Titling a Vehicle or Trailer in Virginia

DMV offers three convenient ways to title your vehicle.

Titling Your Vehicle in Virginia

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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-by-step instructions

Step 1: Present the following documents

For in-state vehicles or trailers, you will need:

For out-of-state vehicles or trailers, you will need:

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:

  1. 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
  2. Visit your local DMV customer service center to complete the transaction.

For imported vehicles:

Step 2: Pay the following fees

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 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 submit your title by mail.

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.

State Agencies:

Refer to state-owned vehicles for additional information.

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