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West Virginia Buying a Vehicle

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Obtaining a Title and Registration for a Vehicle Bought from a Car Dealership

If you are purchasing a vehicle from a car dealership, West Virginia law requires the dealer to collect and remit the taxes for that purchase on your behalf. They are also required to turn in the paperwork to the Department of Motor Vehicles, even if there is no lien.

If your vehicle is purchased from a dealer who is not based in West Virginia, they still need to turn in the documents and will need to send an invoice with it as well.

Obtaining a Title and Registration for a Vehicle Bought from a Private Party

The state suggests that people should not purchase used vehicles from individuals unless those individuals are able to provide the title (in their name) at the time of the sale. The VIN on the title must match the VIN located on the vehicle, as well, and the odometer reading has to be more than the number on the title. If any of this information is incorrect, then you will not be able to transfer the vehicle into your name.

If you are able to get these items, then make sure that you sign the front and back of the title. The owner of the vehicle should do this as well. Also, fill out the Application for Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle if the vehicle is from out of state. An odometer disclosure is required with any vehicle that is younger than 10 years old.

Filling Out the Title

When you fill out the title, you should sign and write out your name on both the front and back of the title. The seller will need to do this as well.

If there is a lien on the vehicle, then the notarized lien release must be included with the vehicle’s documentation.

If you are registering your vehicle, make sure you fill out section 7, which is about your insurance, as well as section 5, which regards transferring your old license plates over to the new vehicle.

Registering the Purchased Vehicle

After purchasing a vehicle, it needs to be titled and registered within 30 days. Failing to do this may result in fines and fees as well as other penalties.

Submitting Payment

To title a used vehicle, there is a $15 title fee, 6% tax on vehicles valued at $500 or more or a $30 tax on vehicles valued under $500. If a lien is on the vehicle, there is an additional $10 fee.

These fees also apply to new vehicles, but if you traded in a vehicle, the titling sales tax of 6% is based on the purchase price minus the trade-in value to help you save money. If you are a non-resident purchaser, sales tax will not be charged.

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Last Verified:
Sep 17, 2022