Selling a Car in West Virginia

Selling a car in West Virginia is easy—you don’t even need a safety inspection. Learn what documents you will need here.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Selling a car in West Virginia is straightforward. You will need the certificate of title and Bill of Sale, at minimum. Some buyers will ask to see maintenance records, a vehicle history report, and the owner’s manual. Note that safety inspections are not required but can help attract buyers.
It’s easy to sell your car in
West Virginia
. But you still need to follow the process very carefully. If you forget a step, you could end up legally responsible for the new owner’s behavior. Yikes! Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to avoid a sticky situation.
Here’s everything you need to know about selling a car in West Virginia, compiled for you by
car insurance
comparison and broker app

What you need to sell a car in West Virginia

The West Virginia DMV requires the following items to sell a car: 
  • Title with signatures from buyer and seller 
  • Bill of sale
  • Certificate of inspection
Before you officially hand over the keys, you should take off your old license plates and contact your car insurance company. 

Getting a pre-sale inspection

West Virginia requires all vehicles to undergo a safety inspection every 12 months. Inspections can occur at any official inspection station licensed by the WV State Police. Once the vehicle passes, it will receive a valid safety inspection sticker on the windshield.
If you are selling a vehicle that still has a valid sticker, you don’t need anything else to complete the sale. However, if the vehicle does not have a valid sticker, it must be inspected within three days.
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Documenting the sale

The state of West Virginia requires that a bill of sale be filled out for private vehicle purchases. Both the buyer and seller must sign this document. You can use the official form
, which notes information like:
  • Purchase price
  • Odometer reading
  • VIN
It’s wise for both parties to keep a bill of sale for their own records.

Signing the title over

In West Virginia, the process varies slightly depending on whether the transaction is happening privately or at a dealership and how old the vehicle is. 
Note that lienholders must release interest in the vehicle before a sale can take place. You will need a lien release statement that specifies the vehicle’s VIN—or you must pay off the car completely.
Dealers are required to collect and remit all required taxes, fees, and paperwork to the DMV. This is true whether or not there is a lien on the vehicle. WV dealers can certify the price at the bottom of the
form or include a dealer invoice. Out-of-state dealers must include an invoice noting the purchase price.
If the vehicle is used, the title must be properly assigned to the new owner. Both buyer and seller must sign the back of the West Virginia title. If it is an out-of-state title, the previous owner (seller) should sign and the name and address of the new owner should appear on the title. In this case, the new owner must submit the out-of-state title using the DMV-1-TR form above.
Vehicles from model year 2011 and new must have the current odometer reading noted on the title, with signed acknowledgements by both buyer and seller.
Is the title lost or damaged? Pay $15 to get a replacement/duplicate by filling out form

Reporting the sale

In West Virginia, the report of sale document is called a Sold Vehicle Notice (
). You must submit the license plate number, form, and proof of plate transfer and insurance to the DMV. 
Submitting a report of sale is not only required by the state but it is a smart move. This protects you from being held responsible for a new owner’s traffic violations.

Finding affordable car insurance

Buying or selling? Now is a great time to shop around for new insurance. Use the
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Resources such as
Kelley Blue Book
can help you figure out what your car is worth so you can determine a fair price based on its make, model, year, and condition.
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