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Selling a Car in Virginia – The Paperwork and Documents You Need

Selling a Car in Virginia – The Paperwork and Documents You Need

When selling a car in Virginia, what forms do you need to fill out? Where do you go for your car title needs and other important documents?


While it isn’t difficult to transfer a car title here in Virginia you have to follow some vital steps and guidelines.

Check out what you as a seller need to do, once you sell your car in Virginia.

How to Sell a Car in Virginia – Guidelines for Sellers

How to Sell a Car in Virginia – Guidelines for Sellers

Selling a car in Virginia doesn’t have to be a chore. You have resources and assistance from the Virginia DMV! Check out what the Virginia requires of car sellers. According to the Virginia DMV, the following steps will offer you the detailed information you need to sell or even donate your vehicle:

  1. Be sure to sign your vehicle title over to the buyer or the recipient of the car. You will see a “Section A” on the front of your title. Be sure to sign your name there. Then, make sure that you take the time to provide the name and address of the buyer/recipient. Next, you must enter the odometer reading of the vehicle. If you are selling the vehicle, you have to fill out the “Sales Price” which is also in Section A. For a person who is donating the vehicle, you have to write “charitable gift” as the sale price on the title.
  2. You must give the title to the buyer or the recipient of the car/ vehicle. Make sure that you give the title to the buyer/recipient. Don’t forget to encourage your buyer/recipient to fill out the title with his/ her name, address and signature.
  3. Don’t forget that you have to take the license plates off of your vehicle. If you purchased a replacement vehicle, Virginia allows the transfer of the old plates to the replacement vehicle. Additionally,if you have  plates that will not be on another vehicle, Virginia allows persons to return those plates to the Virginia DMV customer service. There, the agents will either dispose of them, or recycle them. You may also recycle or dispose of them yourself.
  4. Special Note: If you have a full six months or more of your car registration period, you may qualify to receive refund by returning the plates to the Virginia DMV. You can fill out an Application for Vehicle Registration Refund Form (FMS-210). Then once done, you can mail it with the license plates to the address shown on the form. Don’t forget to contact the Virginia DMV, and let them know that the plates are inactive. You can also request a refund by bringing the completed FMS-210 and plates to a Virginia DMV Select Center or a Customer Service Center. Click here for additional information.
  5. Notify the DMV of the sale. Once you have sold or donated the vehicle, you must notify DMV of the sale. To do this you can send notification via online or you can call the DMV by using this link.
  6. Inform your Car Insurance Company of the Sale. The Virginia DMV highly recommends that you inform your car insurance company of the sale of your vehicle. vehicle. If you bought another vehicle, you may be able to transfer insurance coverage to the new vehicle. But this is a matter that can be addresses with your insurance company. Additionally, the Virginia DMV recommends that you obtain liability insurance for the other vehicle before you register it with the Virginia DMV. You must also transfer the old plates or purchase new plates for this new vehicle. More information can be obtained by clicking here!
  7. ***SPECIAL NOTE*** The Virginia DMV wants sellers and buyers to know that generally, car insurance company will notify the DMV whenever they cancel, write or add new coverage for a motor vehicle. So, if your insurance company cancels liability coverage on your vehicle because you don’t own it anymore, and you don’t notify DMV, The DMV’s records will show that the vehicle is registered in your name but is uninsured. Here in Virginia it is unlawful to have an uninsured registered vehicle. Given such, you may find that the Virginia DMV may suspend your vehicle registration privileges as well as your driver’s license.

Selling a Car in Virginia – Obtaining a Duplicate Car Title Certificate

If you’re selling a car in Virginia but the title has been obscured, misplaced, stolen or even just damaged, you have to get a duplicate car title.

To do this, you must order one via online, or by calling the VA DMV. You may also apply for a duplicate title certificate in person at a DMV customer service center.

Additionally, you must follow these steps for obtaining a replacement car title:

  • Virginia allows you to save a dollar if you click here and purchase it online! NOTE: You must have an account with the Virginia DMV.
  • Make sure that you Bring your current and valid driver’s license and current registration your to your local customer service center.
  • Complete the” Application for Transfer and Supplemental Liens (VSA 66). Of you may complete the “Application for Replacement and Substitute Titles” (VSA 67) form. If there are multiple owners, there is only owner that needs to apply for the replacement title.
  • Click here for additional information and steps on how to apply for a duplicate car title, from the Virginia DMV!

For cars with an active lien on them, the lien holder must fill out and submit the application and receive the replacement title. For a car who has the lien satisfied, you must include proof of that fulfilled obligation. Click here for additional information about your Virginia duplicate car title.

Selling a car in Virginia – Liens on Vehicles

Generally, a lien is placed on a vehicle when you first purchase the car. But if the lien is paid, the lien is released. Additionally, lien may also be placed on a vehicle if the vehicle is refinanced. That lien will be recorded on your title.

When you title your car with the Virginia DMV, the DMV forwards your lien- document title recorded to the lien holder or the financial lender (lien holder). Afterwards, you will receive the registration card and license plates if you have also registered the vehicle. Click here to learn more about liens on a car from the Virginia DMV.

Virginia Car Titles for Imported Vehicles

Virginia Car Titles for Imported Vehicles

According to Virginia, an imported vehicle is defined as any vehicle – including motorcycles – shipped into the United States from any foreign country. This includes Canadian vehicles and US manufactured vehicles that are manufactured for export and then later imported.

These imported vehicles may not meet the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

Given such, here in Virginia, it is a must that motor vehicles manufactured less than 25 or more model years ago, meet federal motor vehicle safety requirements. Therefore, they cannot be titled or registered in Virginia, unless there is proof of compliance with the federal motor vehicle safety requirements. Click here to learn more from the Virginia DMV about imported vehicles.

Preparing Your Car for Your Sale

Congratulations! You know what you need for the sale of your vehicle. Now, it’s time to get it ready for sale! What do you do? Allow us to share some steps to take!

  1. Be sure you have all important paperwork ready! You must have your car title and documents ready to go! Be sure that you can provide them quickly to the buyer. Visit the Virginia DMV online to get more info!
  2. Keep your car clean. Be sure that you keep your car washed and clean on the outside. You want to make sure that you vacuum it on the inside too and damp wipe the interior to make it shine and clean.
  3. Get a vehicle history report. As a trusted and honest Virginia car seller, you want to provide a vehicle history report for your perspective buyers. This shows that you have nothing to hide about your car.
  4. Be honest during selling points. This point goes with number 3, above. You want to make sure that you are honest about your car. If the tires are new on the car, but the starter doesn’t always work, make sure that you share that with perspective buyers. You’ve heard it once, and we will say it here: honesty is the best policy! Honesty gets to so far with car selling! So, be honest!
  5. Have a “cheat sheet” ready about your car. Have the basics on that sheet such as the car’s year, make and model. Then, be sure to include the car’s mileage too! Other important facts such as new parts are key to selling your car! You want to put your car’s “best foot forward” at all times.
  6. Sell your car as if you are selling a prized possession. Be honest about your car, but be positive! If something is not working on the car, tell the buyer! But be sure to display a hopeful demeanor and be positive for a repair that can be made.

Selling your car here in Virginia will take work, patience and paperwork. But you can do it and hopefully we helped!