Washington Vehicle Titles

How to Sign a Vehicle Title in Washington (Private Party Sale)

Selling a vehicle privately in Washington requires the proper signing of the vehicle title. Follow the steps below to ensure all necessary signatures are completed accurately:

Step 1: Prepare the Vehicle Title

– Locate the original vehicle title.

– Verify that all information on the title is correct and matches the vehicle being sold, including the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), make, model, and year.

Step 2: Provide Additional Documentation (optional)

– Consider creating a Bill of Sale as a supporting document. Although Washington State does not require a Bill of Sale, it can help protect both the buyer and seller by documenting the details of the private transaction. Include information such as the buyer and seller’s names, addresses, sale price, date of sale, vehicle description, and any other relevant terms agreed upon.

Step 3: Assign Ownership on the Vehicle Title

– On the back of the vehicle title, look for the section labeled “Assignment of Title by Owner” or similar wording.

– The registered owner(s) of the vehicle must sign their name(s) exactly as it appears on the front of the title. If there are multiple owners listed, all owners must sign.

Step 4: Provide the Required Information

– Beneath the owner signature(s), provide the date of the sale (day, month, and year).

– Write the buyer’s name and complete address legibly in the “Buyer” section of the title. Include the city, state, and ZIP code.

Step 5: Handover the Vehicle Title

– Once the title is correctly signed and dated, double-check all information for accuracy.

– Deliver the vehicle title to the buyer. It is essential to keep a copy of the signed title or copy of the Bill of Sale for your records.

Step 6: Removal of License Plates

– As the seller, remove the license plates from the vehicle. Washington state law states that plates stay with the registered owner, not the vehicle.

Additional Tips:

– Ensure the buyer completes the necessary steps to transfer the title into their name to avoid any liability issues.

– Advise the buyer to submit all required paperwork and fees to the Washington State Department of Licensing within 15 days of the sale.

– Encourage the buyer to provide you with a copy of the new title, showing the transfer of ownership, for your records.

Remember, it is always prudent to consult with the Washington State Department of Licensing or seek legal advice for any specific questions or concerns regarding vehicle sales or transfers.

Washington Department of Motor Vehicles