Buying a Vehicle
A title is essential. You cannot complete an official sales transaction without one. When conducting a car transaction in Washington, you will need the following to transfer ownership of the vehicle:
Title with all previous owner's release signatures, (dated and purchase price)
- Completed Odometer Disclosure Statement signed by the buyer and seller, if the vehicle is the vehicle is 9 years of newer.
- Completed bill of sale which includes the year, make, model, license plate, VIN number, the date of sale and the purchase price
- Emissions certificate if the vehicle has not been tested in the last two years, if emissions is required in the resident city.
- Be sure to bring ample proof supporting your ownership claim.
- You must transfer the title into your name within 15 days of buying the vehicle, or face a fine.
Buying a Car Without a Title
In the event the title is lost, the vehicle owner can complete an Affidavit of Loss / Release of Interest form, it must be signed in the presence of a licensing agent or a notary public.
Bill of Sale
A bill of sale is not required but it is preferred when for registering and titling your new vehicle. It’s a valuable document to have for your files should there ever be a question regarding your vehicle's value and use tax rates. See our section on "forms"
Odometer Disclosure Statement
When transferring a vehicle title and changing ownership, if the vehicle is 9 years of newer, owners must submit an accurate odometer reading. In most cases, you can simply fill in the odometer-reading section on the certificate of title. If this cannot be obtained, please come to our licensing office to get a form called the Odometer Disclosure Statement.