How to Transfer a Car Title in West Virginia?

How to Transfer a Car Title in West Virginia?

A title certificate is a legal document that proves ownership of a car. Vehicle title transfers are an important part of the transaction process when buying or selling a car in West Virginia.

Quick links:

What is the West Virginia title transfer process?

How to fill out the title transfer form?

How to finalize with the West Virginia DMV?

West Virginia title transfer fees

West Virginia license plates

Do I need new license plates in WV?

Is emissions testing required in West Virginia?

Does West Virginia require a bill of sale?

It’s important that the title transfer process is done correctly. Our WV vehicle title transfer guide provides you with all the necessary info.

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Transferring a Used Car Title In West Virginia

A vehicle title transfer establishes the buyer of a vehicle as the new owner. There are two phases to a title transfer:

  1. Seller and buyer meet in person. The buyer pays the seller. Both seller and buyer fill out the physical certificate of title, and sign. The buyer is now the legal owner of the vehicle.
  2. The buyer registers the vehicle and formally transfers the title into their name with the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The first step (seller and buyer meeting) is the most important. The second step is a required formality.

  • As the seller, you’ll formalize the whole transaction when you transfer ownership of the car by signing the title over to the buyer. You’ll take off the license plates and be done with the vehicle.
  • As the buyer in a private car sale, you become the legal owner of the car as soon as the seller transfers the title to your name. You’ll finalize with the West Virginia DMV to get title and registration in your name. You’ll also get new West Virginia license plates as well as car insurance.

Signing the Actual Title

It's time to transfer ownership to the buyer. This is a  crucial stage in the entire car-buying process (along with the buyer paying for the car). When signing a West Virginia title, there are several important factors to consider.

Crucial Info for Signing a WV Vehicle Title

Always keep the following information in mind while filling out the certificate of title:

  • Write neatly.
  • Never use nicknames.
  • Never use white-out or erase anything.
  • Any spelling mistakes void the document.
  • Only use blue or black ink. Any other color ink will void the title.

Front of Title

On the front of a West Virginia vehicle title, there is a place for lienholders. If there is a lien on the title, the lienholder will need to release the lien in the red-colored section marked “1,” shown below.

Back of the Title

The back of the title has sections for the seller (red), the lien holder (green), and the buyer (teal). Here is the process for filling out the back of a West Virginia title.

Finalizing a West Virginia Title Transfer with the DMV

When buying a used car from a private seller in West Virginia, the buyer will have to complete the title transfer at their local WV DMV.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

To apply for a vehicle title transfer in West Virginia, you need:

  • A completed application for certificate of title (form DMV-1-TR)
  • The current vehicle title that is signed by you and the previous vehicle owner
  • A notarized bill of sale (form DMV-7-TR)
  • Proof of a valid West Virginia car insurance policy
  • Payment for applicable title fees and sales tax

West Virginia Title Transfer Fees

Vehicle title fees may vary depending on the West Virginia county you reside in. The standard fees for vehicle titling in West Virginia are as follows:

  • Vehicle title application: $15.
  • Duplicate title fee: $10.
  • Lien fee: $10.
  • West Virginia sales tax of 6% on vehicles purchased for $500 or more, $30 on cars bought for less than $500.

West Virginia License Plates

Some states allow the license plates to remain with the car when sold. Unfortunately, West Virginia requires that the plates be removed from the car. As the buyer, you’ll apply to the DMV for new license plates and pay the $51.50 West Virginia license plate fee.

West Virginia Emissions Testing Requirements

The state of West Virginia does not require emissions testing.

West Virginia Bill of Sale

West Virginia requires a bill of sale for a private-party vehicle transaction. Plus, it's always a great idea to have a bill of sale for legal protection. The bill of sale proves that the transaction was legitimate in case either party ever wants to contest it. It documents that buyer and seller both agreed to the purchase price, condition of the car, mileage, and other specifics.

