The title to one’s vehicle is a document required by every motorist regardless of their location. It declares an individual to be the owner of the vehicle until said vehicle is gifted or sold to another person. In such cases a new title is not issued to the new owner, but a title transfer takes place.
In Washington, vehicle title transfer is a process handled by the Department of Licensing. You require certain documentation in order to successfully complete the transfer. This includes the original title itself, which you must obtain from the seller or person who is gifting you the vehicle. If the other party does not cooperate, or gives you a title that does not reflect the correct name on it, you should file a complaint with the Department of Licensing. You will also need an affidavit which is notarized, proving that the car is being sold or gifted willingly and the seller has no interest in the vehicle anymore. In addition to this, you must provide a completed application for a vehicle title, which will be integrated into the transfer. Depending on the age of the car you are obtaining, and your location within the state of Washington, emissions testing and an odometer disclosure statement may also be required in order to process your title transfer.
According to state law, Washington vehicle title transfer must be completed within 15 days of the exchange actually taking place. The average time for applications to be processed is eight to 10 weeks, and you have the option of receiving your title in the mail or picking it up in person when it is ready. If you wish to receive your title earlier than this time frame, you can pay an additional $50 fee and apply for a ‘Quick Title.’
If you are purchasing a vehicle from an authorized dealer, you have considerably less to worry about. This is because the dealer takes responsibility for filing all the necessary paperwork on your behalf, including the title. You must still make sure that all information is correct, but the process of the Washington vehicle title transfer is taken off your hands.