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Title Your Vehicle or Trailer in Virginia

See the documents and forms you need to make your DMV visit a breeze!

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.

Title vs. Registration

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.

No time to wait for walk-in service? We offer four convenient alternatives to title your vehicle.

Drop off
No wait. Pick up your title in 3-5 days.

Customer Service Center Appointment
Receive your title over the counter.

DMV Select
Receive your title over the counter.

Receive your title by mail. Postal delivery times vary.

How to Apply for a Title

You can apply for a title by mail or in person at any DMV customer service center.

Step 1: Present the following documents

In-state vehicles or trailers

  1. For new vehicles: Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin/Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MCO or MSO) and an Application for Title and Registration
    • For used vehicles: Virginia title with the “Certification of Buyer” section complete. If you’re also registering your used vehicle, complete the “Application of Registration” section as well.
  2. Proof of address
  3. Proof of purchase price, such as a buyer's order, bill of sale or the seller's declared sale price on the title.

    Note: The bill of sale can be a handwritten statement signed by the seller and purchaser or a Vehicle Price Certification signed by the seller or purchaser.

For out-of-state vehicles or trailers

  1. Completed Application for Title and Registration
  2. Proof of address
  3. One of the following:
    • Title or registration card from your previous state of residence
    • The previous owner's out-of-state title signed over to you
    • An ownership document issued by the U.S. Armed Forces with your name appearing as owner
    • Note: Out-of-state registration cards must be in the owner's name and either unexpired or expired for less than 12 months. You will only receive a Virginia registration card and must submit the out-of-state title to us to receive a Virginia title.

  4. If purchased within the last 12 months, one of the following:
    • Proof of purchase price (buyer's order, bill of sale or the seller's declared sale price on the title)
    • A Vehicle Price Certificationsigned by the seller or purchaser.

    Note: The bill of sale can be a handwritten statement signed by both the seller and purchaser.

For out-of-state trailers with no title

If your previous state does not issue titles for your specific type of trailer, please present:

  1. Registration card that is either unexpired or expired for less than 12 months
  2. Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin, if available
  3. Completed Application for Certificate of Title and Registration
  4. Completed, signed and notarized Application in Lieu of Title Certificate
    • 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.
  5. The bill of sale. If the bill of sale is not available: A completed and signed Vehicle Price Certificationidentifying the trailer by VIN, make and year.

For imported vehicles

See Titling an Imported Vehicle in Virginia for vehicles brought into the U.S. from a foreign country.

Step 2: Pay the following fees

  1. $15 titling fee
  2. 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:

  • Virginia DMV
  • 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.

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