Titling a Vehicle or Trailer in Virginia
Follow these steps to title a vehicle, including trailers, in Virginia.
Titling Your Vehicle in Virginia
Note About Dealer Purchases and Leased Vehicles
If you have recently purchased a vehicle from a dealer and that dealer is processing the work for you, be aware that it may take up to 30 days for the dealer to process your transaction and for the vehicle to appear in your DMV record.
If you lease a vehicle, that vehicle will not show up in your DMV record.
Step 1: Present the following documents
For in-state vehicles or trailers, 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). If titling with an MCO or MSO, complete an Application for Title and Registration (VSA 17A). NOTE: When titling in the name of a business, the applicant should include the business name, applicant's name, and the applicant’s position with the business. For quality assurance purposes, provide the company Employer Identification Number (EIN).
- 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 or purchaser. Refer to Step 2 for additional information about sales and use tax which may require additional documents.
For out-of-state vehicles or trailers, you will need:
- Completed Application for Title and Registration (VSA 17A). NOTE: When titling in the name of a business, the applicant should include the business name, applicant's name, and the applicant’s position with the business. For quality assurance purposes, provide the company Employer Identification Number (EIN).
- 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. NOTE: If you register a vehicle using an out-of-state registration card, the card must be in the owner's name and either unexpired or expired for less than twelve (12) months. You will only receive a Virginia registration card. You will not receive a Virginia title until you submit the out-of-state title to the Virginia DMV.
- 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 or purchaser. Vehicles that have been owned for 12 months or more do not need proof of the purchase price. Refer to Step 2 for additional information about sales and use tax which may require additional documents.
For out-of-state trailers with no title:
If you are titling an out-of-state trailer in Virginia and the previous state does not issue titles for certain types of trailers, you must:
- Submit the following documentation:
- A registration card that is either unexpired or expired for less than one year
- A Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin, if available
- A completed "Application for Certificate of Title and Registration" (VSA 17A)
- A completed, signed and notarized "Application in Lieu of Title Certificate" (VSA 12). Indicate why the title is not available, describe the efforts made to obtain a certificate of title, and provide all supporting documentation to provide a trail of ownership.
- If the trailer was recently purchased, a completed and signed Vehicle Price Certification (Bill of Sale) (SUT 1) identifying the trailer by VIN, make and year
- Visit your local DMV customer service center to complete the transaction.
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
- $15 titling fee
- The motor vehicle sales and use tax is due is at the time of titling the vehicle. The motor vehicle’s sales and use tax is based upon the vehicle’s sales price or a minimum sales and use tax of $75, whichever is greater will be collected. Minimum sales and use tax of $75 does not apply to all-terrain vehicles, off-road motorcycles, or mopeds. If you do not have proof of the sales price that you paid for the vehicle, the sales and use tax will be assessed on the official NADA trade-in value. A highway use fee applies to electric vehicles, excluding mopeds at the time of registration. If the vehicle is 5 years old or less and the reported sale price is more than $1,500 below the NADA trade-in value, a notarized Affidavit of Vehicle Purchase Price (SUT 1A) attesting to the sale price may be required. 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. 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. For more information about liens, refer to Liens on a Title.
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.