Titling a Vehicle in Virginia
Follow these steps to title a vehicle, including trailers, in Virginia.
Step 1: Present the following documents
For in-state vehicles, you will need:
- Virginia title with the "Assignment of Title by Owner" and "Application for New Owner Certificate of Title and Registration" sections completed or, if the vehicle is new, provide the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin/Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MCO or MSO).
- Completed Application for Title and Registration (VSA 17A), if you have an MCO or MSO
- Proof of address
- Proof of purchase price, such as a buyer's order, bill of sale, or the seller's declared sale price on the title. The bill of sale can be a handwritten statement signed by the seller and purchaser or a Vehicle Price Certification (Bill of Sale) (SUT 1) signed by the seller and purchaser.
For out-of-state vehicles, you will need:
- Completed Application for Title and Registration (VSA 17A)
- Proof of address
- Title or registration card from your previous state of residence or a branch of the United States Armed Forces with your name appearing as owner, OR previous owner's out-of-state title signed over to you
- Proof of purchase price if you purchased the vehicle within the preceding 12 months. The proof of purchase may be a buyer's order, bill of sale, or the seller's declared sale price on the title. The bill of sale can be a handwritten statement signed by the seller and purchaser or a Vehicle Price Certification (Bill of Sale) (SUT 1) signed by the seller and purchaser. Vehicles that have been owned for 12 months or more do not need proof of the purchase price.
For imported vehicles:
- Refer to Titling an Imported Vehicle in Virginia for any vehicle brought into the United States from any foreign country, including Canadian vehicles and US manufactured vehicles that are manufactured for export and subsequently imported.
Step 2: Pay the following fees
- $10 titling fee
- The 3% motor vehicle sales and use tax based on the vehicle's sale price or $35, whichever is greater. If you do not have proof of the price that you paid for the vehicle, the 3% will be assessed on the official NADA trade-in value. If the vehicle is 5 years or less model years old, you may submit a notarized Affidavit for Procurement of Title (SUT 1A) attesting to the sale price. NOTE: If you are exempt from the motor vehicle sales and use tax, as provided by statute § 58.1-2403, bring proof of your exemption status or complete the Purchaser's Statement of Tax Exemption (SUT3) indicating the reason for exemption. If you are titling the vehicle in Virginia for the first time and you hold a valid assignable title or registration issued in your name by another state, you will not have to pay the sales and use tax. However, if you purchased the vehicle within the preceding 12 months, you must provide proof that the sales and use tax was paid elsewhere in order to be exempt from sales and use tax in Virginia.
- Registration fee, if you choose to register the vehicle.
Step 3: Record the odometer reading
When a vehicle is sold or transferred, the mileage (odometer reading) must be recorded in the assignment section of the title by the seller. If an out-of-state title does not have an assignment section, the seller may record the mileage on an odometer statement (VSA-5) available from DMV. Non-passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 16,000 pounds or more are not required to disclose the odometer reading.
If you are titling a vehicle with a model year that is at least 10 years or older than the current calendar year and the out-of-state title shows that the vehicle was exempt from odometer disclosure, then no odometer disclosure is required for a Virginia title. You must present the out-of-state title showing the exemption when titling the vehicle in Virginia; otherwise, an odometer reading is required.
If the odometer reading is not actual, the seller must inform the buyer that it is incorrect by checking the appropriate box under the odometer certification statement ("exceeds actual limits" or "odometer reading is not the actual mileage"). The seller must give a fair estimate of the vehicle's actual mileage.
Step 4: Select electronic or paper title
- Instead of receiving the title in paper form, you may request that DMV retain an electronic record of the title to ensure the safety of your title.
- If you have selected the electronic option, you may visit any customer service center and request a paper
title if you require one. You will be required to show proof that you are the registered owner.
If no lien ever existed on the vehicle record and no paper title was previously issued, a one-time paper title will be issued at no fee. If a lien existed or a paper title was previously printed, a title fee will be charged.NOTE: If the lien is an electronic lien and the lien has been released, a one-time paper title will be issued at no fee, provided it has not been printed already.
- If you are unable to visit a customer service center, you may
request in writing or online to have a paper
title sent to you. The paper title will be mailed to your address on record with DMV, providing there are no
held or stop conditions on the record. Send your written request and payment (if applicable) to:
- Virginia DMV
- Attn: Titling Work Center
- PO Box 27412
- Richmond, VA 23269
After your vehicle is titled, you may register it.
If you are new to Virginia, visit our New to Virginia page for additional information that may prove helpful.
Refer to state-owned vehicles for additional information.