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How To Sell A Car In West Virginia – Obtaining Documents For A Successful Sale!

How To Sell A Car In West Virginia – Obtaining Documents For A Successful Sale!

Selling a car in West Virginia takes patience, time and knowledge. The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles wants you to be an informed seller. The state wants you to have all of the required paperwork for a successful sale.


So, take a read of our guidelines and steps to how to sell a car in West Virginia, the right way! Allow us to save you time, money and stress!

How to Sell A Car in West Virginia – Understanding Vehicle Titles

“Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi trailer, pole trailer and recreational vehicle when driven or moved upon a highway must be titled and registered,” according to the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles. “The following information applies to all of the above types of vehicles (i.e. trailers, motorboats, motorcycles etc.).”

West Virginia defines a title as the legal paperwork that shows ownership. For vehicles with more than once owner, each owner has to sign the title. Additionally, those names that are joined by the word “AND”, require each owner to sign. Once each owner signs the documents, the transfer or a sale will be a legal one. Click here to read more from the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles.

West Virginia also adds: “Do not buy a vehicle from an individual unless the seller has the title to the vehicle in their name and can give it to you at the time of sale. Always be sure the vehicle identification number (VIN) on a title matches the vehicle identification number on the vehicle. The vehicle odometer reading must not be less than the odometer reading on the face of the title.”

how to sell a car in west virginia

Car Title for a New Vehicle in West Virginia

For the purchase a new vehicle, meaning one that has never had a title,  the dealer must give you a manufacturer’s certificate or statement of origin.

The document should be one from the car manufacturer and is provided to the dealer.

Once the vehicle is sold, the dealer will fill out reassignment of this document, which is what is needed to title your new vehicle.

The Sale of a Used Vehicle in West Virginia

For used vehicle purchases in West Virginia you must have the previous owner’s title. That title must have a proper reassignment to you as the new owner.  Regardless of it being a West Virginia title or an out-of-state title, the title must have proper reassignment to the new owner.

Additionally, both the buyer as well as the seller have to sign the back of the Virginia title. For a title that is out-of-state, West Virginia requires that the previous owner must sign the title. Furthermore, the name and address of the new owner must appear on the title.

The new owner has to then submit the out-of-state title in addition to the Application for Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle (DMV-1-TR).

For a vehicle that is less than ten years old the seller has to also complete the odometer disclosure on the title that has to be acknowledged by the purchaser.

The  required for used vehicle title include …”a $15 title fee, 6% titling sales tax on vehicles with a purchase price over $500 or $30 on vehicles with a purchase price under $500, $10 lien fee (if applicable), and the registration fee and/or registration transfer fee,” according to West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles.

For a vehicle bought from an individual with a purchase price that is below 50% of the current NADA Clean Loan Book value, a notary must witness the signature on the bill of sale. Additionally, that bill of sale must accompany the application for title. If that bill of sale does not come with the title, there will be a penalty. Click here to learn more from the Division of Motor Vehicles!

How to Sell a Car in West Virginia – Liens and Titles

For vehicles without liens, you can title and register them by mail or in person at one of the DMV Regional Offices. You also have the option of visiting a privately-owned license service station, located in most communities.

For a title with a lien on it and there is a final payment is made, there is a protocol to follow.

The lien holder should send the title to the vehicle owner with the lien released. Click here to read more!

This circumstance could cause a delay in the sale of a vehicle.

West Virginia requires a copy of the vehicle owner’s driver license along with any Affidavit of Duplicate Title for a Vehicle or Watercraft (DMV-4-TR). There is a $15 fee that you must pay. Read more here!

Duplicate and Lost Car Titles

For a lost title for a vehicle that has never had a lien, the vehicle owner must fill out  an Affidavit of Duplicate Title for a Vehicle or Watercraft (DMV-4-TR).

Additionally, you must provide  a copy of their driver’s license, the registration card, (if you’re able to obtain it) and the fee of $15 to receive the duplicate title issued.

Click here to read more!

how to sell a car in west virginia

Odometer Statement

Once the sale of a motor vehicle takes place, the seller must record the odometer reading in the assignment section of the title.

If the title does not include this section for this purpose, the seller may document the mileage on an odometer statement. The seller can use a form available from DMV. For an inaccurate odometer reading the seller must notify the buyer, and give a fair estimate of the actual mileage of the vehicle.

You must always include an odometer disclosure. The following are exemptions to the rule:

  • The car is ten or more model years old.
  • The vehicle doesn’t have a motor in it.
  • The vehicle’s registered gross weight or gross vehicle weight has a rating of more than 16,000 pounds.

West Virginia uses the documented vehicle’s mileage, as a way to ensure protection to consumers. Click here to read more!

Vehicle Inspection

West Virginia requires a standard safety inspection every twelve (12) months. West Virginia allows for vehicle inspections to take place at any official inspection station licensed by the West Virginia State Police.

Once a vehicle passes the inspection, that vehicle will receive a sticker valid for twelve (12) months. You are to place the sticker on the inside of the windshield. “It is illegal to drive a vehicle without a valid inspection sticker,” adds the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles. Click here to learn more about vehicle inspections after the sale of a vehicle!

how to sell a car in west virginia

Tips For Selling Your Car Privately

Ready to sell your car to fellow West Virginia residents privately? Check out some tips that will help to ensure a fast sale!

Fix Any Mechanical Issues.  A car buyer’s top priority is getting a mechanically sound car. And if there are any mechanical issues that are within the car, that car buyer wants to know upfront. So, if you are able to fix mechanical issues with the car, then do so! For the issues you cannot fix, let that be reflected in the asking price of the car. There are many West Virginia residents that don’t mind fixing cars. In fact, lots of people make it a hobby or a way of earning income! the magnitude of the issue.

Get a Tune-Up and Assessment. If you have a friend or a family member who is a certified mechanic, then ask if they can look at your car for a state safety inspection to ensure that the basics are all in good working order. Ask them to check the tires, engine and other vital components of your car. If there is something that needs to be fixed as if they can fix it Otherwise, let that issue be reflected in your asking price for the car.

Get a Vehicle History Report.  Buyers will really appreciate you for being a trustworthy seller, once you flash that vehicle history report at them. This may help to sell your car faster! Once people know the background of a car, they are more prone to trust the seller. So, click here to get that vehicle history report now!

Clean that car! Who wants to buy a dirty car? So, take the time to clean it on the inside as well as outside. Be sure to also remove any personal belongings out of the car too!

For online sales, you need photos and a great description!

  • You need great photos of your car. You should aim to have at least 15 focused and sharp pics you can upload and post into your online ad.
  • Another component of selling your car online, is the description. What would a seller want to know about your car? Include that information into the ad!

Keep your price competitive. You may want to see what the value is on your car. Then, once you have that price, keep that price competitive. If your car has new parts such as a brand new alternator, you want your price to reflect that.

Selling a car in West Virginia is doable, as long as you have the correct paperwork and know-how! So, connect with your West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles. Then coordinate a game plan to sell your car! You can do it! Hopefully we helped!