Here are the crucial elements in a bill of sale:

  • Your full name and signature
  • The other party’s full name and signature
  • The car's cost
  • The make, model, and year of the car
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

As part of our standard in-app transaction process, PrivateAuto gives you an official West Virginia bill of sale. In the PrivateAuto app, the buyer and seller will be asked to e-sign the West Virginia bill of sale at the right time during the transaction.

When you meet up for the test drive, the whole deal, including the bill of sale, can be done in just a few minutes. It is simple and fast. You will always have an electronic copy of the bill of sale accessible in your PrivateAuto account.

Buying or Selling A Vehicle with PrivateAuto

Complete your private vehicle transactions smoothly and legally with PrivateAuto. Our innovative platform connects buyers and sellers and gives them all the tools to complete the transaction, from secure messaging and integrated payments to in-app financing.

Buy or sell a West Virginia car today!

10 Simple Steps for Selling Your Car with PrivateAuto


PrivateAuto makes selling your used car safe and easy. The sales process consists of a few simple steps:

  1. Gather the necessary paperwork
  2. Register on PrivateAuto and get verified
  3. List your car
  4. Set your terms
  5. Look through incoming offers
  6. Choose the buyer
  7. Schedule a test drive
  8. E-sign documents
  9. Get paid instantaneously
  10. Transfer ownership

Sell your used car with PrivateAuto today!

Interested in Purchasing Used Vehicles in West Virginia?

If you’re looking to buy a used car, check out private-party used cars for sale in West Virginia. Whether you’re shopping for a Jeep Wrangler, or looking for a minivan, you’re sure to find a great deal on the car of your dreams.

Shop used cars for sale.

West Virginia Title Transfer FAQ

How to transfer an out-of-state title?

If you are transferring the title of an out-of-state vehicle in WV, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • The out-of-state vehicle title certificate
  • A filled-out application form
  • An identification document (usually a valid West Virginia driver’s license)
  • An odometer statement

How to request a duplicate vehicle title in West Virginia?

If you need to replace your vehicle’s title because it is lost or has been damaged, you need:

  • Completed affidavit of duplicate title for a vehicle or watercraft (form DMV-4-TR)
  • A copy of your valid driver’s license
  • Payment for the duplicate vehicle title fee: $10

Where can I go to transfer a car title in West Virginia?

If you bought a car in West Virginia and you’re transferring the vehicle’s title, you can do a car title transfer at a West Virginia DMV office. Below are a couple WV DMV offices.

West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles – Franklin Office

100 Thorn Creek Rd. Ste 300

Franklin, WV 26807

(800) 642-9066

Monday-Friday (8:30 AM to 5 PM)

Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles – Summersville Office

2 Armory Way

Summersville, WV 26651

(800) 642-9066

Monday – Friday (8:30 AM to 5 PM)

Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, Beckley Office

107 Pinecrest Dr.

Beckley, WV 25801

(800) 642-9066

Monday-Friday (8:30 AM to 5 PM)

Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

What safeguards should you take when buying a car privately?

We advise the following procedures to keep you safe when purchasing a car privately:

The best way to protect yourself when purchasing a vehicle privately is by buying it on a secure platform that offers these features (such as PrivateAuto).

Get started here!

Does my used car need a safety inspection in West Virginia?

All West Virginia vehicles are required to undergo an annual safety inspection before registration renewal can occur. You’ll need to pay the yearly registration fee of $51.50 and any state or county tax owed at the time you renew your car registration.

Vehicle Safety Inspection Report

What is the safest method of payment when selling a WV car?

The safest way to transfer funds when selling a car used to be cash.PrivateAuto Pay offers all the advantages of cash, with none of the disadvantages. Transfer up to $1 million instantly with no fees, any time of day, 365 days per year. It's truly revolutionary.

Neither the buyer nor the seller has to give out their contact or banking information during the process of buying a car, so both parties can feel safe when exchanging funds.

What is needed for WV vehicle registration?

If you are registering a car in West Virginia, you will need to submit the following to the WV DMV:

  • Certificate of title
  • Valid driver's license
  • Payment for the registration fee: $51.50