Selling a Car in West Virginia

When you’re selling a vehicle in West Virginia, there are some state-specific requirements to meet. We’ve collected the appropriate information here on these requirements so you can know what is necessary to ensure a smooth vehicle sale.

1. Title Information

You can only sell a vehicle in West Virginia if you have complete ownership of the vehicle. In other words, any “lien” (loan) on the vehicle must be paid off before you can sell the vehicle. In West Virginia, the lienholder retains the title until the lien is paid off. When you have paid off the lien, your lienholder should fill out a lien release and send you the title. You can then submit the release and the title to the state in order to get a new title without the lien. You will not be able to sell the vehicle until you receive the new title.

You should also make certain that you have the actual title. If you cannot find the title, you’ll need to obtain a replacement title from the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. You will need the physical title so that you can transfer the title to the new buyer. Both buyer and seller must fill out specific segments of the title. Your signature and the buyer’s signature are also both necessary and must be notarized.

2. Bill of Sale Requirements

West Virginia requires a Bill of Sale when you sell a vehicle. The Bill of Sale must be notarized and should include the following:

  • The new owner’s name
  • The full address of the new owner
  • The seller’s name
  • The full address of the seller
  • The date of the sale
  • The sale price
  • A full and detailed vehicle description
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The vehicle odometer reading at the time of sale
  • The signature of the seller
  • The signature of the buyer

3. Inspections

West Virginia currently has no emission testing required on any vehicles. The state does require safety inspections for all vehicles each year. You are responsible for either making certain your vehicle has a current inspection sticker before you sell your vehicle or informing any potential buyer that they have only three days to get the vehicle inspected once they buy it.

4. License Plates

In West Virginia, when you sell a vehicle, the license plates remain with you and not with the vehicle. You can transfer the plates to a new vehicle of the same class, destroy them or submit them to a West Virginia Regional Office for recycling. In any case, you also need to inform the DMV that you have sold the vehicle in order to avoid liability issues or fines.

5. Odometer Disclosure Requirements

West Virginia requires you to formally disclose the vehicle odometer reading when you sell a vehicle that is 10 years old or newer. To fulfill this requirement, you can fill in the appropriate space on the title when you transfer it to the buyer. If the title does not have that space for some reason, you can instead fill out an official Odometer Disclosure form.

6. Other Information

If you have questions or want more details on vehicle selling, check out the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles website.