Buying Used Car in Virginia

Buying a used car in Virginia can be a smooth and hassle free process if you know what to do. The best strategy is to keep in mind several stages of establishing car ownership in your name.
First of all, order a vehicle history report by obtaining the vehicle identification number of the car you are considering to purchase.  This will uncover any defects or issues that can potentially cause future problems. You can also have the car inspected from a mechanic to learn about its worth.
Once you decide to buy the car, you should start by transferring the car title to your name. Ask the seller to fill in the required information on the title including the correct odometer reading, the sale price, and the date of sale. You must also inquire about any associated liens. You can then visit your local DMV office with the original title and submit the following documents:

  • Application for Certificate of Title and Registration-form VSA 17A;
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement;
  • Bill of Sale or a Supplemental Information for Procurement of Title, whichever is applicable;
  • Proof of Address;
  • Transfer of Certificate of Lien Information form (if applicable).

You will also have to pay Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax which amounts to 3% of the vehicle's gross sales price. The standard title transfer fee of ten dollars is also applicable. Registration fee will depend on the weight of the car. Your car must also undergo an emission inspection if it is required for your vehicle. You can then proceed with the remaining work at one of the customer service centers. You can register your vehicle during the same visit. 
You must also purchase an insurance policy that meets the minimum liability requirements of the state of Virginia. If you do not have the required insurance at that time, you can proceed with registration process after submitting a $500 in uninsured motor vehicle fee. You will still have to purchase an insurance policy afterwards. 
You must then affix license plates on to your vehicle either by transferring old plates or ordering new ones at the time of registration. You are also required to obtain a safety inspection sticker for your car after purchasing it.

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