Chelan County Auditor
Transfer of Vehicle Ownership
When a vehicle is currently titled in Washington State
You must transfer the title within 15 days of purchase. A penalty fee of up to $125.00 will be charged for vehicles titled 16 or more days after purchase.
Registration and Plates Expire Upon Transfer
New owners will need to purchase new plates and registration tabs. The current registration and plates are associated with the now-former owner, and must expire with the end of that party’s ownership.
There are a few exceptions to the requirement for plate replacement, as listed on the DOL website.
Purchased Through Dealer
The dealer will submit the paperwork required to title the vehicle. Any plates and tabs issued will be delivered to the dealer, who will then forward to the purchaser.
Purchased from a Private Party
The following documentation is required:
- An Unexpired Washington Driver’s License must be presented for each registered owner. Owners must be 18 years or older
- Washington State title, or if missing, an Affidavit in Lieu of Title with proper signatures
- Federal Odometer Statement when required, see below. The vehicle title has a section at the bottom that serves as this form.
- Documentation of purchase price such as a Bill of Sale
- Name and address of lien holder (if applicable)
- Each registered owner must be appear in person or present a completed title application with notarized signatures.
You may also be asked to provide proof of the vehicle's value if your purchase price falls well below the fair market value of that vehicle.
When title or paperwork comes from another state
If the vehicle was purchased at a dealership in another state the paperwork will probably be mailed directly to our office. We will alert you when it arrives.
The following documentation is required at the time of registration:
- An unexpired Washington Driver’s License
- Title or Manufacturers' Statement of Origin (MSO)
- Notarized signatures of every registered name to be shown on the title - this can be on a title application or in person at a licensing agency
- Documentation of the purchase price - Bill of Sale or invoice from the out-of-state dealer
- Federal Odometer statement when required, see below.
- Name and address of lien holder
- Proof of Sales Tax (if previously paid)
Inheriting or gifting the vehicle? Please visit our Special Transfers section.
New to Washington State? You will need to obtain your Washington Driver's License before your vehicles can be titled in Washington State.
Federal Odometer Statement Requirement
Federal Odometer laws have increased the age of vehicles requiring odometer statement to 20 years. During the period where this change is phased in, model year 2011 will be the most recent year requiring an odometer statement until we reach the year 2031. At that point, the transition to a 20-year requirement will be complete, and model year 2011 will age out of the requirement. From that point forward, all vehicles aged 19 years and newer will require an odometer statement.
The Quick Title process provides an opportunity to obtain a vehicle or boat title immediately rather than having to wait the 6-8 weeks required of normal processing. The quick title fee is $50 in addition to all other fees and taxes otherwise due at the time of the transaction.
Important Note: Eligibility for quick title cannot be guaranteed through phone conversation.
Vehicles and boats not eligible for quick title processing include:
- Vehicles or boats reported as stolen
- Insurance or wrecker destroyed vehicles and boats
- Vehicles with a “WA rebuilt” brand on the title
This list is illustrative, not comprehensive. There are a number of ownership conditions that make a particular vehicle ineligible for a quick title.
Report A Sale
When you sell or otherwise surrender ownership of a vehicle, it is to your benefit to file a Report of Sale. Doing so protects you from being held liable for things such as towing charges, red light tickets, or civil and criminal activities committed before the title was transferred into the new party name.
Tips: Remember to collect the buyer information at the time of sale. Also, retain your receipt when reporting the sale online or in person. You may need to produce this proof if the vehicle is ticketed, etc. before the title is transferred to the new owner.
A fee of $13.75 will be charged whether the Report of Sale transaction is initiated at a vehicle licensing office, or over the internet. There is no longer an option to make this notification at no fee.
Posted: 02/09/2017 11:02 AM
Last Updated: 01/17/2023 03:40 PM