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Title Transfers or obtaining a New Certificate of Title in Virginia

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A certificate of title issued by the state of Virginia is a document that proves legal ownership of a vehicle. A title must be obtained when an individual purchases a new vehicle. A title transfer must also be completed when a used vehicle is sold or gifted, or when a vehicle changes hands as a result of the death of the vehicle's owner.


For new vehicles, the licensed dealer that sold the vehicle typically will accept and submit the required titling information and fees on behalf of the buyer. However, buyers wishing to handle the titling independently can do so. Those interested in applying for a new title without the dealer's assistance should refer to the Titling a Vehicle in Virginia page on the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website.


Sale/Purchase or Gift of a Used Vehicle

When you purchase a used vehicle, or obtain one as a gift, the title must be legally transferred into your name. This is done by obtaining the following documents, and submitting them along with the appropriate fees to the DMV.

  1. The current title, with the assignment completed by the seller or donor (signing the title over to you). The title must include the federal odometer disclosure, if the vehicle is less than ten years old.
  2. If the title does not indicate the date of sale and selling price, a completed Bill of Sale, signed by both current and new owner is required.
  3. An Odometer Disclosure Statement, if the title does not include this information and the vehicle is less than ten years old.
  4. Acceptable address proof.
  5. A completed Application for Title and Registration if the vehicle was purchased from a dealer or if it was previously titled outside Virginia.


Along with the appropriate transfer of title documents above, you will need to submit the following fees:

  1. $10 title fee.
  2. 3% motor vehicle sales and use tax depending on the vehicle's purchase price or $75, whichever is greater.
  3. Registration fee (if you wish to also register the vehicle).

Contact the local DMV office to calculate the correct amount due or for more information.

Transfer of Title Following Death of Vehicle Owner

In the event of the death of the vehicle owner, the title is often transferred to the heirs or someone else identified in the owner's will. The procedures and fees for this type of transfer are similar to those outlined above. In addition, it is important to determine how the estate of the deceased has been settled by the heir(s).
In some cases, the heirs may need to provide copies of court orders, the death certificate and the will (or a notarized statement of its contents), if there is one.
For more information on title transfers following the death of a vehicle owner, refer to the DMV website, contact the local DMV office or call (804) 497-7100.


Appropriate title transfer documents and fees should be submitted to a DMV office.

Additional Information

  • The Virginia DMV gives you an option for requesting an electronic title in lieu of a paper title. If you wish to receive a paper title at a later date, you can make a request in writing or online.
  • Contact the local DMV office if you wish to add, remove or change a name on a vehicle title for reason other than those discussed above.
  • If there is an existing lien on the vehicle, there will be additional requirements for transferring the title.
  • A valid title provides proof of ownership of the vehicle. However, remember that a title transfer does not entitle the new owner(s) to legally operate the vehicle. For this, refer to the appropriate license and registration information.
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Submitted by TitleQ on 25th Feb 2016

How can I remove my name from

How can I remove my name from a title of a co-owned car that I do not want?

I inherited a car as co-owner with my brother. I am in possession of the car, but I do not want it. The car is in bad shape and is over 20 years old. I have offered my half for free to my brother, however, he refuses to sign any paperwork either to take ownership or transfer it to me. I simply want to remove my name from the title, inform my brother to take it. If he doesn't then have it towed as an abandoned car. To do this I must first remove my name as owner from the title. How can I do this?

Submitted by tgills2 on 29th Jul 2015

What is involved and cost if

What is involved and cost if I just want to add my new spouse or child to my current title?

Submitted by darekennel (not verified) on 1st Jul 2013

We are purchasing a vehicle

We are purchasing a vehicle that was a drug seizure in another state. It does not have a title but does have the court order and bill of sale from the sheriff's department that is selling it. What forms need to be completed?

Submitted by VietQNguyen0325 (not verified) on 24th Jun 2013

Which form should I need to

Which form should I need to exchange the car? ( I gave my car to my son for trade in the new car, and my son gave his car to me to drive)Please assist me what should we do? thanks?Viet Nguyen

Submitted by MFB2 (not verified) on 7th May 2013

My husband and I bought a

My husband and I bought a truck the title and registration are in my name. We are now sperated and he has the truck, title and registration, and will not give them to me.I don't want the truck how do I put them in is name?

Submitted by ryan5241 on 7th Dec 2012

i come from china, stay in my

i come from china, stay in my cousin's house in verginia. one of my friend want give me a car as a gift, you know, very old old car(2004,130Kmile). my driver licen is from china but already translated and natarized by lawer. can i regist the car with my passport and my resident verginia address(i have bank accont bill here)? i dont have SSN. thx a lot.

Submitted by Roger Long (not verified) on 20th Nov 2012

On June 1,2011 2002 Honda

On June 1,2011 2002 Honda Accord VIN= 1HGCG56682A047082

was given to our son, James B. Long, RidgeCreek Dr, Lexington, SC.

License plates JDP-5879 were transferrd to 2008 Honda CR-V

Vin= JHLRE38758C044570. Halifax Co still has the 2002 vehicle

on tax Records. Please advise how to proceed to remove record.

Submitted by (not verified) on 19th Apr 2012

I sent a request for a title

I sent a request for a title change with proof that the car was abandon without getting the title from the previous owner. It has been over a month that I have not receive a reply. I would appreciate in helping me with this situation. Thank you for your cooperation on this matter.

Submitted by Patriciawade (not verified) on 19th Nov 2012

did you apply for an

did you apply for an abandoned vehical title? mine took about 2 months after applying for it,you do that at under abandoned vheical

Submitted by akwame (not verified) on 4th Apr 2012

I mailed all necessary

I mailed all necessary documents to salvage/branding department for title of rebuilt vehicle about a couple of weeks ago. I understand it will take between 4-6 weeks to process; how do I know its current status? Can I access this online?

Submitted by cathay27 (not verified) on 2nd Dec 2013

how long does it take to get

how long does it take to get title back,

Submitted by rafdawg (not verified) on 5th Oct 2012

I sold the following

I sold the following vehicles, 1997 Pontiac Gran Prix and Ford Explorer, to Cunningham Bros Salvage in 2010 and still receiving taxes owe on these vehicles and I want to know how to get the titling numbers removed from the DMV.

Submitted by Patriciawade (not verified) on 19th Nov 2012

you have to report the car

you have to report the car sold , every year most county's send a list of personal property owned, if it shows on there and you don't report it sold or sent to salvage you will be taxed as a salvage yard does not re-title cars

Submitted by mgoins37 (not verified) on 30th Mar 2012

How do I get a copy of a

How do I get a copy of a previously transferred title than an ex-husband is stating I signed his name to in order to sale and is taking me to court in regards to this knowing full well he signed his own name? I need the title with both mine and his signatures on it to compare the signing to documents he has signed before.

Submitted by (not verified) on 27th Jun 2011

Seeking information on

Seeking information on selling a vehicle by installment payments. Link to additional requirements for transferring the title does not work. How do I hold the title until the lien is satisfied while allowing buyer to obtain registration and take ownership and all owner responsibilities?

Submitted by Patriciawade (not verified) on 19th Nov 2012

fill out the back of title as

fill out the back of title as lien holder ,then they can't resell or do anything untill it is satisfied and you sign off on it. read the back of title you will see the section, that will put you on title as lien holder but still allow them to title it and get ins, also if they insure it and it is wrecked or anything you get paid before they do.

Submitted by Anonymous on 27th Mar 2011

how do you add someone on

how do you add someone on your registration or title as your surviver.

Submitted by Patriciawade (not verified) on 19th Nov 2012

just go to

just go to