit their out of state title and then follow through the steps outlined in the private sale section (above). An odometer reading and proof of WV insurance are required.

Inheriting a Vehicle

Inheriting a vehicle is much like the private sale titling process. The title will be signed by both parties or the surviving owner of the vehicle. Else, the estate can transfer the title. You will also file a DMV-185-TR form or a certified copy of appointment of executor or admin from the estate.

Gifted/Donated Vehicles

The process of gifting your vehicle requires you complete the title signatures, DMV-1-TR form, and DMV-5-TR, Affidavit of Transfer of Ownership Without Consideration. You’ll pay the fees and finish the transfer.