How To Title a Vehicle
A title (also called a title certificate) establishes the legal owner of a vehicle and has important information on it, such as the vehicle identification number (VIN), date of manufacture, and make and model.
A title proves you own the vehicle. Registration proves the vehicle is authorized to be driven.
If you want to title and register your vehicle at the same time, see Register Your Vehicle for a list of what to submit. There is a separate registration fee.
Did You Know?
Step 1: Present the following documents
Step 2: Pay the following fees
- $15 titling fee
- Sales and Use Tax
Note: If you are exempt from this tax, bring proof of your exemption status or complete the Purchaser's Statement of Tax Exemption.
Step 3: Record Odometer Reading
When a vehicle is sold or transferred, the seller must record the odometer reading (mileage) in the “assignment” section of the title, and the buyer must record the odometer reading on the Application for Title and Registration.
If an out-of-state title does not have an “assignment” section, the seller may record the mileage on an Odometer Disclosure Statement. Please present this to DMV when titling.
If an out-of-state title does not have an “assignment” section and the odometer reading is not actual (current), the seller must inform the buyer that it is incorrect by checking the appropriate box on the Odometer Disclosure Statement ("exceeds actual limits" or "odometer reading is not the actual mileage" or "exceeds actual limits").
If an out-of-state title shows the vehicle was exempt from odometer disclosure, then no odometer disclosure is required for a Virginia title. Simply present the out-of-state title showing the exemption.
Your DMV Record
If you have recently purchased a vehicle from a dealer and that dealer is processing the work for you, it may take up to 30 days for the dealer to process your transaction and for the vehicle to appear in your DMV record.
Leased vehicles will not show up in your DMV record.
Selecting Electronic or Paper Title
On the Application for Certificate of Title and Registration form, you can choose to receive a paper title, or have DMV keep an electronic record of the title to ensure its safety.
If you select the electronic option, when you need a paper title in the future, you may visit any customer service center and request one. You’ll be required to show proof 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, the $15 substitute 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 currently have an electronic title in good standing with no lien, you may request a paper title online, at a customer service center or by mail. If by mail, send a written request and payment (if applicable) to:
Attn: Titles and Registration Work Center
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269
Your written request should include the VIN number or title number. If the title has never been printed, there is no fee. If it has been previously printed, the fee is $15.