Vehicle owners wondering how to complete the West Virginia car title transfer procedure must note that they will be required to submit the necessary documents and the applicable fee payments to the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The title transfers for cars are transactions that must be completed in instances where the ownership of a used vehicle is transferred from one entity to another.

Also, the WV title transfer requirements may vary depending on the applicant’s circumstances and the nature of the transfer. To learn more about how do you transfer a title on a car in WV, continue reading the following sections.

What is a car title transfer in West Virginia?

Before learning how to finalize the title transfer for cars in West Virginia, vehicle owners must understand the importance of a vehicle title and why it must be transferred when a vehicle changes ownership. The vehicle title transfer is a process of passing possession of a certain vehicle from one legal owner to another.

If you are the new owner and you fail to meet the title transfer requirements in WV, you will be unable to obtain a new car registration through the state DMV or prove that you are the new vehicle owner.

If you are the seller, on the other hand, completing the auto title transfer is an important step in order to avoid any potential future liability for the vehicle in question.

When is a vehicle title transfer required in West Virginia?

Car owners must finalize the West Virginia title transfers for cars in instances where a vehicle changes ownership from the individual listed on the current title to another individual.

The most common situation when a transfer of car title is necessary, for instance, is after selling or buying a used vehicle. Note that in most cases, newly purchased vehicles are titled by the dealership that sold the vehicle. However, you will need to meet the WV car title transfer requirements under other circumstances as well.

For example, you will have to apply for a car title transfer if you have received your vehicle as part of a gift or after the death of the original owner.

Note: For additional information on when to initiate the WV title transfer for cars, contact a nearby DMV office.

Information and Documents Necessary to Transfer a Title in West Virginia

The applicable West Virginia title transfer requirements may vary depending on the circumstances of the applicant and the state in which the vehicle is titled. For instance, when initiating the transfer of car title in WV after purchasing a used vehicle, you will be required to submit the following documents:

  • Application for certificate of title
  • The current title properly signed over by the seller and the buyer
  • A notarized bill of sale if the purchase price is below 50 percent of its current value
  • Copies of the seller’s and buyer’s licenses (in the event that you are submitting a bill of sale)
  • A copy of the registration card (if transferring the license plate)

Before submitting the documents necessary to complete the WV title transfer for cars procedure, you will have to ensure that they are properly filled out with accurate information. For instance, the car title transfer form must contain the buyer’s personal information, the vehicle description information and data about the insurance policy and any liens and encumbrances.

The signed-over title, on the other hand, must contain an odometer disclosure statement if the vehicle was built after a certain year.

If you are completing the WV auto title transfer procedure under different circumstances, such as after the death of the original owner or after receiving the vehicle as a gift, you may be required to submit a different set of documents. For instance, one of the car title transfer requirements for titling a gifted vehicle is filling out a certain affidavit.

Note: Original owners who have lost their current titles or hold an incorrect title will be required to apply for a car title replacement before completing the title transfer procedure.

Steps for Performing a Transfer of Title in West Virginia

To successfully complete the vehicle title transfer in West Virginia, car owners will have to submit a written application either in person or by mail. The option to complete the title transfer online is not currently offered by the state DMV. If you choose to apply for a transfer of vehicle title in person, you can submit your request through any DMV.

If you decide to mail your application, on the other hand, you will be required to send it to the DMV P.O. Box address in Charleston.

Note that the WV title transfer requirements of the mail-in and the in-person methods may only vary in certain minor regards, such as the acceptable form of fee payment. For example, if you are completing the auto title transfer by mail, you will be required to enclose a check or money order for the total fee amount.

After receiving the appropriate form, the supporting paperwork that corresponds to your circumstances and the applicable fee payment, the state DMV will process your request and issue you a new title in your name.

Getting a New Car Title Versus Title Transfers in West Virginia

Getting a new car title in West Virginia is a procedure that differs from the process for transferring a vehicle title. Therefore, vehicle owners are recommended to discover more detailed information about the difference between these two procedures before conducting one of them.

Motorists may order a new car title through the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (WV DMV). Vehicle owners must apply for a new car title upon the purchase of a new motor vehicle or upon their move to WV. New residents must obtain a new title for car if they want to title their out-of-state vehicles in WV.

However, current residents will also need to apply for a car title when they purchase a brand new vehicle. Note that when buying a motor vehicle from a dealership, the dealer must complete the title application procedure.

Opposite to applying for a DMV new title, vehicle owners may be able to transfer their car titles from one vehicle to another. The title transfer is a mandatory procedure that motorists need to perform when they want to transfer the ownership rights between two entities. A title transfer must be performed when:

  • Selling or purchasing a motor vehicle.
  • Inheriting a motor vehicle.
  • Receiving a motor vehicle as gift or donation.

Car Title Transfer Fees in West Virginia

One of the most important title transfer requirements in West Virginia is paying the applicable titling costs. Note that the total car title transfer price will vary depending on the applicant’s circumstances. For instance, if you are completing the WV transfer of car title for a title without a lien, you will only be required to pay the standard title fee without paying the lien fee.

In addition to the titling fee, you will also have to pay the state sales tax, which varies depending on the purchase price of the vehicle. If you are registering your vehicle during your auto title transfer procedure, you will also be required to pay the applicable registration fees as well, which vary depending on various factors.

Standard WV titling fees are as follows:

  • Vehicles valued at more than $500 – $15
  • Vehicles valued at less than $500 – $30

Note: You may be exempt from paying the sales tax when completing the title transfer process under certain special circumstances.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.