Car Buying and selling Regulations in Virginia

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Owning a vehicle makes you get personal satisfaction. However, with today’s busy lifestyle, you need reliable and convenient transportation to get to your work place.

Buying a Vehicle

Regardless of the type of vehicle you have purchased, you must first purchase the minimum car insurance for that vehicle in order to legally drive it. You also need to register and title that vehicle in your name with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle. If you opt not to purchase the minimum insurance cover required by Virginia law, then you need to pay $500 fee for uninsured motor vehicles. This fee is paid annually, but be careful because this is not insurance cover. Some vehicles purchased in Virginia require you to have emission inspection test before registering it with the DMV. If this applies to you, then your vehicle has to pass emission inspection test in order to register it.

Procedure of vehicle registration and titling

After obtaining all the required paperwork for vehicle registration and titling, take them in person to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to register and title your newly purchased vehicle in your name. If you bought the vehicle from the dealer, they will normally handle all the paperwork for registration and titling on your behalf. You will need to take with you proof of purchase (bill of sale), proof of insurance and residence, vehicle title and previous title if it is from out-of-sate. You also need to complete and submit Form VSA 17A (Application for Certificate of Title and Registration). Fill in the odometer reading on the back of the form. If you purchased a vehicle that is more than 5 years from a dealer, you will need to submit Form SUT 1 (Vehicle Price Certification) or a bill of sale in order to complete registration. You also need to pay $10 titling fee and registration fees which is based on vehicle’s weight and type. You might also be required to pay vehicle sales and use tax, which is $75 or 4.05% of the purchase price. Once you submit all the applicable forms, fees and taxes, you will receive two license plates which you will mount on the front and back of the vehicle.

Selling or Donating a Vehicle

When you sell or donate your vehicle to another party, you have to sign the title over to the party you have sold your vehicle to. Also make sure they also sign and include their name and address on the title. Next, remove your license plates from the vehicle. You can use the license plates on another vehicle that you may purchase. You may also decide to return them to the DMV to dispose them. If there is enough time left before the expiry of registration (usually 6 months or more), you can qualify for a refund if you return the license plates to the DMV. In this case, you will need to complete and submit Form FMS 210 (Application for Vehicle Registration Refund). Then, you need to notify the Virginia DMV that you donated or sold your vehicle. It is an easy process that can be done by phone at (804) 497-7100 or online. You must also notify your insurance company in order to cancel your insurance. You can also decide to transfer your current policy to another vehicle that you have purchased. If you sell your vehicle and cancel your insurance policy and forget to inform the DMV that you had sold your vehicle, otherwise your registration and driver’s license may be at risk. Normally, the insurance company informs the DMV that someone has cancelled his or her insurance policy. If the DMV decide to follow it up, you will be in trouble.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle without a Title

You cannot sell or buy a vehicle without a title. In fact it is against the law to do so. If you are a seller, you need to apply for a duplicate title in order to complete the sale. You can do so online or by visiting the nearest DMV office. You will need to complete and submit Form VSA 66 (Application for Supplemental and Transfer Liens or Replacement and Substitute Titles). To get a replacement title, you need to pay $10 fee. For more information, call (804) 497-7100.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle without Registration

Registration papers are not needed when selling or buying a vehicle. However, as a buyer, it is wise to ask for registration papers if you doubt the legitimacy of tags or emission inspection certificate.