West Virginia has laws to protect residents when buying a car from a private seller. Here are some tips for safe car buying.

Step 1 - Gather Documents

Certificate of Title

Complete the Assignment of Certificate of Title on the back.

  • Your name and address
  • Odometer reading (cars less than 10 years old).
  • Seller’s signature and printed name.
  • Sales price and date of sale.
  • Your signature and printed name.

Bill of Sale

West Virginia requires a bill of sale (DVM-7-TR). You’ll need to have all copies notarized.

When you buy from a PrivateAuto seller, you get an electronic bill of sale. You can complete and sign straight from the app.

Step 2 -  Get a Vehicle History Report

A vehicle history report can show you:

  • Maintenance and repair records.
  • Title liens.
  • Accidents.
  • Reported stolen.
  • more.

With PrivateAuto partner AutoCheck, you get a complete picture of the car’s history. It’s the best value for the money.

Step 3 - Get a Mechanical Inspection

When you buy from a private seller, there’s no warranty. You're buying the car as-is.

A mechanical inspection can uncover hidden mechanical problems.

Look for an ASE Certified mechanic. It shows that the mechanic is skilled at inspecting and repairing most cars and light trucks.

Step 4 - Complete the Purchase

You’ll owe sales tax on the car. You need to show the bill of sale and a copy of your driver’s license and the seller’s driver’s license.

You need to apply for a new title and register the car. You also need to order license plates, and get insurance.


If you’re looking to buy a car in West Virginia, PrivateAuto makes it easy. You get dealer-like services Without the dealer.

  • Verifies seller identity so you can avoid scams.
  • Schedule inspections and test drives.
  • State-specific electronic documents you can sign from the app.

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