Releasing interest — Reports of sale — Transfer of ownership — Requirements — Penalty, exceptions.
(1) Releasing interest. An owner releasing interest in a vehicle shall:
(a) Sign the release of interest section provided on the certificate of title or on a release of interest document or form approved by the department;
(b) Give the certificate of title or most recent evidence of ownership to the person gaining the interest in the vehicle;
(c) Give the person gaining interest in the vehicle an odometer disclosure statement if one is required; and
(d) Report the vehicle sold as provided in subsection (2) of this section.
(2) Report of sale. An owner shall notify the department, county auditor or other agent, or subagent appointed by the director in writing within five business days after a vehicle is or has been:
(b) Given as a gift to another person;
(c) Traded, either privately or to a dealership;
(d) Donated to charity;
(e) Turned over to an insurance company or wrecking yard; or
(f) Disposed of.
(3) Report of sale properly filed. A report of sale is properly filed if it is received by the department, county auditor or other agent, or subagent appointed by the director within five business days after the date of sale or transfer and it includes:
(a) The date of sale or transfer;
(b) The owner's name and address;
(c) The name and address of the person acquiring the vehicle;
(d) The vehicle identification number and license plate number;
(e) A date or stamp by the department showing it was received on or before the fifth business day after the date of sale or transfer; and
(f) Payment of the fees required under RCW 46.17.050 if the report of sale is processed by a county auditor or other agent or subagent appointed by the director.
(4) Report of sale - administration. The department shall:
(a) Provide or approve reports of sale forms;
(b) Provide a system enabling an owner to submit reports of sale electronically;
(c) Immediately update the department's vehicle record when a report of sale has been filed;
(d) Provide instructions on release of interest forms that allow the seller of a vehicle to release their interest in a vehicle at the same time a financial institution, as defined in *RCW 30.22.040, releases its lien on the vehicle; and
(e) Send a report to the department of revenue that lists vehicles for which a report of sale has been received but no transfer of ownership has taken place. The department shall send the report once each quarter.
(5)(a) Transferring ownership. A person who has recently acquired a vehicle by purchase, exchange, gift, lease, inheritance, or legal action shall apply to the department, county auditor or other agent, or subagent appointed by the director for a new certificate of title within fifteen days of delivery of the vehicle. A secured party who has possession of the certificate of title shall either:
(i) Apply for a new certificate of title on behalf of the owner and pay the fee required under RCW 46.17.100; or
(ii) Provide all required documents to the owner, as long as the transfer was not a breach of its security agreement, to allow the owner to apply for a new certificate of title.
(b) Compliance with this subsection does not affect the rights of the secured party.
(6) Certificate of title delivered to secured party. The certificate of title must be kept by or delivered to the person who becomes the secured party when a security interest is reserved or created at the time of the transfer of ownership. The parties must comply with RCW 46.12.675.
(7) Penalty for late transfer. A person who has recently acquired a motor vehicle by purchase, exchange, gift, lease, inheritance, or legal action who does not apply for a new certificate of title within fifteen calendar days of delivery of the vehicle is charged a penalty, as described in RCW 46.17.140, when applying for a new certificate of title. It is a misdemeanor to fail or neglect to apply for a transfer of ownership within forty-five days after delivery of the vehicle. The misdemeanor is a single continuing offense for each day that passes regardless of the number of days that have elapsed following the forty-five day time period.
(8) Penalty for late transfer - exceptions. The penalty is not charged if the delay in application is due to at least one of the following:
(a) The department requests additional supporting documents;
(b) The department, county auditor or other agent, or subagent fails to perform or is neglectful;
(c) The owner is prevented from applying due to an illness or extended hospitalization;
(d) The legal owner fails or neglects to release interest;
(e) The owner did not know of the filing of a report of sale by the previous owner and signs an affidavit to the fact; or
(f) The department finds other conditions exist that adequately explain the delay.
(9) Review and issue. The department shall review applications for certificates of title and issue certificates of title when it has determined that all applicable provisions of law have been complied with.
(10) Rules. The department may adopt rules as necessary to implement this section.
[2010 c 161 § 309; 2008 c 316 § 1; 2007 c 96 § 1; 2006 c 291 § 2. Prior: 2004 c 223 § 1; 2004 c 200 § 2; 2003 c 264 § 7; 2002 c 279 § 1; 1998 c 203 § 11; 1991 c 339 § 19; 1990 c 238 § 4; 1987 c 127 § 1; 1984 c 39 § 1; 1972 ex.s. c 99 § 1; 1969 ex.s. c 281 § 38; 1969 ex.s. c 42 § 1; 1967 c 140 § 7. Formerly RCW 46.12.101.]
| *Reviser's note: RCW 30.22.040 was recodified as RCW 30A.22.040 pursuant to 2014 c 37 § 4, effective January 5, 2015.|
Effective date -- Intent -- Legislation to reconcile chapter 161, Laws of 2010 and other amendments made during the 2010 legislative session -- 2010 c 161: See notes following RCW 46.04.013.
Effective date -- 2004 c 200: See note following RCW 46.68.020.
Finding -- 1998 c 203: See note following RCW 46.55.105.
Effective date, implementation -- 1990 c 238: See note following RCW 46.12.530.
Effective date -- 1967 c 140: See note following RCW 46.12.520.