How to Sell a Car in Virginia

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You might find that trying to sell a car in Virginia is challenging if you don't know the steps to follow. To successfully sell your car -- and transfer the title to the new owner-- Virginia has specific requirements that you will need to meet. Knowing the process will facilitate the smooth transfer of your car from you, the seller, to the buyer.

Step 1: Agree on a Price for the Car

As simple as this sounds, you can't advance to the next step in the process of selling a car in Virginia unless you have set a firmly agree-upon price between you and the buyer. This is one of the first pieces of information that Virginia requires -- and, in fact, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has a form for this information.

Warning

  • The person driving must have a valid driving driver’s license as well as insurance

Step 2: Complete the Paperwork

In Virginia, to sign over the title certificate of your car, you will need to provide your signature, an odometer disclosure, the buyer’s name and address and the sales price of the vehicle. The pertinent portions that you will sign are at the front of the certificate. The buyer has to sign the complete ownership transfer. Notify both the insurance company and the Virginia DMV about the sale of the car. To verify the sales price of the car, complete the Vehicle Price Certification form so the buyer can title it.

Step 3: Apply for a Duplicate VA Certificate

If you have lost, misplaced or damaged your title certificate, you can get a duplicate Virginia certificate online or through your nearest Virginia DMV office. In case of an active lien on the vehicle, the lien holder must submit the application and receive the replacement certificate. There is a fee of $10 for the duplicate certificate, at the time of publication. Apply for a Duplicate VA Title Certificate at a DMV customer service center. If you want to make changes or replace a title, you must complete the form required for this purpose by the Virginia DMV.

Step 4: Check the Vehicle History Report

Obtain the vehicle history report for your car at the Virginia DMV website or your nearest office; this can be a tool to help you sell the vehicle. This report will provide you with information about theft, flood damage, accidents and complications on the title. Buyers of used cars may require this information.

Step 5: Transfer the License Plates

When you transfer the ownership of the car to the buyer, you can dispose of the plates on your own or at a Virginia DMV service center, or transfer the plates to another vehicle registered in your name.

Tip

  • Request a refund from the DMV if your car's registration has six months or more remaining. Do this by filling out a Vehicle Registration Refund Application, and bring or mail it -- along with the plates -- to nearest Virginia DMV office.

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