Title Transfer West Virginia

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If you want to transfer vehicle ownership in West Virginia, you’ll need to transfer the title. This can be done in person at your local DMV for a fee of $15.
When you sell a vehicle, the transaction is only official once you’ve transferred the car title to the new owner.
The process is relatively simple, however, you will need to prepare a list of documents and have some important information handy to ensure a smooth process. Otherwise, you may not be compliant with the state DMV and the law. 
To ensure you have everything you need, the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry created a guideline to help you get started with a title transfer in West Virginia.

What is a title transfer?

The car title officially documents the owner of the car. If you want to transfer the ownership of the car, you will need to transfer the title to the new owner.
Transferring the title involves both the buyer and the seller:
  • The seller needs to sign the title to release ownership of the car
  • The buyer then takes the signed title to the DMV to get a new title and registration issued by the state
The exact process differs among states, depending on their laws. As an example, additional documents may be required, such as a bill of sale or transfer of ownership form. Some states may also require basic vehicle information like the sales price and current odometer reading.

Who does the title transfer?

If the transaction was a private sale, the buyer and seller would need to complete the title transfer process. If the vehicle was purchased from a dealership, the dealership will typically handle the transfer and mail you the vehicle title from the state DMV.

Reasons for a title transfer

While there are a variety of reasons for a car title transfer, the most common reasons are a change of residency or buying or selling a car
Other reasons for a title change include:
  • Donating a vehicle
  • Gifting a vehicle
  • Inheriting a vehicle
  • Paying off a vehicle loan
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Car title transfer in West Virginia

In West Virginia, the vehicle buyer can complete a title transfer in person through the DMV. It must be done within 15 days of the transaction—late title transfers can result in a $50 fine plus $2 per subsequent day (up to $125).
To apply for a title transfer, you will need to submit the following to the DMV:
  • Application for Certificate of Title filled in completely
  • The current title, signed by you and the previous owner and includes:
    • Your name and address.
    • Odometer reading (if the car is less than 10 years old)
  • Notarized Bill of Sale form if the car was sold for less than 50% of current book value
    • Include a copy of the buyer’s and seller’s driver’s license
    • The price on the bill of sale must match the sale price listed on the title certificate
    • Without the bill of sale for a vehicle with a purchase price under 50% of the current value, you will pay the full sales tax based on the current value
  • Proof of identification
  • Proof of West Virginia auto insurance
  • Letter of lien release (if applicable)
  • Payment for the title fee and sales tax
From there, follow the instructions from the West Virginia DMV and have your vehicle inspected within three days. The title transfer fee is $15 plus 5% titling sales tax (vehicles bought for over $500) or $30 (vehicle under $500). If applicable, you will need to pay a $10 lien fee.
If you buy a car from a dealership in West Virginia, the dealer is required to submit all titling paperwork, title fees, and sales tax payments for you.
Key Takeaway The WV DMV will help you through the title transfer process from start to finish, but going prepared with the required documents will make the process smoother!

Registering a car in West Virginia

Once you’ve completed the title transfer, you’ll also need to register your vehicle within 30 days to legally drive on the roads. The registration is renewed annually. 
In West Virginia, registering your vehicle costs $30 for passenger vehicles. In addition, you’ll need to pay the following:
Electric Vehicle Fee$200Additional cost if you are driving an electric vehicle
Hybrid Vehicle Fee$100Addition cost if you are driving a hybrid vehicle
Other fees may apply based on your vehicle type and weight, location, plate type, and more. There may also be additional personal property tax, which will be assessed by the county.

Finding insurance for your vehicle

To legally drive on the roads, make sure you have valid car insurance, or you can face severe penalties if you get pulled over.
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If you have a loan on your vehicle, there will be extra steps for your title transfer. Contact your lender for the proper steps to sell the car with a loan.
A car cannot be sold in West Virginia if your title is lost, stolen, or damaged. You would need to get a replacement from the Department of licensing before the transaction can proceed. You should do this as soon as possible since the replacement can take a few weeks to arrive.

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